Last night two things happened. I watched Death in Brunswick which is a classic Australian black humour comedy, (images of John Clarke contentedly stomping on the mucousy remains of Mrs. DeMarco to make room in the coffin for the body of a murdered man will probably never leave me), and was revisited by the technicolour yawn. Now, for those of you who are NOT Australian, and I do believe that a couple of you aren't, this latter phrase is an Australian idiom birthed in the early 1960s meaning... as tastefully as is humanly possible... vomit. Yes, the stomach bug is still alive and kicking, much to my annoyance. I am on a strict diet of ultimate-bland. I think everything that has entered my body today was either white or beige in colour, and I am craving more furiously than I have ever craved for strawberry yoghurt, a ripe mandarine, and the Easter eggs I saved from last week.
But I think that these last couple of days have been almost good to me. My dears, I really do. Writing a column on the self-mocking and black humoured side to Australian humour and how it reflects the Australian identity, has obviously meant I've had to look deeply into the matter. And to tell you the utmost truth, as I try to, I am actually proud of what I've seen. Even watching John Clarke stomp on Mrs DeMarco's remains has made me feel pretty patriotic, which is a nice thing for me. I'm always, even now, saying things like, "when I live in Scotland, we will milk the goat in my back paddock to have milk in our tea" and "I will write to you to tell you exactly what proper French croissants taste like while I teach there" and "I can't wait to walk down my street and know that Sherlock Holmes once stood at that very corner in the thirty-second story" etcetera etcetera and so forth, but never do I think of staying in Australia. But this weekend has done me in. Usually the only thing that could make me feel patriotic was the kookaburras, when once every four months or so they'd condescend to give us a tune. Right now, I am very happy. And even the technicolour yawn get me down. (And don't you think that the title of this post would make a great new frontline?)