It came to Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia.
I know this because I was there when it happened. Minding my own business sitting on the Esplanade lawn trying to stay awake long enough to see the 9pm fireworks display for kiddies when, like a dung beetle attracted to a cowpat, the World suddenly arrived and engulfed me.
First to turn up was Europe. For those of you who are unaware, Europe consists mainly of sunburnt inebriated Englishmen, Swiss yodelers, Russian ballet dancers and some very large German and Nordic backpackers who look like they could be quite useful on my farm if only I could lassoo a couple of ’em.
Europe is good. I don’t mind Europe.
Next came America. There are three kinds of people in America. Preachers and missionaries, (of one persuasion or another) rich cruise-tourists wearing white cargo pants and camera necklaces, and nine-foot tall black basketballers. These dudes can easily be distinguished in Australia by the attendant swarms of post-pubescent Aussie girls gesticulating and tittering with their most recently acquired assets. I like America too….apart from the preachers and missionaries.
Then came Asia……except for Mrs Chiang from Foochow in Fukien Province in China who changed her mind at the last minute and stayed home because her gallstones were playing up something terrible. I like Asia too, but there’s just too much of it. Since it moved to Cairns last Tuesday I keep worrying about the vacuum it must have left in the northern hemisphere and what’s going to fill it.
It was a relief that New Zealand didn’t come too. It didn’t need to. It has Mother Nature’s own pyrotechnics with bonus geysers and plopping mud, and the amplified punk rock music being played on the Cairns Esplanade had probably reduced to a less ear-shattering decibellage by the time it had traveled across the Tasman Sea. So New Zealand was head-bangingly heppy and in it’s own fustive mood on new year’s eve…..except for one person.
Dairy farmer Mr Quentin Barlamb, purveyor of blackberry flavoured organic yoghurt and other fine cultured milk products was not amused. He of course only allowed his cows to listen to Bach Preludes, and the punk rock cacophony arriving from across the waves caused the milk to curdle and go rancid in the cows udders before he could extract it early on new year’s day. It was not a good start to 2014 for Farmer Barlamb.
So there you have it. The World came. Now I wish it would just bugger off back to where it came from. If it doesn’t go away I’ll just have to move in with Mrs Chiang in my pursuit of tranquillity ……..and a half-decent sweet and sour chicken. We’ll also have another New Year to celebrate in just a few weeks time. Just the two of us. Nice.
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PS….. I shimmied up a flagpole to get the following pictures of the fireworks for you. You’re very welcome.