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The Oz Journals - Entry Two

 article about I come from a land down under
"Oh the world of Oz is a very funny place where everyone has a funny
funny face and the streets are paved and golden, and no one ever grows
old, in that funny land lives the Wizard of Oz." – the theme song from
an abysmal animated 1960s television series. In the most popular volume
of the series of the Oz children's books by L. Frank Baum, Dorothy
Gale, a bored and frustrated pre-teen girl finds herself wishing she
could get far, far away from the Kansas farm where she resides with her
stodgy aunt and uncle, and gets her wish when a tornado transports her
by scooping up the entire farmhouse to a weird and wonderful land
called Oz, which is ruled by a reclusive but benevolent wizard.

When she first arrives the farmhouse inadvertently crushes and kills a
witch, which pretty much puts her on the shit list of the witch's
surviving kin, a sister who is also in the witch business. In fact, the
crushed witch's sister is so pissed off with Dorothy, she and her
squadron of weird monkey birds fly into Munchkin land just to scare the
bejesus out of them with threats of retaliation and violence. Most of
the rest of the tale everybody knows from the Hollywood film
adaptation, which was a favourite of mine as a child. The monkey birds
still give me the creeps if I watch it now. What a vivid imagination
Mr. Baum must have had to create the many strange and terrifying
creatures that inhabit his Wonderful World of Oz.

The Land of
Oz that I landed in is no less terrifying and strange than Dorothy
Gale's. Suffice to say, I didn't kill anybody on my arrival, landing
not on a witch but on an airport runway in a device that they maintain
handles better than your average, airborne Kansas farmhouse - a
contraption known as an aeroplane.

Judging from the non-stop
turbulence of my journey down here and our dodgy landing in crosswinds
in this machine, I might seriously consider flying Air Wichita next
time around. They call this land ‘Oz' for short, ‘Oz' being a shortened
word for Australia. They also spell "tire" like the Brits do (tyre).
Evidently the spelling hasn't improved among the populace since the
days when this place was a Penal Colony.

This land of Oz is
ruled not by a shy wizard but governed by a gentleman by the name of
"honest" John Howard. I don't know his politics yet, but he seems a
nice enough fellow. My stepdaughter met him, and I have decided to ask
him for a new brain, should I be granted an audience. Truth be told,
the official ruler of this continent of Australia is her majesty, Queen
Elizabeth the second of England, whose face leers haughtily at you from
banknotes here, just as it does in Canada. (Note on the banknotes here:
the Australian currency is almost impossible to tear. That is because
it isn't made from paper, it is made with plastic).

Speaking of
Her Majesty the Queen, her son Charles has just finished up a whirlwind
tour of Australia. Most of the news media ignored him and his ears,
excepting the occasion when two women flashed their breasts at him.
Apparently this happens every time he visits here, which is probably
the only reason the guy comes back. What else has he got going for him?
The television cameras instead devoted their attention to the rather
fetching Princess Mary of Denmark, a formerly plump girl, hailing
originally from Tasmania, who somehow managed to catch the eye and win
the hand of Denmark's Crown Prince. They make a storybook couple in
comparison with the jug-eared Prince Tampon and his tyre-biting wife to
be, Camilla Parkyour-Bowels. The lovely young Danish royals were
showcased on the television every day for a full week as they shook
hands here and cut ribbons there, opened this and attended that. The
Australians seem to be as infatuated as the rest of the planet by the
antiquated custom of monarchy, they just prefer their Princes and
Princesses to be good-looking. Poor Charles, the once and future king.
You'd think that the British Royals, with all their money, might invest
in some cosmetic surgery in order to secure attractive girlfriends.

have just read a news report which I will copy here: "A deckhand on a
luxury charter boat was killed by a shark when he went snorkelling with
tourists off the West Australian coast. The 26-year-old was taken by
the six-metre shark while snorkelling with tourists off the Abrolhos
Islands group about 2pm (WST), police said. He was killed instantly and
his body was yet to be recovered. A police spokesman said the charter
vessel, the Matrix, was on its maiden voyage from Perth to the
Kimberley when the tragedy happened. It was moored at Wreck Point, in
the south-east corner of Pelseant Island, which is part of the Abrolhos
Islands group, 60km from the port of Geraldton.

Six metres is
roughly 20ft, give or take a few inches, about the size that we were to
believe the mechanical and rubber shark was in the movie JAWS. I
thought they might have exaggerated the shark's dimensions for dramatic
effect in that film, but I guess not. These suckers grow to be large,
and I don't think they get that way eating kelp. According to most
reports, an attack of this nature is apparently extremely rare. Yeah,
as in "medium rare". I don't care what most experts say, they don't
grow their teeth like that for no reason. No shortage of strange and
terrifying creatures reside here in the wonderful land of Oz.

three sad souls, Oh me, Oh my, No brain, No heart, He's much to shy.
But never mind you three, Here's the wizard as you can see, He'll fix
that one two three in that funny land lives the wizard of Oz."- Same
theme song.

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