Saturday, February 04, 2012

I'll bet you he knows how electrical sockets taste.

So I'm watching NatGeo teewee this morning, because it's that, infomercials, Nazi ghosts, Fox & Friends, or Jennifer Granholme's new show. I tried the latter, but when that woman tries to be bubbly and personable for the camera, she falls headfirst into the uncanny valley. I think it's the weird bobbing motion, like she's sitting on one of those little grocery-store coin-operated horsies just beneath the camera's view.

Anyhow, like I said, I'm watching NatGeo. A couple of insane Australians are swimming around catching sea snakes bare-handed. Then one of 'em grabs a stonefish, also bare-handed. You know, a stonefish: the fish with the venom that causes a wound so painful that sting victims beg to have the limb amputated, allegedly even after being morphined to the gills? It gets worse from there:



0:15 Is he standing in the tank with the fish, barefoot?

0:35 For Neptune's sake, man, those are your fingers!

1:05 Wait, and now they're not even wearing gloves in the lab while they poke at the thing! Did you not just hear the narrator and all that "most venomous fish in the world" stuff?

1:35 Oh. My. Gawd. They are squirting streams of neurotoxins all over the room like silly string at a birthday party, and there's not so much a paper mask in sight.

The next segment had them standing waist-deep in water, playing with a box jellyfish while explaining that it was okay to hold the bulbous bell bare-handed, since all the stingers (which can kill you dead in minutes) are in the tentacles.

No wonder they're afraid to let people have guns in Australia! Judging from accumulated video evidence, Aussies have absolutely no sense of self preservation whatsoever.

31 comments:

Rob Reed said...

Insert Steve Irwin joke here.

Desertrat said...

That calls up visions of Ozzies saying, "Hold my beer and watch this!"

Tango Juliet said...

Aussies are notorious for their machismo. What I have personally witnessed bordered on insanity.

Laura said...

i guess, when you live in a land where EVERYTHING wants to kill you, you become a bit desensitized to all of it.

GuardDuck said...

Keep you booger hook off the bang switch probably doesn't translate into Aussie very well.

Bubblehead Les. said...

So what were you expecting from a place who's contributions to World Culture are Olivia Newton-John and the Lord Humongas? ; )

Sport Pilot said...

One can only presume Darwinism is the preferred means of population control with those in question here?

Bob said...

Ever seen Billy Connolly's hilarious sea life routine?

Crotalus (Don't Tread on Me) said...

Aussies don't need guns. They have all those deadly snakes, spiders ad other nasty creatures to use as weapons.

Tam said...

Crotalus,

And apparently they'll pick 'em right on up and throw them at you!

45er said...

While the venom is in the spines and you'd have to get poked by them, it's still ridiculous to be sticking your fingers and bare feet in there with one. They are also notoriously foul tempered.

45er said...

What baffles me is them grappling with the thing on the table with no protective gloves.

Aaron said...

This is why Foster's was invented.

To keep the Australians from taking over the world.

Ed Foster said...

Sadly, Foster's, in spite of the lovely name, has to be Australia's poorest excuse for a beer. Try Toohie's, Carbine, or VB for something that will make you want to wrestle crocodiles or viperous creepy-crawlies.

I too have seen Australians commit sins against common sense on a regular basis, and must admit I am impressed at the suicidal courage of the silly beggars.

Or stunned or something. But they do definately make an impression.

azmountaintroll said...

They make good soldiers too, as long as you have an actual war for them to fight. During WWII, a British General complained to an Australian General that his troops wouldn't salute him. The Aussie replied, "You should try waving to them. They'll always wave back!".

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Now we understand why they are confined to a big island in the far corner of nowhere.

Too dangerous to be allowed close to civilization.

Anonymous said...

I don't need a gun. I've got a Donk.

Roger said...

Stonefish are quite common on the reefs here in south Florida. Their natural camoflage is excellent, they are nearly invisible unless they move. Their mouth opens up to enormous size, roughly the front 1/4 of the fish. The only thing uglier than the stonefish is its disposition.

perlhaqr said...

Sockets taste sparky, with a hint of copper in the nose.

Old NFO said...

Yep, Aussies are in a world of their own... Common sense? Never made it that far!

Stretch said...

Aussies have 4 priorities:
1. Their Mates
2. Footie (sports in general)
3. Beer
4. Their dog

That leaves Australian women very amenable to the attentions of Southern Gentlemen. God I miss that country.

Robin said...

Actually the main Australian contribution to world culture is that they have more euphemisms for throwing up than any other country.

Justthisguy said...

Oz is a country whose prime minister, when in office, once held the world record for speed-drinking of beer, according to the Guinness book.

P.s. Orstrilian name for the first drink of the day, upon arising? Heart starter.

Ritchie said...

What, no blue ringed octupii, octupii? Problem is, the rings don't come out until they're already irate.

Able said...

I made the mistake of reading Bill Bryson's description of the person stung by a bluey (portuguese man-o-war), the description of them being rendered unconscious with the amount of morphine administered, yet still screaming put a crimp in my Aussy beach experience. That and the constant jokes about 'don't worry about the sharks mate, the crocs ate them all'.

My four year old nieces would (in Perth) quite nonchalantly climb out of the pool, tap their shoes out, to get rid of the red-backs, and play as if nothing happened. I think they found their uncle cowering from half the fauna and flora amusing.

The whole laid back thing of 'no worries' and 'she'll be right' is OK. If they'd just stop wearing long socks with shorts, I'd move there like a shot.

Oh, and the deadliest thing in Australia? The pie-floater.

TimP said...

Not all Australian's are like that. For example I made sure that the wobbegong (small shark <1.5m/5 foot) had a fish in it's mouth already before patting it while out spear fishing. I wasn't going to let it bite me; I've heard stories of them refusing to let go until you take them to the hospital which will shoot them up with tranquilizers to make them relax. They feel a bit like sting rays if you're curious.

Speaking of sting rays the local aquarium has the following to say about patting and hand feeding their sting rays: "Go for it, we'll even build a dedicated sting ray patting tank, but be careful around their tales, because while they are pretty docile, and their sting isn't really dangerous it is incredibly painful, as most of the people who work with them know from personal experience."

As you can see we have a completely reasonable attitude towards dangerous sea creatures. Anyway the sharks and crocs aren't that likely to kill you (though that's mostly just because only idiots swim in estuarine waters in croc territory); you're far more likely to drown because you got caught in a rip.

(Also Foster's isn't really a very Australian beer. When I first heard of it I assumed it was an American beer, because I've never seen an Australian drink it, I've never seen it advertised, and I've never even heard another Australian say it's name.)

Ausprepper said...

I don't know what you're all on about. I'm juggling a tiger snake, a funnel web spider and and a drop bear in my off hand as I type this out.

Jim said...

Ed, you're dead on about Foster's. Down in that part of the world we drank Vaillima where we could find it.

Stretch's impressions and mine are about the same -- their ladies are impressed to no end by mere politeness.

Aussie lads seem to miss a basic lesson. Enter the ocean and you join the food chain, rather far down. I stayed away from sea snakes even though they're sometimes over-rated as killers. (Small mouth makes it a little tough for them to get a bite of you, and I've personally never heard of them being aggressive. )

But stone fish terrified me. One of my diving partners had survived a sting, barely, and never did walk quite right again.

Anonymous said...

Geez, what a "bunch of big girl's blouses" (or "wusses"). I spend a lot in the bush here and yet the only place I've trodden on a snake bare foot was in Africa (ever seen a Mozambique spitting cobra spit - they aim at the eyes, perhaps how the Mozambique drill got it's name).

'Though, I did disturb a couple of mating tigers (snakes) when I stood up after using the outside dunny (toilet).

The only thing I worry about is funnel web spiders which get into swimming pools and breathe from an air bubble while hanging around waiting to get pissed off. Deadly, but, fortunately dogs are immune to the poison.

Probably makes up for the low crime rate (less than 1,000 murders a year among a population of 22 million).

BTW the gun laws are bad, no Guns for self defense, ever, anywhere but there is a "Castle law" of sorts in my home state and I have a legal, registered M14 SAW and Australian Owen smg (think sten rotated 90 degrees clockwise) as well Remington Rands etc in my safe.

Julie said...

Come on - you have WAY MORE weirdos in the USA then we do in Aus! ... Look at the recipients of the Annual Darwin Awards ... how many come from the US and how many from Australia?

Oh and Fosters isn't beer ...

markm said...

Julie: That's because our lowest 10% outnumber the entire population of Australia.