If you go to AUSTRALIA be prepared to lose a day of your life!   That's what happened when my wife and I left Los Angeles on May 23rd and arrived in Brisbane on May 25th. 

There was no May 24th!   The International Date Line propelled us through some kind of ..

History will show there was once a May 24th, 2003 ... babies were born, people were married and life on Earth went on as usual.  As for me, I was alive the day before that, and the day after ... 
    But not for those 24-hours called May 24th!

Another strange thing ... toilet water rotates in a different direction down there.  Right after landing I headed for the menís room at the airport to confirm this (I was anxious to know), but nothing definite was determined. The water went straight-down without swirling.   Later at the hotel I made further tests and proved it to be TRUE.

A second goal of mine was to make an Australian skydive. The weird guys at the Brisbane Skydiving Centre said that, 
since I was "down-under", I'd be falling UP out of the airplane!  
...  it still felt like falling DOWN to me. 

Afterwards they gave me a free bottle of "XXXX" ... the most popular beer in Queensland. (before that I thought all the XXXX signs around town were advertising PORNO places.)


The first Australian police force was comprised of 12 well-behaved convicts.  And, interestingly, today the homicide rate there is a mere 1.8 murders per 100,000 people compared to 6.3 murders in the United States.  

If the humans don't kill you there are plenty of other ways to die. A snake called the Inland Taipan is said to be the most toxic in the world. Venom from one of its bites can supposedly kill 100 people. Meanwhile, the Sydney Funnelweb Spider causes death in less than 2-hours.  And sharks and crocodiles like to invite you to dinner. 

The Irukandji jellyfish came into prominence only recently (in 2002) and is a silent nearly invisible killer found in the seas off northern Australia along with Box jelly-fish whose venom is the most deadly in the animal kingdom.  And on the beach some seashells not only sting you, but will actually chase after you to do it!   Most recently an invasion of Argentine ants has been discovered near Melbourne in a line stretching over 60-miles long.  They're considered to be one of the world's worst insects.

Then there are BUNYIPS.  No one knows for sure if they exist, but Aborigines have been  afraid of them since ancient times. They supposedly live in rivers and billabongs and like to eat people (especially women). 

My wife & a guy with bad ear-hair

Giant earthworms can be found in southwest Gippsland, Victoria. They grow up to 12-feet in length and are more than 6-inches in diameter. 

Big carnivorous birds called Kookaburras will eat lizards, snakes, insects, mice, and other birds.  They'll even swoop down over hot coals to steal meat from open-air barbecues. 

Australia is definitely a TOUGH place!  But, thereís no place else like it anywhere in the world!  80% of all that lives there (plants and animals) exists nowhere else.  50-million years of isolation have given the animals time to evolve in strange directions.  

... In many ways it's
is more like another PLANET than it is another country.

If it weren’t for crossing the international date line again and giving up yet another day of my short life, I wouldn’t mind making an Aussie of myself.

A swagman’s life sounds pretty good 

Waltzing Matilda,
   Sitting by a billabong under a Coolibah tree, 
   Stuffing a jumbuck into my tuckerbag, 
   and Waiting for my billy to boil.  

And, don't worry about the world coming to an
END today, it's already tomorrow in

Dick McMahon
That's not a SCARF around my neck!


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