Saturday, March 7, 2009

A holiday is a very good thing

A confused sailor/diver mistakenly hitting on a dugong that he/she thinks is a mermaid.

I've had a marvellous few travelly days and have now added 'pilot' to the list of things I want to be when I grow up since, as the pilot chirped happily at the start of my first flight, all we have to do to get between Sydney and Brisbane is "make a few right turns".

During my time away I learnt that working in an un-airconditioned room during summer helps you acclimatise to tropical heat, and that while your freshly minted acclimatisation might make you feel smug as you watch friends and loved ones sweat around you, no-one will think jokes about turning on the heater are funny (even though they are).

So in true cheesy holiday-maker style my time off has included a trip to an aquarium.

I'm a big fan of aquariums; what's not to love about the "If the fall doesn't kill you, the crocodile will" sign above the croc enclosure and the discretely positioned snack and gift stores amongst the tanks? "Ooh, look at that Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon. Ooh, look at that chip and drink combo."

But my favourite part of my latest trip to the aquarium was the dugongs, those lovable cows of the briny deep.

While the dugongs themselves were great, the aquarium's advertising campaign that dugongs are just like mermaids was snort-worthy: tell a small child to expect mermaids and they're thinking Disney hair and shell bikinis when what they get when they walk up to the glass is stubby snouts and dugong pink bits. Next they'll be trying to tell us the giant Wobbegong is in fact Santa Claus and that the Southern Purple Spotted Gudgeon is actually the toothfairy. Way to kill the dream.

The only thing worse than trying to convince kids that dugongs are mermaids is trying to convince adults that lusty sailors confused dugongs for, ahem, very lovely ladies.

Anyhoo, a fine holiday, Dungongidae-human confusion aside, and I can't wait to see what sort of tourist-based anthropomorphism they've got going on at the zoo on my next holiday.


Miles McClagan said...

Dugongs are notoriously uncommercial animals to film, which is why they never completed The Little Dugong, or that horrible alternate version of Splash...Darryl Hannah can only act SO well...

Kettle said...

Ha ha! There's a South Park episode just waiting to be written there, Miles.

remote control said...

I'm sure I've heard a pilot use the 'right/left turns' joke too. Surely pilots have more than one joke?

Kettle said...

Hi there Remote, there are two!

"Flight 1234, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees.."
"But Center, we are at 35,000 feet, how much noise can we make up here?"
"Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 707 makes when it hits a 727?"

Haw haw...