So I’m sitting with Ms M in the car on the way to school, and she’s looking round in disgust at the sparkling gums, warbling magpies and bright blue autumn sky, as teenagers do.
“God Australia’s a dump! EVERYWHERE has better scenery than we do!”
Me: What about Eyre’s Rock?
Ms M: Yeah right. It’s just a rock. I’d rather live near the Grand Canyon!
Me: The Three Sisters? The Great Ocean Road? Kata Tjuta?
Ms M: They’re alright I guess but not like, well, the alps in Switzerland or anything. Nah, just face it mum, Australia’s got CRAPPY scenery.
At this point I come over all patriotic.
Australia’s the BEST country in the world. I’ve been everywhere, man (it’s a song, here) and nowhere’s as good as it is here. Peaceful, rich, democratic, normal decent people, great beaches….I’m telling you, this is the BEST!
Ms M looks doubtful.
What about England?
Me: Horribly violent. You can’t catch a bus there nowadays without getting bashed up by randoms.
Me: Economy’s shot. Unemployment 50%. You wouldn’t want to live there.
Me: Full of mad people with guns. Shoot you as soon as look at you. People going postal on every corner.
Me: Even MORE guns. If possible. And grizzlies.
Me: Fine but if you breathe the air in most places you fall down dead. Course it takes a few years.. but then!
NEW ZEALAND! There’s nothing wrong with New Zealand. It’s beautiful, peaceful..what more could you want? (we’ve been to NZ, so Ms M knows it doesn’t look half bad)
Me: Earthquakes. You wouldn’t want to live there. Plus people in New Zealand have feet like elephants.
“Muum,” says Ms M at last, “you sound like some mother chicken in a Disney film, you know ‘Don’t go outside the nest, it’s not safe, you just stay here and don’t you worry about that flying business..”
Exactly! And now, I’ve managed to offend EVERYONE!
Disclaimer: due to mental health concerns, all teenagers in the Rosaceous household have been inoculated against maternally induced psychoses with regular injections of weird humour, and merely laugh at conversations which could cause serious infections in unprotected young people.