FOLKS, if you want to celebrate Australia Day in a dinky-di fashion then party hardy on Thursday and chuck a sickie on Friday.
Just grab your Chinese-made Australian flag beach towel and a huge sombrero, smother your face in sunscreen and hit the beach. Dressed like this you'll definitely be safe from the sun, and possibly your boss, who may be trawling social media to see if you actually did attend granny's funeral. Again.
Australia has some of the most wonderful, and egalitarian, beaches in the world. Honestly, it doesn't matter if you're a CEO, ditch digger or part-time looter, at the beach we're all equal, i.e. equally likely to get eaten, poisoned, stung, drowned, sunburned or stunned by a poorly kicked football, flying beach umbrella or riderless boogie board.
To foreigners, we Aussies must look like well-tanned, but slightly deranged, thrillseekers as we plunge into the sea with a devil-may-care disregard for any beasties lying in wait for us. They must wonder what national insanity stops us from fencing off our entire coastline in the interests of public safety.
Well, they might have a point, because we've pretty much banned everything else that's fun, or slightly risky, like riding in the backs of utes and blowing up letterboxes with firecrackers.
The truth is, apart from being fun-loving, outdoor adventurers, Australians are also mad keen gamblers, particularly when it comes to playing the odds on surviving a day at the beach.
Each time we leap joyfully into the surf we're betting that it won't be us who winds up being dragged to a gurgling death, or brained by a Frisbee, it'll be some other poor wretch. This blind faith gives us the confidence to calmly paddle about in an ocean chock-full of nasties.
So folks, come Friday, let's enjoy a semi-patriotic, post-Australia Day sickie, swim at the beach. Afterwards, we'll get more surfside thrills by making impulsive offers on ocean-front apartments and then submitting outrageous expense claim forms at tax time. It's the Aussie way, apparently.
Besides, what are the odds on all of us getting caught?
Greg Bray blogs at www.gregbraywriter.wordpress.com. Find him on Facebook: Greg Bray - Writer
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