Category Archives: Straya

Fair dinkum great Australian Inventions

Australia. Where women glow and men plunder or chunder, depending on the verse.

To butcher the Monty Python line, “What has Australia ever done for us?”
Glad you asked. Here are just a handful of some fair dinkum great Australian inventions.

A great Australian invention

In no particular order:

• Kylie Minogue – From spanner-wielding soap opera mechanic to global chanteuse.

• Google Maps – Okay, there were also a couple of Danish blokes in the team, but we’re claiming it.

• Spray-on skin – developed by Professor Fiona Wood in 1999 to treat second-degree burns. Incredible.

• The stump-jump plough. I’m not actually sure what this is, but as officially decreed in the Australian Constitution, it must be included in every list of Australian inventions.

• Ultrasound – so you can see baby Trevor before you meet him.

• Cathy Freeman – rather quick.

• Powered flight – In 1894, Lawrence Hargraves whacked a couple of box kites together
and strapped on a compressed air engine. He wasn’t to know about dickhead seat-recliners.

• AC/DC – I still can’t get used to that new lead singer.

• The fridge – In 1855, James Harrison was granted a patent for an ether vapour-compression refrigeration system to keep his cans of Foster’s Lager* cold. (*nobody in Australia drinks Foster’s)

• Nicole Kidman – I know she was born in Hawaii, but we’re claiming her.

• The electronic pacemaker – Mark Lidwill and Edgar Booth burst out of the shed brandishing
the world’s first artificial pacemaker in the 1920s. Heart emoji to them.

• Home and Away – introduced “flamin’” to the universe.

• Don Bradman – rather handy with a cricket bat.

• The power board – say g’day the next time you plug something in.

• Feature film – The Story of the Kelly Gang was released in 1906, and it’s all been downhill
to Fifty Shades Darker.

• The Splayd – you know, that spoon / fork / knife cutlery thing. Some heathens call it a “spork”.

• Albert Namatjira – To see the real Australia, immerse yourself in his paintings.

• Black box flight recorder – I hope you will never be featured in one.

• Barry Humphries – Thrust gladiolas on an unsuspecting world stage.

• Cask wine – aka goon, space bag or Chateau Cardboard.

• Wi-Fi – CSIRO researcher John O’Sullivan apparently stumbled across Wi-Fi in 1977 while hunting exploding black holes. As one does.

• Dual flush toilet – To differentiate your number ones from your number twos.

• Hugh Jackman – Talented bastard.


PS, There are a few Australian inventions we are not proud of – Rolf Harris and the Aussie Flu.

©Steve Williams 2018

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Howzat?! Beach Cricket for the Olympics

It has taken me a few overs to process the fact those great Australians at Cricket Australia are calling for beach cricket to be included as an official sport in the 2024 Olympics.

There have been howls of laughter and protest at this visionary proposal, but I humbly suggest
if golf, rugby, and that bit where leotard-clad gymnasts prance around lobbing a ball and twirling a ribbon on a stick are Olympic sports, then why the hell not?

The Sri Lankan Olympic team is the gold medal favourite

Before the first Olympic beach cricketers proudly stride out onto the sand, there will need to be a lot of meetings in the hallowed chesterfield-stuffed rooms of Lord’s to nut out the details, though a few of the rules of Olympic beach cricket have leaked under the door.

*Holding an alcoholic beverage while batting, bowling or fielding is compulsory.
(Imagine seeing Mitchell Johnson thundering in from the Carpark End nursing a stubbie-holder.)

*Olympic beach cricket must be played with a mangy tennis ball (one that has been half-chewed / slobbered on by a Labrador).

*The stumps will be fashioned from bits of driftwood or random stuff scrounged from the beach
or garbage bins (“garbos” to use the correct beach cricket vernacular).

*In case of bad light and for day / night matches, headlights from player’s cars can be used.

*Tip-and-run is compulsory (this is apparently also known by some ignorant cricket heathens
as “tippety-run”).

*The “You Can’t Get Out First Ball” rule will be in play at all times.

*If any obstacles are blown / deposited on the pitch, i.e. runaway beach umbrellas
or nude sunbathers, they must not be removed. They will add a bit of turn.

*Sledging is compulsory (especially among family members).

*Bonus runs will be awarded for catching a ball in your hat. Even more for catching the ball in your boardshorts. Even more for catching the ball in your budgie smugglers / bikini.

*The “You’re Out If You Slog The Ball Into The Water” rule will be enforced. (I can foresee some pushback on this. Personally I’m not a fan, if you have a player positioned at deep backward point waist deep in ocean, it can lead to Classic Catches that would give Shane Warne apoplexy.

*There will be no umpires. Every decision on the field, even if bleedingly obvious must be met with cries of “That’s bullshit!”, with bonus runs for a tearful tantrum and knocking over the “stumps”.

*When a ball is hit for six, the youngest person on the field must retrieve it, proceeded by “goandgetthatwouldyamateandgimmeanotherbeerfromtheesky.”

*Once a batsman / batswoman? reaches fifty runs, they must start hitting catches (preferably to the dehydrated, sunburnt kiddie who previously retrieved the ball and the drinks).

*The act of “taking your bat and ball and going home” must be met with the response of “Aw, ya wanker!”

I look forward to Cricket Australia vigorously lobbying those IOC types for the inclusion of beach cricket into the Olympics, and eagerly await the bowling of the first dog-slobbered ball in 2024.

©Words and image Steve Williams 2015

*This piece also appeared in The Huffington Post Australia:
Beach Cricket: Howzat For An Olympic Sport?

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