Native American Indians and Australian Aboriginals share many similar traits. Same sad story. Poverty, disillusionment, lack of identity, and rampant alcoholism. It's unfortunate to say but nearly every Australian town has a localized group of boisterous, boozin' Aboriginals. They can be found at certain pubs or city parks shouting at each other, drinking "woobla" or singing along with Bob Marley on the boom box. It is easy to befriend such a fun-loving lot, especially if you bring along a peace offering, such as a slab (case) of VB (Victoria Bitter) beer.
The natives I partied with lived in the far-north Queensland town of Cairns. I met Lizzy, Erma, Prissy and Dagwood one night on the esplanade whoopin’ and whollopin’ to Reggae tracks. I watched them for a while until they called me over and offered me a beer. I accepted and we quickly became boozin' buddies. We were having a good ol’ time sharing laughs and stories until the cops came by and told us to move on.
Having a drink with the ladies.
About two weeks later my friend Anthony and I were exploring the bush near Cairns. We came upon a clearing and found my familiar drinking mates having a barbie (BBQ) and piss-up (drinking binge) in a park shelter. We had half a slab and they had steaks on the grill and more beer. Let the party begin! Dagwood was eager to show us some crocodiles in the nearby wetlands. We declined his offer to go in and "Catch us one of dem crocks for the barbie."
Dagwood looking for an easy catch.
When the steaks were done, Lizzy started pulling them off the grill and tossing them to each of us like a Frisbee. Prissy dropped hers on the pavement, but picked it up and ate it anyway. Dagwood was a bit angry when the steaks and slabs were gone because he "Didn't hardly have a damn buzz goin' yet." The women told him to hush up because their dole money was coming tomorrow and they could get more slabs and steaks then. Dagwood howled, "But I wanna piss-up now, woman!" In order to avert a brawl, Anthony and I volunteered to go and fetch another slab. "You are good white folk," Dagwood assured us.
When we returned about an hour later, they were all gone. They must have gotten impatient waiting for their woobla, or decided to go on walkabout -- the age-old Aboriginal tradition of wandering in the bush.
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