Friday, June 25, 2010

Roos, roos, roos for the home team

It's only 37* days to:

As this budding ventriloquist continues the march to Ventriloquists Down Under Week, and as I strive to give my readers every morsel of knowledge I (A real Yank) have about Australia, I just need to ask you how I know that I should:
  • Watch me wallabies feed, mate,  
  • Keep me cockatoo cool, Curl,
  • Take me koala back, Jack,
  • Mind me platypus duck, Bill,
  • Play your didgeridoo, Blue; and  
  • Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred.
And most importantly, why I need to:
  • Tie me kangaroo down, sport.
Altogether now!  The answer is...
Rolf Harris!

Aussie friends: You knew I was going to say that, and I feel you all smiling from the other side of the globe.

Yankee friends - Did I just hear a 3,000 mile, coast-to-coast unison reply of, "Who?"

Now, fellow Yanks, I must admit that knowing who Rolf Harris is might seem to you as dangerously esoteric. Rolf, OBE**, is an Australian entertainer most famously known for the worldwide mega-hit Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport. Like so many non-American stars, he is so much more than a one-hit wonder in his homeland. And as a representation of the best that Aussie entertainment has to offer, he was for quite a while - the Man.

He was beatboxing before beatboxing was the rage. He was eefing (kind of rhythmically hiccuping, and not to be confused with effing, which to many is an adjective) when the art of eefing needed a savior.  He was playing the didgeridoo when didgeridoo-ers were getting no AM or FM airtime at all.

(FYI- my justification for using a picture of a pretty woman playing a didgeridoo is that it shows how mainstream and non-"traditional aboriginal native only" the instrument has become.  Yes, my motives are, as always, wholesome and educational. Why else would I pick that picture? To try and draw more male readers? Nope, not I. But I digress....)

So along with teaching the world a long list of native Australian animals (kangaroos, wallabies, cockatoos, koalas, and platypi) and names (Sport, Curl, Jack, Bill, Blue, Fred... well, okay I knew those already, except for Curl), Rolf Harris brought a glimpse of Aussie culture to a world starved for it. Absolutely starved for it!

Here is Rolf performing his classic at Royal Albert Hall***:

If you don't think Rolf is cool yet, this clip is such a wow you're going to bookmark this post just to watch it over and over.  In fact, do it now. You heard me. Get the Led out.

This actually made the charts in some developed countries of the world, so don't scoff. And finding things like this gives me a reason to wake up in the morning.

* 37 is a prime number.  Using "prime numbers to go" may very well be how I do every countdown. I've never looked forward to prime numbers as much before.  I look forward to them like a good muscle massage after a long bike ride. (I don't actually ride a bike -that's just an allusion to pleasure. But who wouldn't enjoy a massage?)

** Officer of the British Empire. It's a pretty good honor, but not as high an honor as a GBE, KBE, or CBE. It apparently doesn't make you an actual knight, but does honor you royally for writing songs about hopping animals. 

Kind of makes you want to take a crack at writing one, doesn't it?

***  Those of us who remember and always puzzled over the reference to "how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall" from the Beatles song A Day in A Life, look no further.

Seriously, look no further.  Let it go. The consensus of the English-speaking web was that it was playful gibberish from the playful mind of John Lennon.
Rolf Harris, an Australian,  playing at Albert Hall, a Great Britain landmark,  is like...

I apologize for the pause there. I've been trying to figure out a way of saying something disparaging about Minnesotans (or Texans) using the Australia/England dynamic. I reserve the right to plug it into BV when it comes to me.

If it bothers you that I'm being statist, complain to the commissioner's office.

(A Statist is someone who is biased on the basis of someone's state of birth or loyalty. Do I believe Wisconsinites are born with superior genes? Ya, I do.)
And on a totally irrelevant to ventriloquism or Australia but nonetheless important public service note:

Campbell's just announced that there is a recall for Spaghetti-Os. The announcement made it clear that it was just Spaghetti-Os, and that Spaghetti-As, Es, Is, and Us were safe and not subject to recall. Yes, they are considering recalling some Spaghetti-Ys.

For links to the whole list of promo posts for Ventriloquists Down Under Week, click on this link. You know you can't get enough of this series, don't you?

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