The Year of the Mozzie

Kerry Cue article several newspapers 2005. 

Bzzzz! Ugh! Bzzzz. Thwack! Missed. Damn mozzie!

It happens every Summer. The Aussies Vs The Mozzies Test Match. And the mozzies win because there are zillions of ‘em. There are, in fact, 400 types of mozzie in Oz with names like Aedes Sollicitans. So at least one blood-sucking pest is also a lawyer makes perfect sense. Now each of these 400 mozzies has its own modus operandi. Some buzz around your head. Some go for the ankles. Some go for plump, sporty blokes.

 According to Tokyo researcher Dr Yoshikazu Shirai mozzies like Type O blood – marinated in a good wine, slightly aged and warmed in the sun – and, apparently, more blokes have it. If you are a fit, fat, sweaty bloke, now you know why you’re invited to barbecues. You’re the mozzie decoy.

But we all get mozzie bites. It’s the female mozzie doing the damage. And here’s the scary bit. She uses your DNA to make mozzie eggs. 200 to 300 of them. She spreads you around. And there may be little Bazza and Shazza mozzies out there that look a little like you about the blood-shot eyes.

But mozzies aren’t just annoying. They’re nano bio-terrorists. They spread fevers, plagues and mental diseases. This may explain the odd behaviour of Queenslanders at times.

So how do you outsmart mozzies? First, you must understand the mozzie psyche. Unionists, they work mostly at dusk and dawn attracted to smell, sound, carbon dioxide, warmth and light. An evening barbie is like yelling ‘come’n get it!’ to a mozzie. 

Aussies use many concoctions and contraptions from coils to sprays to zappers to get rid of mozzies. But do any of these devices work?

I can tell you. For we Aussies have a secret weapon, the Australian Mosquito Control Manual (2004) written by Darwin Medical Entomologist Peter Whelan. And here’s the low down. Anti-mozzie devices from citronella candles to zappers only work in confined spaces. That’s inside, mate. Any device that lures mozzies is useless because the kamikaze mozzies simply snack on you midway through their death dive. Sonic-repellent gizmos don’t work. Mozzies like others with brains the size of a pinhead enjoy one-note techno music. 

Ritual flame torches help. Mozzies aren’t attracted to yellow light. But if you don’t want your backyard to look like a fake tribal set from ‘Survivor’, just use yellow globes. Shrubs don’t help. Maybe you can squash the leaves and rub them on the skin. Or better still just grab some tea tree branches and thrash your guests. It mightn’t deter the mozzies, but it would scare off the neighbours!

Wind is good. Mozzies can’t fly in the wind. So the perfect time for a mozzie-free barbecue is just when the plates are flying off the table in gale-force winds. Sprays and gels work. But Aerogard is not enough. It keeps off flies. You need the big guns for mozzies. Tropical Strength Aerogard. Rid. Bushmans. Muskol. Repel. Use them all!

Now you’re on holiday. Camping. In come swarms of mozzies. It’s an emergency. What do you do?  You open your Australian Mosquito Control Manual and read on. Peter Whelan suggests to avoid mozzies in an emergency you cover yourself in mud, camp downwind near stock (They’re cows, city folk.), burn dung (Well, you’re near cows!) and if necessary bury yourself to the neck in sand and cover your head, which sounds like a fun camping trip for all the family. 

And one other thing. If all else fails. Run. Like the wind, I guess.  

Why we AUSSIES are LOST & CONFUSED at Easter …

At Easter I think of an Aussie Republic because in 1999 we rejected changing the Constitution PREAMBLE to one that began ‘In God we hope …’

So who was this Aussie GOD meant to be?

And how religious are we anyway? Full article here.

St Paddy’s Day, the Oirish, the Green Beer and Me

Edited extract of an article I wrote for The Canberra Times, March 2013

Irish GifIt’d be St Paddy’s Day soon and not just in Oiland. All over, like. Oi’ll be turnin’ meself into a cliché to get in ehead of the rest of yiz. You can drop the accent now. Keep it for Thursday 17th March, 2022. But why do the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s  Day  globally  by  channelling Leprechauns, talking blarney, swilling green beer and  slurring  ‘When  Irish  eyes are smiling … da da dada’ because no-one can remember the lyrics? Happy St Clichés Day.

I have  the  Irish  in  me.  What  with  the Meehans, the O’Donnells and the O’Mearas, Irishness has been layered in my soul like lines of sediment in a fossilised rock. I’ve inherited the fist fighting fury, the lilting poetry, the blarney and, Holy Mother of Sweet Jesus, bog Irish Catholicism. I’d have pure Irishness throbbing  in  my  veins except for one grandmother, a Beardsell of English stock, sent among us, I suspect, to make the rest of us eat with the proper fork.

to read the full article click on title below:

St Paddy’s Day, the Oirish, the Green Beer and Me by Kerry Cue

My First Day at School Ever

It is easy to forget how a 5 year old thinks. The world looks totally weird to a 5 year old. In 1997, when this article was first published, I received many letters from junior school teachers saying ‘Soooo true.’

kid going to schoolI wented to school today. ‘Cos I’m big. I have a big bag for school. My mum she put my lunch box in my bag and said ‘ Don’t forget to eat it.’ But I won’t eat my lunch box. That’s silly.

 I have a school hat. It’s big. It goes down to my nose. And I have to put my head back, right back, to see things.  And I falled over my bag. But you’ve gotta have to wear your hat because ‘otherwise you’re dead.’ That’s what my sister says. But the teachers they don’t wear hats. They’ll be dead soon.

 When we gotted to school my mum wouldn’t let go of my hand. Ami from my kinder was crying.  But I’m big. I can do big jumps. I can do wrestling. I can punch dragons. I can. My sister. She’s Grade Free. She says ya can’t punch dragons ‘cos they will barbecue you with one breath.  But you can punch dragons. When they’re asleep.

 My school is called St Hello Wishes. And it’s big. It’s more bigger than Africa. But my school hasn’t got lions because they eat people. But teachers think there is lions. Because that’s what the teacher says when you go to school. She says ‘Get in a lion boys and girls.’

Get in a Lion, Kids published Herald Sun (24 Jan 1997) and as The First Day of School, The Advertiser (SA 27 Jan 1997). Read full article: My First Day at School Ever

Also, for kids starting High School see: Sometimes It’s the Class Clown that Performs Well in Life

Captain Hook and the History of Oz

From Charming and Colliding Blog

From Charming and Colliding Blog

FROM THE ARCHIVES:

Ministers of Education have been alarmed in the past to discover Australian High School Students know very little about the history of this country. The following essay by Ashlee M, Year 8, Coolathanu High is believed to be included in some bureaucratic report somewhere.

Australia is a large incontinent that lies in the Specific Ocean except for Tasmania which doesn’t know where it is. Australia is very hot because the Topic of Popracorn is in Queensland somewhere, which means Queenslanders are sweaty and can grow topical plants in their ears. But the most important topic is the topic of Cancer because if youse get sunburnt, Omigod, ya gonna die.

Full Article: Captain Hook and the History of Oz