Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lisa Henry is a Nice Person and Australian Words Are Real: A Public Apology

Given how publicly I have, in the past, declared my disdain for certain Australian words and phrases after working with Lisa Henry, it seems only right that I make my apology public as well. You see, up until this point, I have enjoyed poking fun at Australia's "made up" words. At their dating and measurement systems, their seasons, and their way of spelling things. I have scoffed at concepts like the "Freddo frog" and the "bottle shop." Even earlier this month, when Lisa was a guest on this blog, I slipped a somewhat snide comment into her introduction about her tendency to promise me imaginary chocolate. The lack of Freddo frogs in my life was, I assumed, proof that they were made up. Like didgeridoos and lemurs.

I am here today to admit that I was wrong. You see, Australian words are very real. Just as real as American words, if not more so. Whatever I may have tweeted or facebooked or blogged in the past, I understand this now. And I want to offer my most heartfelt apologies to Lisa Henry and the great nation of Australia.

To show how sincere I am, I have compiled a list of specific things I would like to apologise for. Australia...I hope you're listening.

*unfolds list, clears throat, and begins to read*

J.A. Rock's List of Apologies and Concessions to Australia

-"Firies" is a good word for firemen.
-You probably do not actually call graham crackers "foodle doodles."
-Your national vocabulary does not sound, as I once proclaimed, "like a Dr. Seuss book."
-"Jelly" is a totally legitimate term for Jell-o.
-I would love to park my car in the car park.
-I support you in the de-sexing of all your pets.
-I will take one flat white, please. Because that's coffee--not paint.
-I will pay for my flat white with a note. Or notes. (I don't know how many notes it will cost).
-Your way of dating things makes total sense.
-Why not have summer in January?
-Gas is when you fart. Petrol is what you put in your car.
-There are more than three Australian actors of consequence.
-I realise that if we keep overusing the letter Z it will no longer be the most coveted letter in Scrabble. So let's use S's where we can.

I hope, Australia and Lisa, that you will accept my apologies. Differences make the world go round. And the International Date Line is not some longitudinal TARDIS that causes Australians to time travel. Australian, American...we're all just people, existing on opposite sides of the planet, on different days of the calendar year, but eating the same jelly and tossing the leftovers in the same bins and using the same portaloos. Figuratively speaking.

And now, I'm off to finish the bag of Freddo frogs that arrived in the mail today from Australia along with the Mark Cooper Versus America contract.


  1. On behalf of the great Freddo-eating nation of Australia, I accept your apology. :)

    But can't the international date line be like the TARDIS? Because that would be awesome.

  2. can't stop sniggering like a schoolboy.

    and i think we can all agree that GMT 0000 is totally the real and actual TARDIS.

    1. As someone who is speaking to you from the future, Joolz, all I know is that time is wibbly wobbly timey wimey, and bowties are cool!

    2. As long as you agree and it won't compromise any future Freddo-giving, I will un-retract my comments about your time traveling ability. Sorry. Travelling.

  3. As a fellow Aussie, I am shocked and horrified at what Lisa has had to endure. Apology accepted. Oh, and you wear thongs on your feet.


    Have you tried Tim Tams?

    Lisa, just as well you sent Freddo Frogs and not Vegemite...

    1. I keep hearing things about Vegemite, but I'm not sure what it is. Its website tells me it's a nutritious and undeniably delicious start to my day.

      *takes deep breath* And yes, I agree, thongs are shoes, and not this:

      And that you can put sprinkles on bread and call it fairy bread. Or refer to cotton candy as fairy floss. I'm 100% fine with that.

    2. There's a lot to take in, isn't it? But you're doing so well!

      @ Aniko, didn't I read somewhere recently that you can't get Vegemite in America? Like, can't even bring it into the country? I'm sure I did. It's a conspiracy!

  4. It's just so hard. *breaks down sobbing* When will it get easier? If someone could send me a hot firie to help with the transition, it would be much appreciated.

    What's the difference between Marmite and Vegemite?

    A google search reveals you can get Vegemite at World Market...and at something called the Everything Australian store located in, of all places, Arkansas. Wow.

    1. Marmite is disgusting, and Vegemite was given to us by the gods. That's the difference.

      *runs away before the Marmite lovers come after me*

      And Arkansas? How bizarre.

  5. And Snopes tell me that the Vegemite ban was not really a thing, there was just some problem with stores being able to stock it a few years ago. I'm relieved. I don't travel anywhere internationally without Vegemite. And, sadly, that is true.

  6. The arguing between you two reminds me of hubby and I. When we first got together, I had a learning curve for his accent and he had a learning curve for my pop culture references. We still do, but it occurs less now.

    When he first came over, he bought a PS2 and played some games. He was so excited because his fave game franchise was putting out a game while he was here. Anyway, he was playing and he said "Babe, come look at this. It's so cool, he has zeds above his head."

    I was like WTF? Okay, well at least I get to learn what a zed is. I've heard him mention this one before. Now I get to see what it is. I trotted out to the TV to see a military dude on the ground with several Zs above his head, like he is asleep.

    So I'm like okay, WTF, babe? I don't get it. He says "They're right on the screen. How can you not see them?" and so I look again. And I'm like is he talking about the trees?? Are these zed trees? I kinda threw up my hands up at this point and said "Whatever, dear."

    He dragged me back and pointed at the screen and was like "You see these? Those are zeds. It's a letter."

    And I said, "Oh you mean that? That's a Zee. Not a zed."

    It was then that we realized we spoke two different languages. American English and British English. They might share words, like Mexican Spanish and Spain Spanish but they are very different.

    I asked him later what he thought of me when that happened. He said "I though it's a good thing you're pretty and do well at accounting because you have the dumb." LOL. Always honest with me.

    But we shared one very important language: Cat. So we just speak in cat all the time. Meow! :D

    1. Haha! I would have been in the same boat with the zeds. But it's good to know that these linguistic struggles between America and...uh, pretty much every other English speaking country, I guess, are a common experience.

      I would suggest cat as a global language, except I can't tell the difference between when my kitty niece wants to play and when she is quietly damning me to the furnaces of hell for sitting in her spot on the couch. The meows sound much the same.

    2. Then you have not learned cat! :) I shall teach you it next time. There is a definitely difference between "Clean out my litter box, bitch." and "Is it time for cuddles?"

  7. Seriously enjoyed the bantering! You should definitely go to Arkansas-they have their very own language too!