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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)

TITLE: Pa Takes Ma fer a "Ride"
By Connie Dixon


“Hey Ma, I was thinkin’ we could head on over to the Outback for our anniversary…… whatcha’ think?”

“I think bein’ married to you for 50 years deserves a little more than a meal from some fancy restaurant.”

“No Ma, not the restaurant, I mean outback!”

“What kind of a hair-brained idea is that, Pa? Ain’t nothin’ out back but trash cans and eight feet of snow!”

“No Ma, not out back… The Outback! You know, Aussie Land?”

“What’s Aussie Land, Pa! You mean like Ossie and Harriet?”

“No Ma, you been livin’ under a rock? Aussie Land, you know? Down Under………Australia!”

“Well why didn’t you say so, you ol’ fool. Don’t go messin’ with old people, I ain’t up for all that new fangled talk. Besides………why in tarnation would I want to go to Australia? What do they got that we ain’t got right here in Deadhorse, Alaska?”

“Crikey, Mate! Are you kidding? Have you never watched the Crocodile Hunter? Have you ever seen a Kangaroo or a Wombat around here? How about a Wallaby or a Duck-billed Platypus? They got the Kookaburra bird and the Koala, Anteaters, Dingoes and the Tasmanian Devil…… they got Crocodiles and thousands o’ kinds of snakes.”

“Pa, I wouldn’t pay money to go to the zoo to see crocs and snakes, that alone Australia. They got any places to shop? I need me a couple of new dresses and a hand bag.”

“Yes Cupcake, they got all kinds of shopping. You can shop till you drop in their warehouses and outlet stores and they’ve got oriental shops and swap markets. I want to buy me a couple o’ things too, like a boomerang and a didgeridoo!”

“A didgeriwho?”

“Not who……doo! It’s a musical instrument.”

“Well, whatever……I’m not interested in traipsin’ cross the country in the middle of winter! I want to be warm when I’m on vacation.”

“Well, I guess you were absent the day they talked about Australia’s seasons being just the opposite of ours, Dumplin’. I checked the weather this morning and it’s 89 degrees in some parts! Their weather is usually warm and balmy.

“What’ll we do if we go there, Pa?”

“The books I been readin’ say you can snorkel, spend time at the beach, take a cruise on Sydney Harbour, go bushwalking. We can visit the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, go to a concert at the Sydney Opera House or see the Blue Mountains. There’s a million things to do. They got boating, fishing, golfing, horse-back riding………might even find a romantic little place to throw a few shrimp on the barbie.”

“Romantic, huh? Where would we stay? We don’t know anyone in Australia?”

“Well, it kind of depends on what we want to do there, Honeybucket. Australia is pert’ near as big as the United States. We couldn’t possibly see it all in one trip. I would love to spend a few days on the island of Tasmania. They have hostels and Bed & Breakfasts, resorts, camping………just depends on how much we want to pay.”

“Are you sure Tasmania is in Australia? I thought it was some sort of “made up” town in some horror movie, all filled with devils and the like.”

“I don’t think so Ma, it’s a real place and right perty, I’m thinkin’.”

“Well what about Sydney? That’s the only city in Australia I ever heared of. Can we go there?”

“We’ll have to fly back over to the mainland, but I think we should spend a few days around Sydney to get a good feel of the city life.”

“Well, Punkin’ breath, sounds like you’ve thought this all through. You done talked me into it. Our anniversary is in three weeks, how long does it take to get our passports?”


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Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Gass01/22/09
Well, you sold me on a trip! :-) I had similar thoughts about wanting to see it all this week. What I liked about this piece was your effort to record realistic dialogue that includes dialect and the play on words that results from (mis)communication. Love the last line, too.
Joy Bach 01/22/09
From someone who knows nothing about Australia, you gave me a lot to think about. Almost made me want to visit. And I agree, that last line is a kicker. Very good job.
Chrissi Dunn01/23/09
Brilliant dialogue - Had to laugh at the ending too.
Anita van der Elst01/23/09
I have friends who just returned from several weeks vacationing in Australia & they sent a number of emails while traveling; much of what your characters described sounds like what they saw & experienced. I enjoyed "listening in" on this conversation!
Karlene Jacobsen01/23/09
Funny, funny. Your play on words drew in my attention, the dialogue held me. Very good.
Diana Dart 01/26/09
I'm giggling - Punkin'Breath??? Is that a term of endearment?? LOL!! Great little piece, too funny and all the info of a travel brochure. Well done.
Joy Faire Stewart01/26/09
Oh, this was so much fun. Love the humor and the ending is perfect.
Dee Yoder 01/26/09
What I'd like to do is follow this couple around Australia...can you imagine the looks they'd get?! Clever mode to pass along information.