Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)
TITLE: Everything You Need to Know About Australia Can Be Found on the Internet
By Joe Moreland
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"Dan?" It was his girlfriend, Kelly, calling out from behind him.
"What?" He responded, a little irritated.
"What are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing?" Now he was frustrated and beginning to lose his focus.
Suddenly a blond head popped up betwwen his own face and his computer screen. "Well, it looks like you're watching some boring video on hiking through a jungle."
With an exaggerated sigh, Dan pushed himself away from the desk. "Not anymore, I'm not."
Kelly's face lit up in a perky smile, dimples and all "Good. Because I need to talk to you."
"About what?" Dan asked, instantly suspicious - as every man should be in that situation.
"About these!" Kelly bubbled, flashing a couple of papery things in Dan's face. He couldn't quite make out what they were, but he began to develop a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach that he could guess.
Despite his better judgement, he asked the question he didn't want the answer to. "What are those?"
"Airline tickets, silly. We're going to Australia!" The word Australia was punctuated with a high pitched screech and a lot of jumping up and down. Dan, on the other hand, began to sink into his chair.
It took some time, but finally Kelly began to suspect that Dan was not as excited as someone going to Australia should be.
"What's wrong?" She demanded in the form of a concerned question. Dan had begun to notice that women do this a lot.
"Uh...nothing." Dan stalled. "I just don't think it's a good time to go to Australia. You know, it being winter-time and all."
"Don't be ridiculous. It's summer over there." Now she gave him the arched eyebrow look he was beginning to recognize as the unavoidable start to a serious conversation, and he began to really wish she hadn't inserted herself directly between him and the video. "Alright, give it. What's really bugging you?"
"Nothing. Australia's just not big on my 'Got to See' list, that's all"
"What do you mean? There is sooo much to see there. Just think - we can take boat out into the wild Outback!"
"Yeah, well I was just there last week during my Adventure World online game. And guess what? My boat, me and all my companions got eaten by giant crocodiles!" Dan folded his arms in a gesture of self-satisfaction at having set her straight on that notion."Not so exciting, now, is it?"
Kelly stood there with a stricken look on her face; temporarily at a loss for words. 'Temporarily' being the key concept. "I don't think there is such a thing as a croc big enough to eat a boat, Dan."
"Well, you should have been there."
Kelly gave a quick shake of her head, as though to shake off something unsavory and began again. "Okay, we won't take a boat to the Outback. We'll get a guide and hike it instead."
Now Dan shot up out of his chair. "Are you crazy?" He shouted, "do you realize that every deadly snake on the face of the earth makes a home in Austrailia?!? Just last week I saw a video on the internet of some poor guy's cow getting swallowed whole!"
Now Kelly was backed against the desk, with her hand held in front of her to ward off Dan's aggressive negativity toward their trip. A little shaken, but undeterred, she began again. " No problem. No trips to the Outback. We'll stay oceanside. We can see the Sydney Opera House and go snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef, and try surfing, and..."
The words dried up in her mouth as she made eye contact again with Dan. He was doing his best to give her the "you have no clue what you're suggesting" look. It must have worked because she just stopped and waited for her latest plan to be shot down.
"Great Barrier Reef? Try Great White Sharks! Arms, legs - gone! Not to mention..." but she was already gone. Retreating from the battle in bitter defeat. In exhultation Dan turned back to his computer, only to have the sweet taste of victory snatched from his eager jaws.
The Amazonian Rainforest adventure video had ended.
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