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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)

TITLE: Walkabout Willy
By Yvonne Blake


ANNOUNCER: This is Ringo Macky on 874 2GB, airing from Sidney, at 8:25 on a Friday evening. We’re talking this evening about TV shows and movies which have changed our society. Is there a caller on the line?

CALLER: G’day, mate - Willy Shelbourne here...tour guide from Cooper. I just had to call in and tell you about my latest adventure with a journo from the States.

ANNOUNCER: A real drongo, eh?

CALLER: Fair dinkum! Straight off, he yabbers on and on about how he’s wanted to write a story of a walkabout ever since he’s seen the movie “Crocodile Dundee”.

ANNOUNCER: Oh, one o’ those!

CALLER: He was wearin’ a knitted jumper, ‘cuz he forgot that the seasons are turned back-to from the States. Plus he was weighted down with cameras and such. Course, his kit didn’t have nothin’ practical…no torch, no billycan to boil water, nor any food t’all.

ANNOUNCER: Where’d ya take’m?

CALLER: Well, he don’t want to take the Jeep; he wants to hoof it from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock. Course, I’ve done it more times than a mouse has litters, but not with a tourist.

ANNOUNCER: (laughing) So, what happened?

CALLER: This journo, Theodore, wanted to get some face-to-face experiences with the natural wildlife of the outback. (laughing) He got some experiences, but not what he expected.

The first day out, he asked when we’d see some koala bears. I told him that they weren’t really bears and that we wouldn’t see any on this walkabout because they live out on the east side of the land.

ANNOUNCER: I suppose he wanted to see a platypus, too!

CALLER: Fair dinkum! It’s a good thing I was fairly sure we’d see a few roos and maybe some emus, or he’d a thought he was in the wrong Australia!

ANNOUNCER: So how long did it take you to get there?

CALLER: (snicker) It weren’t more than a few hours past noon and he began whinging about how his feet are hurting and he’s a bit hungry. I was feeling peckish myself, so. I figure I better knock off and not push’m too much on the first day.

I found this billabong where we camped for the night. Of course, straight ‘way, he took off his boots and cooled his feet in the water. I told’m to watch for crocs and snakes. (snicker) He scurried back to shore quick smart. Course, there ain’t no crocs in that billabong, and no pizen snakes ‘round, but he don’t know that. I was jest havin’ fun with him.

ANNOUNCER: What did you feed him?

CALLER: I set him to putting up the tent while I looked for some grub, and that’s exactly what I got – white ants and whichetty grubs. Course, I eat them all the time, so I fried a few up and chewed a spoonful. He nibs one bite before clumping into the bush to chuck it up!

ANNOUNCER: What a hoot!

CALLER: I brought out some alligator pears and bird googs, and toasted up some jaffles, but later that night he chucked them too. I heard him hollerin’ about porkypines, so I grabbed my torch, to see what the kafufflewas all about. He had disturbed a nest of echidna puggles. By the time the screaming stopped, there weren’t no creatures within a kilo of us.

ANNOUNCER: I expect Theodore didn’t sleep much that night.

CALLER: (snicker) No…wouldn’t let me sleep neither! Between the dingoes barking, the mossies stinging, and the critters scuffling, he thought we’d be goners by morning. It didn’t help that a goanna lizard found its way into our tent. There weren’t much left of our tent after that!

ANNOUNCER: no tent? Where’d you sleep the next night?

CALLER: With a bushie named Morgy Buckworth…know him?

ANNOUNCER: Morgy? Sure…good Ol’ Bloke!

CALLER: We trekked round the short way…harder walkin’… but shorter. What a nark! He was all puffed, so I let him get in a nanna nap. I told Theodore that Morgy lived just down the road a bit and we would lob in to see him. He gives me this stunned mullet look as if I’m speaking a different language. Course, it was near to sunset when we got there. Theodore was some glad to see Morgy’s thunder box out back!

ANNOUNCER: Did you ever make it to Ayers Rock?

CALLER: No, Theodore had seen enough of the outback face-to-face!

ANNOUNCER: Well, onya, mate! Thanks for the laugh.

CALLER: Hooroo, to you, too!

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This article has been read 1106 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marijo Phelps01/22/09
Very "local" - loved this! Had a friend from Australia spend a month with us in 2006 and we learned a bunch of new slang - this piece really captures the feel.
Lynda Schultz 01/22/09
Great voices (I think!) and a very enjoyable story.
Connie Dixon01/23/09
I loved the dialogue here. Somehow I missed this colorful language when I watched the Sydney newscasts. Oh well, must have been on the wrong channel. Great job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/24/09
I loved it. The dialogue made the story come alive.
Joanne Sher 01/24/09
Delightful! Wonderful job with the dialect. A fun piece that felt very authentic (LOL like I'd know!).
Jan Ackerson 01/25/09
Great title, and I enjoyed every bit of this. Poor bloke!
Chely Roach01/25/09
This must have been so much fun to write, because it was a blast to read! Very entertaining!
Beth LaBuff 01/25/09
Are you SURE you don't live in Australia… Wow! This sounds so authentic (to my North American ears). :) My favorite paragraph was the one about wading in the billabong. Too funny:) This is so good! Excellently researched too. LOVE IT!
Catrina Bradley 01/25/09
This must have been fun to write; it sure was fun to read. I can't tell you if the slang is accurate, but it sounds good to me. ;) Creative format, too. Well done!
Karlene Jacobsen01/25/09
I enjoyed reading this.
Dee Yoder 01/26/09
VERY fun...and lots of cool slang to figure out as I read! I hope they all sound like this...we need Deb's input...or maybe we'll just listen to her in August-LOL. ( :
Laury Hubrich 01/26/09
You sure you're not from the land of Oz?
Joshua Janoski01/26/09
I have a feeling that a true Aussie wrote this one. It felt like I was reading a foreign language, and I loved every bit of it(even if I didn't understand half of the vocabulary). Very good piece for the topic! :)
Linda Payne01/27/09
This was a pleasure to read. I could "hear" the two fellows talking. I laughed the whole way through.
Lyn Churchyard01/28/09
Yvonne, oh my, this was just wonderful! Stone the flamin' crows, you 'ad Willie's voice down pat.

Loved the 'drongo' and 'stunned mullet' and yes, even some city folk talk like that. LOL I know I often use 'drongo' and 'stunned mullet'.

I sure hope this places - it's perfect.

Joy Faire Stewart01/28/09
Oh, how creative and humorous. Great job with dialogue, too. Love it.
LauraLee Shaw01/28/09
How creative and fun! Wildly entertaining as well. Great job!!!!