We went to Bali for Christmas. You may recall the phony looking yet eerie sets of the film "South Pacific." Bali looks exactly like that. It's very similar to Des Moines, Iowa, only much, much different. If you've never left Kansas, imagine the opposite of all that you know and hold dear, and that's Bali. We had lunch in a cafe on the rim of a volcano. I've seen volcanoes before. They're usually accompanied by signs announcing that the last eruption was during the Pleistocene. During dessert I asked our guide when the last eruption was. In his broken English he said "Oh, a long, long time! How you say... July." On cue, it started smoking. Every couple of years it pops hard enough to claim some natives and a few monkeys. The monkeys are no big loss, as they copulate relentlessly and spend recuperation periods hassling tourists. One stole my sunglasses, but I laid him out with a coconut. Raybans 1, Monkey 0.
Another trip took us to Australia. We visited Sydney, Canberra, and the Blue Mountains. You may expect, from sensationalized accounts in films and on television, that you can't swing a dead cat in Australia without clobbering wild kangaroos and parrots. Oddly, you would be right. Run into the other room and tell your wife. She thinks you're such a pill. This will help her forget the time you left her at the Thruway rest stop on the way to Homecoming. Or maybe not. Gibber thought you were a pill, too. It's the double knit polyester. Lose it.
From our living room window overlooking the harbor and Cook Strait we have seen Southern Right Whales, Killer Whales, and jillions of ships of every description. Penguins nest down the hill from our house. We can see the major mountain ranges of the North and South Islands of New Zealand. In short, we have it all over you and your lives of quiet desperation, yet we are giving it all up. Why? Money. The American economy is booming, the Kiwi economy is swirling clockwise down the toi-toi. We're taking a major bath, financially. (Sorry for the unpleasant metaphorical image.) I've said it before, I'll say it again: send me money. Piles of used twenties, tens, and fives; no checks, please.
Before we head back we have to unload everything that has a plug. They have 240 power here, and the plugs look like they were designed by chimpanzees. I think it's important for every dinkwad country to have it's own unique electrical configuration, so as to make me buy all new crap whenever I go there. Also, while I'm ranting, what's the deal with this communistic metric system? Perhaps you've heard of it. It's a system of measurement unlike our own, in that it was not handed down by God but by a bunch of sadistic frenchmen. I spent the whole summer in the house because the guy on the radio kept saying the temperature was 25. Oh, and that's another thing! They don't have the common DECENCY to have summer in August! They toss it in there with Christmas! Plus, what's the deal with all these sheep?! They're dumb and fluffy and there's billions of them all over the place. (Please insert obligatory adolescent reference to bestiality.) And don't get me started on news coverage! All of the American news I've heard in the past year falls into one of two categories: famous people killing themselves by skiing into trees, and oral sex.
For those of you on my personal mailing list, I haven't done a mailing in months. Postage is dear, and all the stamps have pictures of the Queen of England, a repressed looking tart whose backside I simply refuse to lick. Look for a mailing with good old American postage, sometime within the next couple of months.