"There are great societies that did not have the
---Ursula K. LeGuin
wheel, but there are no societies that
did not tell stories."
---Ursula K. LeGuin
Koalas are cute, cuddly, bears – an endangered species. Well, one out of four ain’t bad, I suppose. Maybe koala stuffed toys, the sort that are sold to tourists and almost always made in China.
Yes, koalas are endangered, destruction of habitat and all that, but they’re not bears, they’re marsupials, and up close and personal they are, as the Americans like to say, “ornery critters”. When they’re not asleep that is.
Yes, koalas like to get their forty, fifty, one hundred winks in, but, when they’re not asleep, it’s the look in their eyes that gives them away. Imagine Jerry Garcia circa 1967.
Koalas only eat a certain types of eucalyptus leaves. And they can basically get by just like that, almost all of the time they don’t drink. They pee though. Back to that in a moment. But first, it is a little known fact that certain eucalyptus leaves can, when eaten, have an effect similar to that obtained when dropping acid.
Man, those koalas, they get it, man. There are recorded instances of koalas being so stoned they have fallen out of their trees, hence the expression “off your tree.”
But cute? Cuddly? Ask the former Australian Government Minister for Sport, Recreation and Tourism John Brown. He notoriously described them as “flea-ridden, piddling, stinking, scratching, rotten little things.”
Here’s why. Like any politician the world over, he wanted a photo opportunity. One that would promote Australia as a tourist destination, (and, of course, not least, get his smiling face all over the media). Where better place to go than a koala sanctuary, and cuddle a koala?
Instead of docilely allowing itself to be cuddled, the koala, doubtless with strains of Jefferson Airplane in its ears, squirmed, and scratched, and bit, and unleashed a stream of foul smelling pee all over Minister Brown’s expensive suit.
John Brown was a bad apple anyway. He left the Government in disgrace, after revelations that he and his then wife public relations consultant Jan Murray had celebrated a victory – what sort is anyone’s guess – one night by having sex on his desk in his office at Parliament House. They might have got away with it, but, as Murray later told the TV program “60 Minutes” she “left her knickers in the ashtray.”
But Australian politics is another, sordid, unholy story. Let us leave this post back with the koalas, mulling on the fact that, yes, it is near-impossible for dry cleaning fluid to get rid of the smell of koala pee...
Posted by Dawn at 5:47 AM