Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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TiM GW Bulletin 2000/7-6

July 27, 2000

Some Sydney Olympics Questions and Answers

Dumb or Dumber?

Gay and Evicted from an Ansett Flight?


SPECIAL NOTICE - for TiM readers who understand Serbian: We’ve posted at our Web site an interview with the TiM editor that was published July 26 in Belgrade by the Nedeljni Telegraf.  If interested, just click on -


Phoenix                       1. Some Sydney Olympics Questions and Answers

Sydney                        2. Gay and Evicted from an Ansett Flight


For Your Smile…

1. Some Sydney Olympics Questions and Answers

PHOENIX, July 27 - For a change of pace from the usually depressing geopolitical developments around the world, we bring you in this edition of the TiM Bulletin some lighter fare.  A TiM reader, actually our Belgrade-based translator of the TiM editor’s New World Order columns into Serbian, has sent us the following sampling of some Aussie-style Olympic humor.

Are these Q&A’s true?  Who knows… We’re told that the questions and answers are “some of the classic questions that were asked of the Sydney Olympic Committee via their Web site, with (pithy, typically Aussie-style) answers supplied where appropriate.”

They could be true, too, based on this writer’s experience with klutzy tourists in Australia. 

But in the end, who cares?  Just have a good laugh!  Even if it is at our expense, “the typical Yanks,” the way Aussies refer to us.

Good news is that we are not the only “ugly Americans,” judging by some of the questions asked by would-be Olympic visitors from other countries:

Some Idiot Olympic Questions

 Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)

A: Upwards, out of the ground, like the person who asked this question, who themselves will need watering if their IQ drops any lower...

 Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)

A: Depends on how much beer you've consumed...

 Q: Which direction should I drive - Perth to Darwin or Darwin to Perth - to avoid driving with the sun in my eyes? (Germany)

A: Excellent question, considering that the Olympics are being held in Sydney.

 Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)

A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, so you'll need to have started about a year ago to get there in time for this October...

 Q: Is it safe to run around in the bushes in Australia? (Sweden)

A: And accomplish what?

  Q: It is imperative that I find the names and addresses of places to contact for a stuffed porpoise. (Italy)

A: I'm not touching this one...

  Q: My client wants to take a steel pooper-scooper into Australia. Will you let her in? (South Africa)

A: Why? We do have toilet paper here...

  Q: Are there any ATMs in Australia? Can you send me  a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)

  Q: Where can I learn underwater welding in Australia? (Portugal)

  Q: Do the camels in Australia have one hump or two?  (UK)

 Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK) 

A: Why bother? Use your fingers like the rest of us...

  Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France) 

A: No. Everybody stinks.

  Q: Do tents exist in Australia? (Germany)

A: Yes, but only in sporting supply stores, peoples' garages, and most national parks...

  Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)

A: This HAS to have been asked by a blonde...

  Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)

A: Yes. Gay nightclubs.

 Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)

A: Yes. At Christmas.

  Q: Can I drive to the Great Barrier Reef? (Germany) 

A: Sure, if your vehicle is amphibious.

  Q: Are there killer bees in Australia? (Germany)

A: Not yet, but we'll see what we can do when you get here.

 Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)

A: What's this guy smoking, and where do I get some?

  Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)

A: Another blonde?

  Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)

A: I love this one... there are no rattlesnakes in Australia.

 Q: Which direction is North in Australia? (USA)

A: Face North and you should be about right.

 Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule?  (USA)

A: Americans have long had considerable trouble distinguishing between Austria and Australia.

 Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. (USA)

  Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)

A: From Liz Taylor, perhaps?

 Q: Are there places in Australia where you can make love outdoors? (Italy)

A: Yes. Outdoors.

 Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)

 Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA)

A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.


2. Gay to Be Evicted from an Ansett Flight

SYDNEY, July 23 - A TiM reader from Australia sent us the following “for your smile” contribution:

"An employee for Ansett Australia, who happened to have the last name of GAY, got on a plane recently using one of his company's "Free Flight" programs. However, when Mr. Gay tried to take his seat, he found it being occupied by a paying passenger. So, not to make a fuss, he simply chose another seat.

Unbeknownst to Mr. Gay, another Ansett Australia flight at the airport experienced mechanical problems. The passengers of this other flight were being rerouted to various airplanes. A few were put on Mr. Gay's flight and anyone who was holding a "free" ticket was being "bumped".

Ansett officials, armed with a list of these "freebee" ticket holders boarded the plane to remove the free ticket holders. Of course, our Mr. Gay was not sitting in his assigned seat as you may remember. So when the Ticket Agent approached the seat where Mr. Gay was supposed to be sitting, she asked a startled customer

"Are you Gay?"

The man, shyly nodded that he was, at which point she demanded:

"Then you have to get off the plane".

Mr. Gay, overhearing what the ticket agent had said, tried to clear up the situation: "You've got the wrong man. I'm Gay!"

This caused an angry third passenger to yell, "Hell, I'm gay too! They can't kick us all off!"

Confusion reigned as more and more passengers began yelling that Ansett Australia had no right to remove gays from their flights. 

Ansett refused to comment on the incident."  


TiM Ed.: Excerpted from the Sydney Morning Herald Monday, June 15, 1999.

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