you guys - i know it’s been a long time. here is the article i wrote for OnDit. it’s longer than usual but it might make you giggle so just go with it.
It’s raining the first time we meet. Actually, it isn’t. The weather is mild and annoying - cloudy, but still sunny enough that the white glare is giving me a headache. But that is no way to start a story. No one would read that shit. And while I’m being honest, it isn’t our first meeting. I’ve known him all my life and could sense him the moment I stepped off the plane. Mostly because he smells of plastic cheese slices. CultureShockä had killed my mother. Well, that’s not true. He did make her cry though, more than once. And no one makes my mother cry. You know, apart from my father. And mean people in supermarkets.
I’m fresh from the bit smoke with a head full of dreams and a suitcase full of woolly garments. Adelaide isn’t really big and it’s not that smoky, but it has two cathedrals so it qualifies. The vast Canadian wilderness stretches out before me. Bears and cougars battle it out gladiator style while the beaver queen looks on approvingly. I was going to make the beaver a king, but I’m a feminist and everyone knows all beavers are female. A lone moose stands atop a mountain, icicles dangling from his antlers.
At first, I’m determined to ignore Shockie (what can I say, I’m Australian). I do what any well developed superhero with a troubled past would do. I shun my responsibilities and throw myself into reckless abandon. For me, this means hiding out in my tiny Canadian apartment, sleeping till 10am, eating vegan hot dogs for breakfast and staying up late to practice my laughter repertoire with the beautiful girl in my bed. I’m getting quite good at hahaha but my hohoho could use a little more work.
Eventually, I get scurvy and I have to go outside to buy some oranges. I know the Shockster will be waiting for me and I’m filled with The Fearä. I’m not ready but I know it’s time. Spice up your Life plays while I montage into the costume that will become a symbol of hope for travellers everywhere. I break with tradition by avoiding skin-tight attire. I’m a rebel. Also, Canada is fucking cold this time of year. I’d like to see one of those spandex men battle it out in these snowy conditions. I opt out of the whole cape thing too because that shit is just impractical. I’m a fan of the subtle approach. In fact, by the song’s end I look very much like every other girl with a buzz cut in an oversized jumper, purple jeans and 12-hole docs. The only thing that gives me away is the glint in my once dead eyes.
I don’t see my nemesis at first because he looks a bit like everyone I’ve ever met, only the wrong age, wrong height and with the wrong nose. My boots crunch over the gravel and I’m almost convinced I will make it to the grocery store unharmed. The smell of cheese fills the air then, POW! My scarf hits me in the face. As I pull it away from my eyes, Shockaliscious himself jumps into my path, his clothes made entirely of foreign food packaging. Before I have a chance to react, he pulls an uber solar powered sonic ray gun from the depths of his billowing candy coat and shoots me. Foreign coins rain down on my adequately sized and nicely shaped head. The next shot stuns me with an array of ever-fluctuating exchange rates.
I stumble in his direction because I figure my clumsiness is bound to harm him somehow. I swing out an arm and KAPOW. I hit a wooden telephone pole (whose average lifespan is 40 years shorter than a stobie pole) and the momentum throws me into an elderly passer-by. The ShockJock chuckles and fires again. Time slows down as giant Canadian tampons fly through the air. The senior citizen shuffles out of the way but I’m not so lucky. Who knew Australia was such a world leader in the field of feminine hygiene products. Tourism Australia should get on that. The biggest tampon I’ve ever seen, accompanied by an ungainly apparatus called an ‘applicator’ hits me in the eye. I crumple.
“Welcome to Canada, eh.”
The Shockmeister aims his uber solar powered sonic ray gun at my ear. Just as he is about to finish me off with a tirade of strange dialects, two things happen. The sun slips behind a crisp white sheet of snow clouds. Snow hits my cheeks and I remember my secret weapon. I’m Australian, I can mock anything. My laughter hits him like a pigeon into a freshly wiped sliding door.
“In my culture, that’s what we call a shock to the system.”
Nobody else laughs because Canadians are afraid of puns. Perhaps we could learn something from them. Fighting back tears, Shockerino climbs into his electric car and races away at a moderate speed. I can’t hear anything over my hyena-like guffawing but I’m sure he yelled something generic about coming back to finish me off when the weather had improved somewhat.
Back in my tiny Canadian apartment, I sink into my giant Canadian armchair. It feels like home. For now, all is well. I have finally earned the name Captain GigglePants. What happens next, nobody knows. I might die from a rare case of scurvy because I forgot to buy the fucking oranges.