Martin Blake

03 November 2003 04:15


Dear Mr. V-Jelly,

I gather from reading your fab site that the word "emmet" refers to a tourist, but could you explain to a poor Orstralian who's not heard this expression anywhere else? Sorry about your lack of holidays, and I don't mean to rub it in but we've got a Public Holiday tomorrow for a horse race - the Melbourne Cup - any excuse for a day off and a cold VB!!  We also got one on June 9th this year for the Queen's Birthday, would you believe.....

Yours etc

Bruce Sharknet

Vile Jelly

03 November 2003 09:50

An emmet is an ant.

The Cornish have been using the phrase to describe the non-Cornish for donkey's years but it is now more specifically used to describe the aforementioned tourist. The reference is obvious when you see them swarm all over St. Ives in the summer in their replica England footie shirts. Such a mass of motion, such a startling absence of individuality.

The only difference between the emmets and real ants is that, despite the similar mental capacity, real ants do seem to have some purpose!

PS. It's only the UK that's uncivilised. When I lived on the Isle of Man we used to get a public holiday for Senior Race Day in the TT.

PPS. Yes, Rabbit mentioned something about queenie's birthday. From recollection he said his lot all got a load of tinnies, grabbed a pickup and headed out into the bush to shoot kangaroos!

Martin Blake

04 November 2003 19:51

Thanks for clearing that one up, Mr Jelly. Hang on, isn't the I.O.M. part of the UK? I too ventured there as a young sprog and got altitude sickness atop the Laxey Wheel. Saw Agostini practising for the TT as well. Lasted for about 0.2 seconds but the grown-ups got pretty worked up over it! My pick for the Melbourne Cup yesterday ran seventh, so it's back to work today, and there's always next year......

Vile Jelly

05 November 2003 09:12

Oh no sirree bob. Although part of the British Isles the IoM is, in fact, a colony just like you lot! It's got a governor (who disappointingly doesn't have one of those ceremonial hats with a dead chicken on it), it's own government, language, brewery and a motorcycle rather than horse race.

In deed, the similarities are quite uncanny: You've got Ayers Rock, IoM's got Snaefell, you've got Syd's Opera House, IoM's got the Gaiety Theatre, you've got Syd's Harbour Bridge, IoM's got the Fairy Bridge (you did say hello to the fairies when you crossed it while you were there, didn't you. It's bad luck if you don't which could explain how you ended up being transported to HMP Australia).

Oh, and the IoM rugby team's got no chance in the World Cup, either!

Perhaps the places should be twinned they have so much in common.

Martin Blake

05 November 2003 20:01

Strewth! I mentioned this to the blokes at the pub and we all reckon the Isle of Man must be Australia's long-lost mutant-dwarf twin, separated at birth a bit like Arnie and Danny de Vito in that fillum!

Cheers! Bruce S.

Vile Jelly

06 November 2003 08:09

Well, the size differential would be appropriate. Does that mean that you are the pidgin english speaking gormless beefcake?

PS. Are you Bruce Sharknet (international ocean predator-fighter) or Martin Blake. Or even a third person masquerading as these two? It's all very confusing. I mean, we know (from nature documentaries on National Geographic) that all Australians are called Bruce and live in pubs which would lend credence to the Bruce Sharknet theory. In which case, who's Martin Blake?

The RT reckon it's some sort of pervy Australian thing where Bruces of a certain inclination meet in secret underground clubs where they can dress in pin-stripe suits, complain about the weather and pretend to be English!

Martin Blake

06 November 2003 20:01

My name is Martin, the Bruce Sharknet was a feeble attempt at adding some regional flavour, which I shall abandon forthwith...

There is a real-life ocean predator-fighter called Vic Hislop, a larrikin who goes after man-eating great white sharks off the Oz coastline with a religious zeal which would leave Steve Irwin breathless. 

But I'm not him either.

Vile Jelly

07 November 2003 08:40

Actually, from what I saw in the papers recently you might be safer in the sea with the great whites. Article claimed that Horsetrylia was being overrun by giant crocodiles. Said the crocs had been thought to be on their way out a few years ago but were now back with a vengeance and, having run out of backpackers to munch, were now encroaching on isolated houses and communities.

You don't know how lucky you are. Nothing exciting like that ever happens here.

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