I’ve just come back from a week in sunny Queensland, enjoying the theme parks on the Gold Coast. The ducklings had a marvellous time. Demon Duck is now known as Daredevil Duck, from her complete lack of fear on rides that scared even her daddy. I, on the other hand, am now known as the family chicken.
Surfers Paradise is a funny place. I’ve never seen so many hotels and holiday apartments in one place. And yes, I’ve been to Waikiki. Every single local resident must work in the tourism industry. I can’t imagine how they all make a living in winter.
And what is it with Irish pubs? They’re on every street corner, often cheek by jowl with a tattoo parlour. I tell you, Surfers is the tattoo capital of the world. Every second person you pass on the street has a tattoo. And every other person is a Japanese tourist -- although many of them have tattoos too.
I saw everything from full-back tattoos to barcodes on the neck; from delicate swirls on girls’ shoulder blades to hideous things protruding from low-slung jeans that looked like the top of a particularly ugly grey lacy g-string (or thong, for the Americans out there). There were full sleeves, the classic barbed-wire thingy around the upper arm, coloured flowers, writing – even one guy with a girl’s name tattooed over his heart. I hope it was the name of the girl he was with.
Tattoos were particularly noticeable at Wet ‘n’ Wild, a theme park full of waterslides, since everyone was wandering around in their swimmers. It led me to realise that they weren’t really tattoos at all, but some kind of aquatic aliens. Lurking in the dark tunnels of the waterslides, they waited for their next host to swoosh by, allowing them to spread through the park and, ultimately, the world.
I figure they must have made planetfall somewhere near Japan, hence the large numbers of Japanese tourists already infected with the alien parasites. It makes sense that they’d pick an island nation like Japan, so they were never far from water. And Japanese tourists are everywhere – what easier way to spread than to hitch a ride with such seemingly innocent characters?
I haven’t figured out their motive yet, though. World dominion is so old hat. And why start in a place like Queensland, if that’s your goal? Queenslanders all seem to drive about 10 km under the speed limit, a habit which the Carnivore found very annoying. I suggested to him that the aliens may have come to teach the Queenslanders to drive faster, but he didn’t seem convinced.
At least the ducklings enjoyed helping me with the alien spotting. I’m glad to report that we all made it back unscathed, though there was one touch-and-go moment as I passed a tattoo parlour when the alien mindwaves almost lured me in.
Be on guard, earthlings. You never know where they’ll strike next.