Never mind the Ashes: ten ways to skewer a bragging Aussie
As the series slips away, Aussies will want to rub our faces in it. These handy comebacks might help
WELL, it was good while it lasted. As England watch the Ashes slip from their grasp, the nation must brace itself for the return of The Bragging Australian (TBA), a species driven to the brink of extinction by the London Olympic Games. Distinguished by a vibrant green and gold plumage bearing ancient traces of lager and sunscreen, TBAs will be much in evidence this Christmas. "Mate," TBA will say with mock sympathy. "Yooz Pommies must be spewin' about the cricket."
If you encounter TBA – and you will – here are ten things to say that might take the fizz out of his (or her) Fosters.
Point out that England's women cricketers won the Ashes in August
OK, so our men have been destroyed Down Under, but England thumped the Aussies in the Women's Ashes this year. They will defend the trophy in the New Year.
Remind them about the London Olympics
If Yorkshire was a country, it would have won more gold medals at the 2012 Games than Australia. Headlines like that felt good, didn't they? You can also remind TBA that tiny New Zealand did better than Australia at the London Games, a fact that irritates Aussies even more than the British team's glorious success.
Get stuck into their new PM
Ask them why they elected Tony Abbott – a climate sceptic who likes to be photographed in his Speedos (aka "budgie smugglers") and once uttered the immortal phrase "the suppository of all wisdom" – as PM.
Suggest their economy is "tanking"
Aussies like to point out that their "miracle" economy dodged the global economic meltdown. Things are not "apples" any more, however. As the UK welcomes tentative signs of recovery, Australian politicians are facing up to the fact that unemployment is rising and the strong Aussie dollar is clobbering exports. General Motors, the company that owns the iconic Aussie car marque Holden, has announced it is pulling out of Australia in 2017. For Australian "rev heads" that's the equivalent of the ravens leaving the Tower of London.
Point out that their football team is going to get smashed at the World Cup
OK, the England football team never fails to disappoint on the world stage, but it seems unlikely that the Socceroos will make it out of their own "death zone" in Brazil. They're up against Chile, the Netherlands and the title holders Spain.
Remind them they're fatter than we are.
Better put down that meat pie, mate. Australia has climbed from fifth to fourth on the list of the most obese nations, according to new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation. Only the US, Mexico and New Zealand can rival Australia in the belt-busting stakes.
Suggest they're destroying the world
No, we're not talking about the detrimental effects of Neighbours and Home and Away. Australians are the worst carbon emitters per capita among major Western nations, The Guardian reports. Must be all those barbeques.
Ask why their fauna either wants to kill your or eat you (or both)
If it's not the Great White sharks, it's the crocodiles. Oh, and the jellyfish, the spiders and the snakes. Even the magpies seem to want to pluck your eyes out. Koalas may look cute, but don't turn your back on one.
Talk to them about the rugby
Yeah, cricket's OK, but what about that sensational England victory over Australia at Twickenham in November? 20-13 wasn't it? Great game. Almost as good as the British and Irish Lions tour. How did that finish up again?
Mention that their national anthem's a bit rubbish
Barely a year goes by in Australia without someone suggesting Advance Australia Fair - a song that became the Aussie anthem in 1984 - should be dumped in favour of a decent song like Waltzing Matilda or I Am an Australian. Criticisms of the current anthem range from its uninspiring tune to oddball lyrics such as "Our home is girt by sea". Twist the knife by suggesting to TBA that Australia should revert to using God Save the Queen as its anthem. ·