What does it say about us that the biggest news story of the past week in Australia is the finding by the WHO that red meat ‘probably’ causes cancer? I mean, we have astronauts walking in space right now, a Kentucky farmer acquitted for shooting down a drone for breaching his privacy, Tony Abbott criticising Europe for her ‘misguided altruism’ towards refugees, and most shocking of all, news that Kit Harrington has been spotted looking beardy and very much alive in a snowy field in Northern Ireland. Oh my god. My wife’s blood pressure just exploded. Personally I don’t get it, how a bloke can get stabbed half a dozen times and still save the universe from the ravening undead hordes — maybe all that time he spent in the gym at Winterfell toughened him up, or all that chest waxing made his skin impervious to the mortal blade. Or the crazy nude red-headed sorceress brings him back to life (spoiler alert! what, oh, I was supposed to put that in before the spoiler was I? oops)
By contrast the meat-cancer link seems a bit humdrum, doesn’t it. Nobody is saying don’t eat red meat — just eat a little less. How can anyone justify a schnitzel so large it overflows your plate? It’s obscene. But just try that sort of logic with an Australian. It’s tantamount to suggesting thongs (flip flops) are bad for your feet, or that the stubby-holder was a stupid invention for a nation of tough-guys who nonetheless don’t want to get cold fingers when drinking their manly beer. Apparently its the reason we have both red meat and white meat on our coat of arms. We loved Paul Hogan’s invitation to US tourists because he offered to slip an extra shrimp the barbie. Lara Bingle bungled with UK tourism because she misread the script where it asked for a nice rack. But maybe it can’t be helped. I mean, look at us down here in the Pacific–we even look like a bloody steak! Maybe our minister was right to warn Johnny Depp off; if those poodles of his had made it ashore we might have pan-fried the pair of them.
For me, two days after a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, the thought of food of any type, let alone a big chunk of barbecued meat squeezing down my screaming throat, makes me want to vomit. I’ll stick to the Endone for now and, from across the gulf of Endone-induced hyperspace, regard all you meat-eaters with envious eyes, and slowly and surely draw my plans against you.