Canada clung to the Jeep for dear life as her stomach did flips and turns. Tires kicked up hot, orange dirt as they tore through the outback. A mob of emu chased behind them like wolves gunning for fresh meat. The driver gripped the wheel with one hand while the other waved wildly out the side of the car.Australia hollered back at the birds. “Come and get it, ya brainless devils!” She turned to Canada. “Can’t even fly, the whackas!”
Right as Canada began to question her life choices, her ass lifted off the seat and her head smacked against the top of the car.
“Play hard, work after” was an important element to Australia’s diplomatic strategy, and it was why touring through nature always had to come before business. Still, Canada wondered how a trek through wetlands meant fun, but apparently Canadian English and Australian English had subtle differences.
Icepack held to the small lump that had formed on her head, Canada trotted along behind her spry friend, heavy feet splashing through the water. “I’m dying!” She cried. Her skin was on fire–face surely beginning to melt. Sweat dripped into her eyes and blurred her already terrible vision.
“But it’s only 30 degrees.”
“Turned into a camel, did ya?” After some time, Australia came to an abrupt stop and Canada followed suit. She said in a low voice filled with awe, “Ooh, take a look at that!”
“At wha–oh, god.” A chill ran up Canada’s back (but not even that gave her relief from the heat). No more than six feet away, a massive crocodile rested in the water, utterly eerie in its complete stillness. “That’s–how big is that? Oh my god, it’s got to be, what, at least four meters, right?”
Australia looked on at the crocodile with the same look someone admiring their crush from afar might have. (Weird, yes, but Canada wasn’t one to judge.) “He’s beautiful…Like a–like a majestic, scaly diety.” She began to inch toward the reptile, who seemed perfectly content to just lie there.
“Can’t you please live out your life-threatening crocodile fantasies some other time?”
“Where’s your thirst for danger?”
“Do you know who you’re talking to?”
Australia’s began to approach him with slow, calculated movements. “Hmm. Bit of a cactus, isn’t he?”
Canada watched her creeping friend with bated breath… then yelped when Australia gave the crocodile’s protruding snout a gentle fwhap before jerking back with cat-like reflexes. The croc didn’t move. Didn’t even blink.
Australia narrowed her eyes. “Hmm. Sus. Very sus.” She tapped him again–harder that time. Nothing. So she made her move.
Lunging into the water, she wrapped her arms around the meaty reptile and straddled the docile croc like he was nothing more than a body pillow. “Got ya now, ya cute little cu–!”
An almost panicked Canada said, “What?”
“Oh, fuck’in ‘ell. He’s dead.”
At the end of the day, Canada welcomed the cool, air conditioned bar and happily collapsed against the counter. Australia finally deemed it appropriate to talk about politics as she Canada the wonders of the scorpion shot.
“That’s not alive, is it?” Canada asked only after Australia had dosed the scorpion in oil, set it ablaze, tossed it into her drink, and said “cheers.”
“Nah. It’s pickled. And delicious. Want to try? Good source of protein, might I add.”
“Uh, no thanks.” Canada was content with her tinny.
“Have tried it with a live one before, though.”
“Dared your brother to try the same, but he refused.” She laughed at the memory.
“Really? He’ll do anything short of start a nuclear war, but that was too much for him?”
“He’s a wuss.”
“He’s unstable.” Canada sighed. “I’m sorry about TPP. I really wanted it to work.”
“Real pricktease of a trade agreement, wasn’t it? Ah, well, that’s how these things are. Who says we need to be part of a knock-off Europen Union anyway?”
“The EU seems to be working out fantastically, eh?”
“Oh, heaps successful. Heard everyone’s pleased with it.”
They shared a smile and Canada said, “America wants to start bilateral trade agreement with us all to make up for ground lost when he bailed on TPP… but I say we make our own agreement and leave him out as revenge.”
“Alright, mate!” Australia pounded her glass against the countertop. “Let’s snub the bloody arsehole, for TPP–and, well, for being a bloody arsehole.”
And they drank to that.
Australia probably has a grudge against emus.
I have to admit that I stole the “the crocodile is dead” punchline from Reno 911!, which is probably my favorite show. They, of course, are much funnier than I and you should watch the clip if you want a chuckle.
TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) was an in-the-works free trade agreement between the US, Canada, Australia, and a host of other countries. It died when Trump was elected; without US support, the agreement fell apart. But people all over the world didn’t like it because they believe it would result in job loss, corporate exploitation, and competitive wages. The US and other countries have said they might opt for numerous bilateral (i.e., country-to-country) trade deals, as opposed to one massive, multi-national one.
(P.S. I drew the featured image before I decided the crocodile was going to be massive, so it’s slightly inaccurate. Just wanted to let you know so you don’t think that Australia is, like, a giant or something.)