Croc eating marines from another planet
There’s been a lot of talk this week about how crazy those folks in the Northern Territory are.
Sure, they got a little carried away by President Obama visit. Offering the man croc insurance to the value of $50,000 might seem just a little ridiculous.
Then there’s the fetching paper hat made available to NT News readers’ in yesterday’s morning edition. Um, well that’s just dorky. But can you blame them? As one member of the Punch team put it to me: this Obama visit is the most exciting thing to happen to that town since those two crazy young things went for it on a balcony.
So what happens when the 250 ( soon to be 2500) American Marines the Obama government have committed to Darwin’s Robertson Barracks roll into town? Will they be prepared for life in the Top End? Can they fit in to a town full of enthusiastic, paper-hat wearing Obama fans?
You bet. Here’s why.
Firstly, Obama fever hasn’t been confined to the enthusiastic people of Darwin. Everyone (including our PM) has gone a little shaky of voice and weak at the knees for the debonair president. So, if they’re crazy, we’re all crazy. But know this. We’re nowhere near as crazy as the Americans.
For instance, where else in the world can you find an entire generation of people living life as if nothing has changed since the eighteenth century. Here’s looking at you Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Or a city so completely obsessed with a 67-year-old extra-terrestrial sighting that its name is synonymous with the word UFO. That’d be you, Roswell, New Mexico.
Consider Alabama, where it used to be illegal to play dominoes on a Sunday but still okay to marry your brother. Or Arizona where you could be sentenced to 25 years in jail for cutting down a cactus. Not to mention Tennessee and Florida, states with the highest rates of corruption and identity fraud in the entire country. Or so says this awesome chart that you must look at and email to everyone you know (it is Friday, after all.)
Yeah, the marines understand crazy. So even if people in Darwin were crazy (which they are not), the American Marines would find the Aussie kind of a crazy a blessed relief.
The Americans will also come well prepared. And they’ll be busy. According to yesterday’s NT News most of the troops arrive from stations in Hawaii, Japan and Guam and will be spending most of their time in combat operations, live firing, evacuations, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance around the region. Plus, they don’t arrive empty handed. American vehicles, aircraft and even ships will follow, to form what the US military call a Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
Above all, the American marines will feel at home in Darwin because most Territorians want them there. Or so says Darwin local, Tash Bramble, the assistant manager of the aptly named Top End Hotel who told The Punch that everyone in Darwin should be happy about the arrival of the American Marines. Before adding that any economic benefits will far outweigh any possible negatives.
Plus, American Marines are already a pretty regular sight on Darwin streets. They often come in to town while their navy ships are docked and they’re “the most polite people in the world”, according to Ms Bramble.
They’re well-mannered and easy-going, call everyone “ma’am” or “sir” and are generous with the tips. A habit that makes them popular with the mostly female bar staff.
They’re also easy to please. They ask to drink the local Australian beers, as well as the top shelf spirits like bourbon and whiskey.
And they love to chow down on local delicacies such as roo and croc.
Croc-eating marines from another planet.
Only in the NT.
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