In these Radiowaves-exclusive articles, legendary presenter Pat Courtenay shares his views, ideas, experience, and tips with our visitors…

In this week’s column he wishes you a Happy New Year in his own inimitable way


One thing that’s good about unemployment here in Tropical Darwin (apart from the hours) is that the weather’s so good, you actually appreciate the sweltering Rainy Season that’s just begun (it got so dry in the winter here that they had to close two lanes of the local swimming pool!).
There are drawbacks though; one is the jellyfish. Up here, it’s too hot to go to the beach between about September and May and even if you do, you can’t go in the water because of these little blue bastards that pack a sting like a hit in the head with a DART train!
There are three immediate cures (apart from a welcome death).
One cure is to pour methylated spirits on the stings. In other tropical parts of Australia, the public beaches have little shrine-like boxes with emergency bottles of metho in them. Up here they tried that, but the temptation proved too great for the local “Indigenous Population,” who showed a great appreciation for the Free Bar, then lay around semi-deceased on the sand, to the detriment of the Tourism industry.
Cure Number Two is vinegar, but it’s too expensive to dispense to the Public: God knows, we might use it!
Cure Number Three is urine, a commodity in plentiful supply on a beery beach, but hey! What am I, Adolf Hitler?? Put that thing away and let me die!

So, the beach is out for several months; what about the inland waterholes?
Forget it. Crocodiles. Like Roy Keane, dim but lethal.
A couple of months ago, an outback tour guide took a bunch of backpackers for a midnight dip in a waterhole. (They say he was negligent but I reckon he knew exactly what he was doing!) There were several crocs in the billabong, one of which swam straight past two perfectly available Poms and bit a German girl in half. Teach her to wear a “Bite ME!” t-shirt.
[Croc 1: “German, eh? Sauerkraut?”
Croc 2: “Pretty bloody sour with me, mate!”]
An interesting side-issue to this gruesome affair was that rangers harpooned the croc afterwards to do an autopsy! I’m sorry, how much doubt can there be??? Even if they needed identification, why did the croc have to die? Could they not just have waited a day or two until “nature” took its course? One set of teeth and a Walkman later, I.D. done!

Happy New Year and thank you for bringing loads of happy moments to my Old Year! My old colleague and mate Ernie Gallagher got me onto Radiowaves earlier this year at a time when I was, frankly, pretty miserable in what I was doing. (I s’pose, therefore, I should’ve been pleased when I left that station but that was even worse!)
Your comments (good and not so good) have all made me feel welcome, big-time.

To those of you who’ve asked me to listen to air-checks, I still can’t get my Media Players working, but it’ll happen.

I hope you get everything you want in 2003.

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