Australians, so the stereotype goes, don’t beat around the bush (unshaved or otherwise). We call a splade a splade. We call a yobbo a mate. And we call an arselicking liar a ‘Prime Minister’. The point is, I guess, that we’re supposed to be a nation of ‘straight talkers’ who ‘tell it like it is’, who ‘cut the crap’. Wrong. We don’t cut the crap. We dribble it. Like warm honey off a nozzle. Out of our slack-jawed, open mouths. Travellers, you might get Bali belly in Kuta or Montezuma’s revenge in Guadalupe, but if you really wanted to cope a face full of verbal diarrhea, where the bloody hell were you?
People who suffer from this all-too-common disease love the sound of their own (loud) voice. The world is their thunder box. They’re ‘expressing who they really are’, which actually means they’re just exteriorising their internal (interminable) monologue – inflicting their inane, trite thoughts and observations on, well, whoever’s there at 3am on the couch at the club. And boy do they talk. It’s amazing how much they talk. How much they talk, and how little they say. Not only that, but there’s all these weird inversions – they won’t bother to remember your name (and they don’t really care if you know theirs) but they’ll happily tell you about the contents of their love lives, their underpants, and even their lower intestine. At length. In detail. Ad nauseum – and without listening to your comments on their contents. Because (like any conversation-as-bowel-function) it’s an ‘out’ function. ‘Taking a load off’ yourself also means ‘dumping a load’ in someone’s lap. Sufferers couldn’t really give a rats what you say – they don’t want to listen, they don’t even want to have a conversation, they just want to talk… and talk… and talk… so they feel better – about themselves, their precious feelings, their stupid lives. Oh, and you’re supposed to feel sorry for them too, ‘cos they feel sorry for themselves. Or whatever. In other cultures, low self-esteem makes people shy and shame-filled, but here, self-loathing and boredom all-too-often results in loud, frantic boofheads (male and female) who structure their whole social lives around getting wasted enough so that they can flip the dump switch… ah, a hard-earned thirst deserves a big, long dump. From tap beer to free-flowing faeces, us Aussies have got the whole range of human experience plumbed, tapped, and refreshingly served up as a blithering, blabbering binge-and-purge fest. Australia, your name is ‘Hargh….bllerrrrrrrrchhhckhhhh… ckh……………….ckh… blrkhch.’ Try saying this as you imagine an alien ‘hatching’ and you’ll get the idea.
In large sections of the ‘youth community’ (the whole rave moment, for example) verbal diahorrea is what passes as bonding, and is the perverse basis of friendship. It’s one that says: ‘you know about my dirt, intimately, I let you have all of it last night…. (Therefore, let’s be friends.)’ Getting dirt on each other becomes the basis for life-long chumminess (so chumpy you could carve it), except for a wee problem. Basically, because everybody dumps when they’re smashed, nobody can remember the deets (Hmm. I remember a warm feeling, and something… on me… no, that can’t be right, I wouldn’t do… oh no!) And ‘stiff shit’ if tomorrow (when those drugs have worn off) (s)he goes back to the same old uncommunicative turd (s)he was, a person who’s still constantly shit-talking, but who’s now uncomfortable blurting out any of their feelings (the corn chunks in the whole horrid flow that in hindsight were the only highlight) and so now just talks about, I dunno, stuff, and shit. Yeah… nahh….
You’ve probably seen those ads on the telly recently, you know, the ones with the big worms, urging us to ‘Declare or beware!’ ‘cos ‘Quarantine Matters’? Declare your worms, boys and girls, or the beagles will have you! Well, if Customs are intent on seizing your coke at the airport, then I want to urge Quarantine to do unto verbal diahorrea as they do unto worms. ‘Cos which one is causing more damage really? I’ve seen people without verbal diahorrea on coke. I’ve known people with worms. It just makes them a bit annoying, but very happy. And skinnier. But here? Let’s face it, if there’s a ‘plague’ affecting the wellbeing of this country, it’s not caused by the drugs (they’re just the catalyst), it’s caused by the shit talkers – and they’ve got a disease that, above all, not only the sick suffer from.
© Peter Chambers 2007
in which the naked chimp is unmasked, his machines debugged, and his bugbears debunked
- ► 2008 (29)
- ▼ June (5)