Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do You Not Hear the Thunder?

Men at Work’s 1981 hit “Down Under,” translated into a prose narrative.
Traveling in an old van on a trail frequented by unwashed youths, I had a hangover. I encountered a strange woman who made me nervous, but I nonetheless went with her back to her home. Though I’d rather gloss over the subject, we had sexual intercourse. The next morning, while eating, she finally realized I was Australian and asked me about it.

“Are you from Australia, where the women are always pregnant and men are habitual thieves? Do you not hear thunder?” she asked. “You’d better run, better take cover.” She presumably was referring to the thunder when she suggested that I take cover.

Then, another time, I was buying bread from a man in Brussels. He was in rather good shape. I asked him if he spoke the Australian dialect of English in which words like “combie” and “chunder” are understood. Then he gave me a sandwich smeared with yeast paste. Then he began speaking.

“I’m from Australia, where people drink a lot of beer and male inhabitants vomit, presumably as a result of plentiful beer,” he said. “Do you not hear thunder? You’d better run, better take cover.” Again, presumably he was referring to the thunder, which has apparently followed me to Belgium.

Another time, I was in Mumbai, visiting an opium den. As a result of heavy intoxication, I was prostrate and slack-jawed. I asked the man, possibly the opium den manager, “Are you trying to tempt me because I come from a nation that seems rich and plentiful in comparison to yours?”

Then the man said to me the following: “Oh! Do you come from Australia Where the woman are always pregnant and the men are habitual thieves? Do you not hear thunder? You’d better run, better take cover.” You see, because the thunder had at this point followed me from Belgium to India.
Loses a bit, doesn’t it? And, also, who knew that the song was called just “Down Under” and not “Land Down Under”?

Apparently this will have to suffice for the second song of the week, the first of which was this better song. Back on track next week.