Thursday, March 16, 2006

Commonwealth Opening Ceremony

I had a couple of chuckles watching the opening ceremony for the Commonwealth Games last night.

I suspect these occasions are full of local gags that mean more to the locals than the bemused visitors. The set bits involving Melbourne icons may have registered: continual references to umbrellas were a constant reminder of the notorious weather (you were lucky folks: the rain held off, but only just). Flying trams(?!!) are a great idea to ponder in the next traffic jam, but the duck might have been a little obscure (ducks are a signature image of Michael Leunig, a local cartoonist with a very whimsical streak)

And I don't think many out of towners would have caught the dual significance of the guy carrying the torch who slogged across the Yarra on a slightly too submerged gangway to the bank!
  • Walking on water? It was Ron Barassi: a famous footballer of the seventies: the standing joke of the time being that a newcomer to Heaven was impressed to see 'Aussie Rules' being played, and noting the distinctive 'number 31 guernsey' commented "I see you have Ron Barassi playing!" ... "No." comes the reply. "That's God, but he likes to think he's Ron Barassi!"
  • Walking on water? The Yarra typically carries a lot of tannins and muddy sediment...suffice to say it is not the most pristine of waterways! It is typically referred to as the only river in the world that flows upside down. Another joke asks why Jesus didn't appear in Melbourne?... A: because walking on water would not be considered a miracle! (but it might explain Ron Barassi!)


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