The Stick is the one of most useful things in the universe. It is a communications device, firelighter, weapon, testing instrument, ceremonial device, and is the only known way to control camels. If that wasn’t enough it is available in some form almost everywhere, and can be easily customised to suit the individual needs of the owner or situation.
Indeed, most modern technologies can trace their development back through history to the common stick. Writing implements (pens, pencils, charcoal, burnt sticks), nuclear weapons (missiles, cannons, guns, crossbows, arrows, sticks), skyscrapers (buildings, houses, huts, thatching, the stick), and artificial intelligence (computers, calculators, the abacus, notched sticks) are all derivatives.
Sticks range in style from the Common Stick, which is essentially a piece of dead wood which has fallen off a tree, to the crocia, the staff borne by abbots and bishops of the Eastern Rite, generally made from cypress-wood, often cased or inlaid with gold or silver. Later on the staffs were made of solid ivory, gold, silver, and enameled metal. Such embellished sticks are regularly tried by people who attempt to combine them with other advanced tools such as telecommunications equipment, and survival gear.
They almost always return to the Common Stick once they realize the fundamental reason for sticks: disposability. The utility of this is underestimated. For example, you can poke a stick down a dark hole or murky pool, knowing that if something grabs the other end in an iron grip and begins inexorably to pull you down into the abysmal depths, you can just let go and run away. But this is only the case if you haven’t combined the functionality of your stick with your credit card, identity papers, and car keys. Sometimes, you just need devices which can do their job completely independently of others. In this regard, the simple wooden stick is still one of the most advanced tools in the modern arsenal.
Typical Australian Sayings
- It’s better than a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.
- She’ll be right.
- And down from Kosciuszko, where the pine clad ridges raise their torn and rugged battlements on high, where the air is clear is crystal, and the white stars fairly blaze at midnight in the cold and frosty sky. And where, around the overflow, the reed beds sweep and sway to the breezes, and the rolling plains are wide. The Man from Snowy River is a household word today, and the stockmen tell the story of his ride.
Tips to Surviving Australia
- Don’t ever put your hand down a hole for any reason whatsoever.
- We mean it.
- The beer is stronger than you think, regardless of how strong you think it is.
- Always carry a stick.
- Do not attempt to use any Australian slang, unless you are a trained linguist and good in a fistfight.
- Thick socks.
- Take good maps. Stopping to ask directions only works when there are people nearby.
- Don’t swim in crocodile-infested rivers.
- If you leave the urban areas, carry several litres of water with you at all times, or you will die. In the outback, water is life.
- Even in the most embellished stories told by Australians, there is always a core of truth that it is unwise to ignore.