Author(s): Graham Seal
Australians traditionally like their humour irreverent, crude and with very sharp teeth.
Remember the one about the strange whining sound heard at airports as planes from Britain landed? This was the whingeing of Pommy migrants dissatisfied with what they found in Australia. Or how about the Citizenship Test for Aspiring Australians which begins with this question about an essential life skill: 'How many slabs can you fit in the back of a Falcon ute while also allowing room for your cattle dog?'
The bush is the source of traditional Aussie humour. Pioneering, settlement and battling fire, flood and drought have produced yarns of tough cocky farmers, shearers, bush workers, swaggies and dreadful cooks. Much of this humour relates to the resilience and fortitude necessary to endure the realities of rural life. Australians took this sensibility with them to war and to work in the cities, and the tradition continues today.
Whatever the circumstances, Australians have always found something to laugh about, laugh at or laugh off.