"Good Lord, that was a booze up," said a
bleary-eyed Australian Prime Minister, John
Howard, speaking from his residence at
Kirribilli House, approximately 600 nautical
miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
According to Australians and residents of
several countries destroyed or lewdly insulted
during the continent's nearly 7,000-mile
saltwater stagger, the binge began just after
noon yesterday at a pub in Perth, where
several patrons were discussing Australia Day
and the nation's general lack of respect from
"It started off same as always; coupla
fossils saying how our Banjo Patterson was a
better poet than Walt Whitman, how Con the
Fruiterer is funnier than Seinfeld, only
they're Aussies so no one knows about 'em,"
recalled witness Kevin Porter. "Then this
bloke Martin pipes up and says Australia's
main problem is that it's stuck in Australia,
and everybody says 'Too right!'"
"Well, it made sense at the time," Porter
By 2 a.m., powered by national pride and
alcohol, the 3-million-square-mile land mass
was barging eastward through the Coral Sea and
crossing into the central Pacific, leaving a
trail of beer cans and Chinese take-away in
When dawn broke over the Northern
Hemisphere, the continent suddenly found
itself, not only upside down, but smack in the
middle of the Atlantic, and according to most
of its 19 million inhabitants, that's the way
it's going to stay.
"We sent troops to Afghanistan. You never
hear about it. We have huge government
scandals. You never hear about it. It's all
'America did this,' and 'Europe says that,'"
exclaimed Perth resident Paul Watson. "Well,
we're right in the thick of things now, so
let's just see if you can you ignore us."
Officials on both sides of the Atlantic
conceded that would be difficult. "They broke
Florida," said U.S. State Department spokesman
Richard Boucher. "And most of Latin America is
Meanwhile, victims of what's already been
dubbed the "Australian Crawl" are still
shaking off the event.
"Australia bumped into us at about midnight
local time," said Hawaii governor Ben Cayetano.
"They were very friendly — they always seem
friendly — but they refused to go around
unless we answered their questions. But the
questions were impossible. 'Who is Ian Thorpe?
Do you have any Tim Tams? What day is
"Fortunately, somebody here had an
Unimportant World Dates calendar and we
aced the last one," Cayetano added.
Panama, however, was not so lucky.
"Australia came through here screaming
curses at us to let them through," said
Ernesto Carnal, who guards the locks at the
entrance to the Panama Canal. "We said they
would not fit, so they demanded to speak with
a manager. When I go to find Mr. Caballos,
they sneak the whole continent through."
When Caballos shouted to the fleeing
country that it had not paid, Australia
"accidentally" backed up and took out every
nation in the region, as well as the northern
third of Venezuela. They then made up a cheery
song about it.
By late morning today, however, not
everyone in Australia was quite so blithe.
"We've still got part of Jamaica stuck to
Queensland," said Australian army commander
Lt. Gen. Peter Cosgrove. "I think we might
have declared war on it. I don't bloody
remember. Maybe it's time to go home."
Cosgrove, however, is not in the majority,
and at press time, U.S., African, and European
leaders were still desperately trying to
negotiate for Australia's withdrawal. But the
independent-minded Aussies were not making it
easy. In a two-hour meeting at midday,
Australian representatives listed their
demands: immediate inclusion in the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization, a permanent CNN
presence in all 6 Australian states, a
worldwide ban on hiring Paul Hogan, a
primetime U.S. television contract for
Australian Rules Football, and a
4,500-mile-long bridge between Sydney and Los
U.S. negotiators immediately walked out,
calling the Australian Rules Football request