Oh, the hallowed fields of the United Kingdom! Escaping the accursed land of huntsman spiders and Guy Sebastian that is Australia has been a long held dream of mine. My motivations, pondered extensively, particularly when subjected to the horror that is the Sydney transport system (my evening bus trip is generally a sweat-fragranced ordeal of Game of Thrones proportions, just with less facial hair) can best be summed up by the three British Bs: boys, beer and bank holidays.
My dating history, as uncolourful as a December day in Old Blighty, is primarily populated by boys that sound like they belong in a Richard Curtis movie (generally with the wan pallor to match). I like my ales by the pint and, preferably, at room temperature. And, considering that the British Isles are currently in the midst of a four-day bank holiday while I am stuck in an office writing about my romantic and refreshment preferences, my envy for the residents of the United Kingdom currently knows no bounds.
Look, I don’t begrudge Queen Liz her Diamond Jubilee. Sixty years of cucumber sandwiches and grooming undersized canines has got to take its toll, especially when you have to spend your Christmas day making an internationally televised speech rather than, say, the Antipodean alternative (washing down poorly refrigerated seafood with tepid stubbies of VB). When purchasing my celebratory lunchtime chicken tikka masala with a kilo of shrapnel, however, I felt irony hit with the full force of Her Majesty’s naval flotilla. I may have been overloaded with petty cash, but I still felt shortchanged.
On the back of every Australian coin is the Queen’s imperious profile. Today, her frozen glare reeked of mocking, rather than of timeless class in an era where MTV has the audacity to call groups of grammatically-challenged twenty-somethings having sex in makeshift huts “entertainment”. “You can have my wrinkled visage permanently etched onto your currency,” she seemed to say, “but there’s no way you Godforsaken convicts are going to get a four-day weekend out of it.”
When it comes to the privileges of living under an outdated monarchy, Australia really gets the short end of the stick. If we’re not going to get ninety-six hours of unadulterated drunken reverie out of our status in the Commonwealth, why should our currency feature an aging and largely irrelevant figure? Better off minting our coins with the heads of fair dinkum Aussie icons that actually have some pertinence to our modern society. Like Gotye. Or Keith Urban.
“Let’s not overreact, Girl-I-Don’t-Know-The-Name-Of,” you may be thinking, “it’s not like having the Queen as our head of state is completely fruitless. After all, the Queen’s Birthday long weekend is imminent!” I’m not a fool, dear reader, nor am I ungrateful. I have elaborate plans for said holiday, primarily involving such royalist endeavours as downing teacups of gin in my underwear while watching The Princess Diaries. But no amount of time watching Julie Andrews cavort about in a crown will make up for the fact that we, as loyal subjects of Queen Elizabeth II’s dominion, are getting a full twenty-four hours less freedom than our British brethren.
And so, in the name of protest, I propose that instead of dwelling on feelings of cultural inadequacy, we Australians take back what is rightfully ours: an extra day of overt drunkenness, obnoxiously draping ourselves in the Union flag and yelling culturally appropriate anthems with no regard for the intricacies of tonality (I’m thinking anything from Robbie Williams’ back catalogue). This coming Friday, instead of flocking mindlessly to our places of work, I say we make use of this otherwise futile monarchy of ours and abscond in the name of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee. Tony Abbott would surely approve.