Friday, March 4, 2011

Large lobsters and foreigners

Goody for Our Side and Your Side Too
~ Ogden Nash

Foreigners are people somewhere else,
Natives are people at home;
If the place you’re at
Is your habitat,
You’re a foreigner, say in Rome.

But the scales of Justice balance true,
And tit leads into tat,
So the man who’s at home
When he stays in Rome
Is abroad when he’s where you’re at.

When we leave the limits of the land in which
Our birth certificates sat us,
It does not mean
Just a change of scene,
But also a change of status.

The Frenchman with his fetching beard,
The Scot with his kilt and sporran,
One moment he
May a native be,
And the next may find him foreign.

There’s many a difference quickly found
Between the different races,
But the only essential
Is living different places.

Yet such is the pride of prideful man,
From Austrians to Australians,
That wherever he is,
He regards as his,
And the natives there, as aliens.

Oh, I’ll be friends if you’ll be friends,
The foreigner tells the native,
And we’ll work together for our common ends
Like a preposition and a dative.

If our common ends seem mostly mine,
Why not, you ignorant foreigner?
And the native replies
And hence, my dears, the coroner.

So mind your manners when a native, please,
And doubly when you visit
And between us all
A rapport may fall
Ecstatically exquisite.

One simple thought, if you have it pat,
Will eliminate the coroner:
You may be a native in your habitat,
But to foreigners you’re just a foreigner.

I know I'm running with the wrong tribe in this blogging game.  Here I am, obsessed with craft and SAHM sites, when I neither quilt nor home-school.  I swoon over design, shelter and interior blogs but can't work out furniture placement or window dressing in my own house and I find restoration projects a complete and utter drag.  I have no time to write or research eloquent and informative pieces on history or emerging technology, or to reflect on my meetings with fascinating people.  I have no useful information to impart. I don't sell anything.  I'm not passionate about organic produce.  I don't grow things, except guerilla parsley in the front garden that no-one eats.  I suspect I have an embarassingly large carbon foot-print (but I'm too scared to look down and measure it).  I'm not fond of second-hand books, clothes, bric a brac or furniture.

In short, I'm really an imposter
A foreigner in the virtual land I inhabit. 
Sticking out like a giant lobster on the Princes Highway. 

I do try to mind my manners though.  I appreciate the diversity.  I have learnt plenty from reading about others niche interests.  I bought some Danish Oil the other day and I've started wearing bangles.

But where, oh where, are the other blogging mothers in full-time paid employment dealing with BIG issues who enjoy silly and sober poetry, take amateur photos on a compact camera  and spend  ALL their limited free time keeping house, shopping in big supermarkets, cooking standard nursery meals and driving children about between parties, playdates and clubs?  Where are yoooouu fellow lobsters?

Image: The big (17 metre) lobster at Kingston, South Australia.  The great Summer 2010-11 road trip.


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