Sydney, 800 miles S. of Nova Scotia
After what witnesses described as an all night blinder during which it kept droning on about how it was always being bloody ignored by the whole bloody world and would bloody well stand to do something about it, Australia this morning woke up to find itself in the middle of the North Atlantic.
"Good Lord, that was a booze up," said a bleary-eyed Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, 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 Brisbane, where several patrons were discussing Australia Day and the nation's general lack of respect from abroad.
"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 added.
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 its wake.
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 missing."
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 Australia Day?'"
"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. Chavez was not amused!
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 Angeles.
U.S. negotiators immediately walked out, calling the Australian Rules Football request "absurd."