Friday, October 13, 2006

Gotta love this country

Today Geekman and I are heading off on a trip with his research group out to the university's "field station" at the coast. From what I hear, it will be a festival of physics, beach cricket and surfing lessons (spouses get to opt out of the physics bits).

Yesterday we got an email from the people who run the field station, with a list of dos and don'ts for when you are in the area. Basically it boiled down to a long list of horrible ways you can die:

  • You can be dragged out to sea on a strong current
  • You could be pummeled to death by the semi-tame kangaroos on the property
  • You could step on a funnelweb spider
  • You could get eaten by a shark
  • stung by a sting-ray
  • stung by a jellyfish
  • bitten by a poisonous octopus
  • bitten by a snake
  • You could set yourself and the entire camp on fire
  • You could explode the gas ovens
  • If you have a heart condition, touching the electric fence might kill you
  • You could fall in the dam and drown
  • You could get killed by falling eucalyptus branches
  • You could get run over when crossing nearby roads
  • You could get Ross River Virus or Barmah Forest Fever from the mosquitoes
  • You could get sucked to death by ticks or leaches ("Users are advised to thoroughly check their anatomy upon completion of a day's work")
  • You could die of passive smoking.
Seriously. There were warnings against each of these things in the brochure they sent us. Do you think maybe they've had bad past experiences with litigation?

Geekman's boss once said he didn't like doing outdoor activities in New Zealand very much, because it was "like Australia with the safety switches on". But personally, I think that our lack of dangerous things that can kill you must have made us fearless and resilient, because I have never heard a New Zealander warn someone quite as thoroughly about the horrors of road crossing, mosquitoes and passive smoking.

Anyway, the place supposedly does have internet, so the Carnival of Gradual Progress should still go up on time on Sunday. But if you don't hear from me, I've probably succumbed to the semi-tame kangaroos.


Lucy said...

The warnings are for the tourists who kept getting killed by things they'd never encountered before. It does sound like they've gone a bit overboard, though.
I'm surprised they didn't warn you about drop bears; they're the ones you really have to look out for.

Have fun! :)

Jana said...

Though we don't have any of the dangerous animals, we do have the bush, and I think we respect its dangers a lot more than overseas tourists, who regularly die or get hopelessly lost after heading off without a map or a mountain radio.

Jana said...

Hoop snakes! They didn't mention hoop snakes, either!

James said...

Looks like someone doesn't want people to go with a list like that perhaps they could have been a bit tamer with the do's and dont's. If i got an email like that i would think someone was out to get me if i went.

Pug&MooseMama said...

This is really kind of funny, in a hysteria-inducing kind of way. And as I said in the next post, doesn't it just make you want to be a field biologist!!!

turtlebella said...

Yeah, that's supposed to be me above, must.stop.pressing.enter after word verification!!!!