Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rambo caught with his pants down

I belong to a generation of Australians who've known for ages that our customs and police authorities are bloody good at dealing with pommie pervs, wog poofters, alien riffraff, etc, and the nasty stuff they might attempt to bring into our sunburnt country. I recall the case of my friend Geoff who returned home from France with a small bag of canned foie gras given to him as a departure gift from his friends in Paris. Fortunately, alert customs officers at Mascot intervened in the nick of time and confiscated all that dangerous stuff before it poisoned any innocent Aussies.

Eugene Goossens was a world-famous conductor in charge of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1956, when Goossens was returning from a European tour, alert customs officers at Mascot found obnoxious pornographic material in the musician's luggage: photographs, prints, books, a spool of film, some rubber masks and sticks of incense. Nasty stuff! Just imagine the kind of places where a guy with a rubber mask could stick a stick of incense! Fortunately, the authorities collared this uncouth culprit before he could corrupt Australian youth.

Two years later, a diligent Sydney cop detected a wink in the eye of the celebrated pianist Claudio Arrau, pissing in a Hyde Park urinal. The musician was promptly arrested. Enlightened young Australians must find it hard to imagine that such a travesty of ordinary moral justice could have occurred, half a century ago, in the city that now sports the world-famous Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Today, the world learns that alert customs officers at Mascot have just caught Sylvester Stallone with his pants down. The facts are ugly. Aussie mothers and fathers are advised to make sure that their kids don't hear about this affair through the Internet. Rambo's luggage contained 48 vials of the human growth hormone product Jintropin, made by a Chinese pharmaceutical firm. Internet publicity informs us that this miraculous product enhances sexual performance, reduces body fat, increases energy, removes wrinkles, boosts muscle mass and "regenerates major organs that shrink with age". That last reference is surely an allusion to Stallone's nose, which got severely battered in countless Rocky films.

A distinguished Australian professor of linguistics commented [private communication] upon the Stallone affair:

It wasn't so much the confiscation as the way it was done that bothered me, particularly the body search plus the Warm Aussie Welcome:... "Woi doncha jus tell us where it is mate and save yourself a lotta trouble" snarled the Delightful Young Customs Officer who then proceeded to go through my address book looking for the "names of known supploiers".

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