Stupid tourist tricks

Visitors just seem to lose their reason in Australia.

By J.A. Getzlaff
Published April 25, 2000 4:00PM (EDT)

Each year, according to a BBC report, growing numbers of tourists are killed Down Under. Not by gunshots, in the American style, but by Australia's own Mother Nature.

For starters, they bake themselves into Outback Crisps under the scorching sun of the Southern Hemisphere. Those who aren't felled by the heat succumb to the water -- trying to cool themselves in Australian rivers, they're crudely consumed by carnivorous crocs.

Then there are those who fancy themselves invincible adventurers. Recklessly racing up Ayers Rock, some overheat; others simply slide off the mammoth red rock.

With the 2000 Olympic Games on the horizon, Aussie officials are no doubt trying to figure out what to do with their accident-prone guests. Should they require holiday makers to sign waiver forms before landing on Australian soil?

And once the visitors arrive in Sydney, should authorities forbid them to leave the safety of their hotels? Purge the ocean of patrolling sharks? Cordon off vast tracts of the island with yellow police tape?

We think we know what some locals would suggest: "Just tell the galoots to get stuffed!"


J.A. Getzlaff

J.A. Getzlaff's Daily Planet appears every weekday. Do you have a tip or tale for J.A.? Send it to DailyPlanet@salon.com.

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