Daily prompt: Getting real…


This morning on my homepage – which is admittedly a very junky homepage that I stick with because its inanity never ceases to entertain me – I was greeted by a headline (illustrated with suitably serious headshot) that said Matt Damon’s horrifying Australian experience.

‘Oh bugger,’ I thought. With a certain amount of fatalistic resignation. Nobody wants their country’s less attractive habits splashed across the media, but every country has a few (unattractive habits) and it’s no use pretending we don’t or getting indignant and defensive when visitors point them out. ‘What now?’ I thought. ‘Not a déjà vu all over again rerun of Johnny Depp’s dogs.’

Although that, I have to say, I consider to be more a matter of Johnny Depp’s unattractive habits than Australia’s. Johnny Depp brought his two [sic] adorable puppies into the country on his private jet, thus circumventing Australia’s strict quarantine laws. This came to the attention of then-Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce (who is in my opinion one of Australia’s less attractive habits but on this occasion, that’s beside the point) when Pistol and Boo were spotted spreading the love – and potentially the rabies – among the clientele of a Gold Coast dog groomer’s.

Our quarantine laws are strict because there are certain bugs and diseases we don’t have yet, and we don’t want them. Given their lifestyle, the chances of Pistol and Boo having rabies (which we don’t have yet) are about nil, but that’s not the issue. Our quarantine laws are strict etc etc, and in Australia, that means no one is exempt however rich and famous they might be. So Pistol and Boo were deported, Johnny Depp was outraged and then sniggered and poked fun at the idea that Australia’s ridiculous laws should apply to him, and at (the eminently lampoonable) Barnaby Joyce, and Australians said ‘Stiff shit, mate,’ and went about their business – namely, keeping out the bugs, diseases etc.

But to return to Matt Damon’s horrifying Australian experience as told to Ellen DeGeneres…

Seems Mr Damon and his family were visiting Chris Hemsworth and his family in Byron Bay (northern NSW coast) and decided to go for a surf (as you do, in Byron Bay), and his 6-year-old daughter was ‘stung by a jellyfish’.

Now see, this is where it all gets a bit surreal.

‘It was the worst thing,’ Mr Damon said, ‘the worst thing!’ And if it had been a box jellyfish it might well have been the worst thing, but it wasn’t. It was a bluebottle.


Bluebottles are not nice. The ‘bottle’ part floats on top of the water almost indistinguishable from all the other bubbles floating about, but the tentacle lurks underneath, swishing gently backwards and forwards with swirl of the water, and latching on to anything it touches with fierce tenacity. And it hurts. A lot. I’m not surprised that Stella Zavala screamed the place down. And I don’t blame Matt Damon for being horrified by the red welts encircling his daughter’s chest – but Australian parents are pretty used to this. Bluebottles float in every so often in summer depending on the wind, and getting stung is almost a rite of passage for Australian kids at the beach.

So Matt Damon’s horrifying Australian experience?

 In a world of ISIS, Las Vegas and Donald Trump, I can only imagine that the person who thought up this headline is suffering from a touch of the la-las.





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12 Responses to Daily prompt: Getting real…

  1. Strange. In CA there are sting rays in shallow water during the warm times of the year. I can’t believe his kid never encountered one of those. 🙂

  2. Well, he comes from New England where the really nasty jellyfish are rare … but surely he has traveled to warmer places? I mean … the ocean … there is STUFF in oceans.

  3. La-la land is right – those folks live in a bubble.

    Brilliantly written, too.

  4. Embeecee says:

    Prime example of ‘serious’ new stories in 2017. Aw phoo. It’s actually good the kid was stung, she’ll realize now perhaps that the ‘real’ world is made up of knocks and bumps and things that hurt, and not all cotton candy, and paparazzi and 15 minute limelight moments, as she’s probably experienced to date in her type of world. I’d say I was surprised that this sort of story made ‘the news’ but I’m not. Thanks for a morning laugh with my cocoa…

  5. lwbut says:

    If the word horrifying was left out of the headline would you have read it? That’s why they do it. 😉

    Did Matt Damon think it was the worst thing compared to those you mention (and about 65 million other things in this world today?) – i doubt it.

    Was it the worst thing that happened to him/his daughter that day? – more than likely.

    Did he have to say it was a horrible Australian experience while on the EG show being watched by millions to keep up the ratings? i’m guessing so – if he actually said the words horrible and Australia in the same sentence – do we know??

    Is modern media a load of fabricated rubbish just designed to sell more advertising space…?

    Don’t we already know this to be true and are we in the least bit surprised anymore…?

    Have a look at my last post on the topic of media/news and have a ‘real laugh’. 😉


  6. I really should make more of an effort to follow your posts. You never fail to entertain. Pistol and Boo? Never mind J D’s arrogant and inconsiderate attitude – the names he gave to his dogs have put me right off him. As for naming a child Bella Rubella, or Smilla Flotilla – or whatever Matt Damon called his child – his cruelty leaves me speechless.
    It’s a good thing I haven’t forgotten how to write; otherwise I’d be left with no means of communication.

    • Amber Herd left JD not long after that even, citing violence. The world of the rich and famous is far too murky for me!
      As for the names they give their children – I can only assume they have private tutors, or all go to the same school where Trulee, Rainey, Birdie and Sir fit right in (although if I were Sir’s teacher I’d have issues).

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