Thursday, September 5, 2019

What Happened to Just Exposing them on Hilltops?

My Tasmanian correspondent let slip, in the course of casual conversation the other day, that she plans to murder her children.  This comment was met with gasps of horror and outrage from both myself and my tech support.  I decried the tragic waste of young human life while my tech support decried the tragic waste of saleable commodities.

Somewhat snippily my correspondent pointed out that infanticide was a traditional part of Tasmanian culture and I was imposing colonialist-oppressor cultural values on a helpless society.  She may also have called me racist.  Since my correspondent comes from roughly the same pasty coloured stock as myself I found that last a little much.  However since my colleagues have no fewer than five equal opportunity complaints against me revolving around what I thought were quite harmless comments on race, gender, religious affiliation and cattle herding I decided not to take chances.

Apologising profusely I invited her to tell me more to alleviate my ignorance and broaden my understanding of ways other than my own.  Perhaps there were lessons I could learn.  After a pro forma accusation of cultural appropriation my correspondent complied.

At some point in the life of each Tasmanian child (generally when their parents finally lose patience) they are encouraged to engage in certain activities; playing in traffic, annoying strange dogs, firearm handling, pestering poisonous reptiles etc.  The intention is to winnow out those less suited for the rough and tumble of adult life although it is considered bad form to simply bludgeon your children to death with a seal club.  If the child should survive they will have learnt vital skills that will help them survive when, as adults, they try to kill their own children.

My correspondent has decided to fulfill her cultural imperative by taking her children bushwalking.  This seems almost disturbingly survivable but this is no ordinary bushwalk.  This is the Three Capes Bushwalk.  Four days and three nights out in the wilderness, living hand to mouth while trekking over rugged terrain from one cape to another.  There are in fact only two capes but anyone who has any familiarity with Tasmania's education system will be impressed that they got as close as they did.

My correspondent will be dragging both her recalcitrant offspring along on this thinly disguised death march.  They will huddle in the open, live on trail mix and take in the wonders of the great outdoors.  The mortality rate should be impressively high.

But it remains to be seen if my correspondent's children will even live to get to the starting point.  To prepare them for the horrors to come she recently purchased her children a wobble board.  Visions of Rolf Harris floated in my head but apparently this is some sort of thing you attempt to balance on to strengthen your ankles and lateral muscles prior to putting them to test in the great outdoors.  Unfortunately so far her children have shown a distressing tendency to fall off the thing into the waiting maws of the family dogs which have camped out around it looking for an easy meal.  This may actually be the best result for my correspondent.  I have met her children and I'm reasonably confident that if she takes them out into the wilderness they will be the ones returning not her.

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