A few days ago I was rushing through the underpass at Flinders St station to catch my train. Behind me I heard, “excuse me! Please!” I had actually hurried a few steps past him, but turned around inquiringly.
A plain, bespectacled Sudanese gent (not one of the tall ones, alack) was standing by the ramp. He made a slight gesture to come over – not the full-on ‘Woman! Come now!!’ one like you might get in Africa – but the watered-down version, the Aussie one if you like. He was standing kind of…oddly. I was on the horns of a dilemma. Should I walk over? Stand my ground? Aussie women are never summoned in this way. So I strolled over slowly.
He puffed out his chest, fixing me with an intense, insolent stare.
“You’re beautiful!” he declared, and waited for my reaction. I was a bit floored at this stage.
“Um. Thank you.” It came out a bit more schoolmarmish than I’d like, but I turned around and fled onto the train to chortle, and text Franner.
What is there not to like about this technique? Who tries to chat someone up who’s clearly running for a train? Where was he hoping to go after this bold statement? Do we not love the black man??!
I know there are about 100,000 Aussie women who would squeal ‘ewww! How sleazy!’ at this – and you know what – they can go get stuffed. Or audition for Australian Princess where they belong. And before you jump to any conclusions, sleaze has nothing to do with it. There are actually countries out there where men appreciate women! I have heard of these places – and even travelled to a few.
When I came home from Africa I was a little dispirited to discover my 20 marriage proposals a day had been cut down to zero. No-one reminded me my skin was like milk, cheese or other dairy products, that my nose was ‘magnifique’, or that I was ‘a little skinny, but otherwise pretty.’ I was treated daily to a variety of chatup lines, which when saucily rebuffed, were treated with gales of laughter, banter and general good humour. It was like being in Taming of the Shrew ALL THE TIME. If I’d broken a pitcher over someone’s head, I don’t think anyone would have turned a hair. It was GREAT.
Here are a few memorable favourites:
-Hey! You! Woman! Come eat fish now!!
-Have you ever been with an African man? We are like no other man.
-You…me…(then a gesture pointing the fingertips to mean ‘come together’)
-Your Austrian men have the cold blood (I’m Australian!) Your Australian men have the cooold blood. We have the hot blood! HOT!
-White womaaaaan! Why you no give me your address??
-(This one for motorcyclists) Wrap you arms around me verry tight! We will go fast!
-(This one to say to the man standing nearest you) Give me your woman!
-It’s all right. My other wives are in that hut. I am a good Muslim man.
-You like djembe? Let me teach you.
-I will sing now.
-And the all-time winner would be to openly, insolently stare to try and provoke a reaction. GOLD.
So – in conclusion – why do we love the black man and his chat up lines? They’re not afraid of the reaction they might get. They’re funny. They give it a go. And they’re not frightened of women. And our Dear Leader wants to stop these gems from coming into our country – for shame!!
Note: the picture I took at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Ghana. It reads ‘I have sown the seed and indeed it will germinate!’ We read this out in our best James Earl Jones voices and declared it to be the motto of the black man.