The Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel, wherein I am wont to boil my lentils, has turned into a veritable halfway house for impoverished rovers. First there was Our Hanna, Revolutionary Sister & Polyglot (1st Grade). Being both a former housemate and Max the Cat's birth-mother, Our Hanna had an obvious claim to the LLH's hospitality. As a soon to be former housemate myself, I naturally defend the rights of former housemates to flounce into the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel, find themselves a corner of mattress, sup from the communal lentil pot, and join in with the weekly festivities (viz., Extreme Flea Swatting, defence of the cat's breakfast [from the other cat], and the usual round of parlour games). Our Hanna - suffice to say - brings joy and enlightenment wheresoever she goes, and we all sighed full sore last week when she was sucked back into the vortex of Europeville.
Meanwhile, one of Hanna's German cohabitrixes has stopped by to sample old-fashioned Aussie homelife in its purest form. We at the Leichhardt Ladies' Hostel comprise, of course, your typical Australian family unit, dinky-di from our Country Women's Association memberships to our kangaroo skin underpants. In return, the German cohabitrix has been assisting Max with his vocabulary, generally being a good sort, and relaying tales of linguistic misadventure in Sydneytown.
And here I come to my point: what sort of rapscallion tells an innocent tourist - wearing spectacles, no less!* - that the winged mammals hanging from their toes in the Botanical Gardens are WOMBATS? The German cohabitrix spent a good fifteen minutes last night describing the flock of wombats she'd watched flapping their way across the city. Yes, wombats, the man told me so. It took my German-English dictionary and all Comrade Emma's powers of persuasion to convince her he'd been lying. The scoundrel.
It makes me ashamed of being an Australian. Even if "Australian" is an anagram for "Saturnalia". And "German" only an anagram for "Manger". Or "Engram". Or "Rag Men". Ashamed, I tell you.
* We of the Revolutionary Sisterhood have revised the old adage, "Never make passes/ At girls who wear glasses", to the less catchy, "Never tell whoppers about fruitbats/ To tourists wearing spectacles."