The second worst chat-up line in the world.

We didn't do a lot in Cooktown while we waited for the tyres to be shipped up to us from Cairns
because back in 1989 there wasn't a lot to do. In Cairns, they had described the people of Cooktown as 'ornery' which didn't mean awkward but seemed to mean, hem, parochial and with rather closely-related families. I have no evidence of that being true at all.
At the mouth of the Endeavour River, it was the gateway to Australia's gold-mining region and now it's thriving with a bitumen road from Cairns but, when we were there, the road was rough and the greatest prosperity seemed to come from the shrimp boats.

It's a tropical town and the hostel where we stayed had its fair share of giant cockroaches and cane toads so we spent much of the time resting and reading in the local pub where we ate crocodile (which tasted like slightly tough fishy chicken) and kangaroo (which tasted like slightly rabbity chicken).  To our great surprise, after 24 hours, they started giving us drinks on the house.

Now, Australians and Northern Queenslanders in particular, are very friendly but this is not normal so, for fairly obvious reasons, we queried it. Turned out they had a lingerie show in four days' time and given that Sarah and I were the slimmest girls currently in town, they were hoping they'd be able to persuade us to take part as models...

They were certainly confused about our status: one man and two sheilas. Were we both with him? It had to be so because there seemed no other explanation. But if one of us were available, which was it? Bets were on at the bar.

Pete gave it away when he stopped a bonzer bloke from chatting Sarah up but let a guy get me a drink so after that I was fair game. I hate to think what the local girls thought but in the days of the unsealed road there weren't that many female strangers in town and new blood is always popular.

The chat-up line I remember doesn't seem that bad but wait for it... The guy had a couple of gold teeth and several days' beard before it was fashionable. He sat on a chair backwards and said, 'You wanna come out to my shrimp boat? You can use the shower.'

It was dark; his shrimp boat was moored in the estuary and the only way to get to it would be to swim in the crocodile-infested river.

I don't think you have to work very hard to anticipate my (very polite) reply.

We didn't stay for the lingerie show (shame! I hear you cry) and when the tyres arrived we headed south again, our time in Queensland nearly over. I do wish now that we had gone further north into the Northern Territories but I will always remember with great love my time in Queensland and the men who, if they didn't manage to date me, certainly made me laugh.

NB The worst chat-up line in the world is on this posting:


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