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Extracts  from Australian colonial newspapers, with modern links

From The Pastoral Times, Deniliquin, New South Wales, 1871

THEN! A new mode of destroying kangaroos is in vogue at Woorooma (Mr M'Bean's station), Edward River. They first catch a kangaroo, then dress him up in a man's coat firmly secured on him. They now tie a bell securely on the neck of the tripod and take him away early in the morning.

He is then let go in sight of hundreds of kangaroos that are said to be found browsing at sunrise.

He, of course, makes for his friends; the latter cannot make out what is advancing towards them in such unusual attire and with musical honors, so they make off at full speed, followed by their friend, until they exhaust themselves.

They are now easily taken and despatched by the bushmen and dogs.

The plan is worthy of the 'cutest Yankee, and its author is Mr John Colvin, one of Mr M'Bean's supers, who, we submit, is enitled to a gold or other medal for his ingenuity in dealing with the kangaroo, now the chief pests of Riverina.


From IRONMINDS (U.S.), March 9, 2001.  

I think we've all heard the urban myth about the well-dressed kangaroo. In case you haven't, it goes like this:

Some tourists are driving in the Australian outback and accidentally hit a kangaroo. The animal appears dead, so a couple of the tourists drag it to the side of the road. Deciding to have a bit of fun, they prop the animal up against a tree, and dress it in a hat, shirt and vest. They take a few pictures.

But it turns out that the kangaroo was only stunned. It wakes up startled and hops away, still wearing the hat and vest. Only then do the tourists realize that their only set of car keys were in the vest.

Well, in my version, the vest also contained my cell phone.

Truth or fiction? Let's just say that a kangaroo just signed a lucrative freelance deal with Outside magazine, and here I am writing a free "Waxing Off."

Damn it. - Rick Chandler.


NOW! Synopsis: A comedy that follows the misadventures of two friends from Brooklyn who are forced to deliver mob money to Australia. While taking pictures of a kangaroo, one of them places his red jacket on it. When the wild kangaroo bounces off, they realize the mob money is in the jacket, and are forced to give chase through the Outback. From HOLLYWOOD.COM

Kangaroo Jack hopped off badly. The San Francisco Examiner film critic Jeffrey M. Anderson wrote: "The two films that left me feeling the most drained, the sickest and the most utterly defeated tie for the Worst of Year [2002] award: The Master of Disguise and Swept Away. As the new year dawns, I've already seen one more that deserves a spot on next year's list: Kangaroo Jack."

From San Mateo (near San Francisco), former Sydney resident Davin Holmes told the Sydney Morning Herald:  "Billboards promoting the film are along the major freeways and there are newspaper ads as well. The worst is the trailer, played on TV. My wife and I cringe, especially when 'Jack' starts rapping. And the kangaroo has somehow become a talking kangaroo."

To see a picture of the red-jacketed kangaroo click on PROMO

To see what the well dressed kangaroo should be wearing, click on SALLYANN

Copyright 2003

Eric Shackle

Story first posted February 2003

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