This week I was asked to do something that I never really expected to be asked to do - to sponsor an American who wants to live in Australia.
A young relative of mine came back from a 3 month holiday in San Diego, engaged. She has known him online for about 8 years, through the internet, so it is one of those modern stories of love we often hear about in today's world. Consequently, they want to get married and they want to do that in Australia, where they plan to live. However, government rules apply, so it isn't as easy as just getting married and settling down.
In order for him to come to Australia, apparently, he needs a sponsor - someone that earns more than $20k a year (I think our unemployed get that much). For reasons that have no point in being explained, I was asked to do this. When he gets here, he can't work and can't access any government benefits, like Medicare, so in essence, I would be financially responsible for him, for about 6 months. I doubt he will have 6 months worth of money when he gets here, as he is a student (who wants to complete his education in Medicine here - prefably after gaining residency).
To be honest, I am pretty comfortable and happy to do it, but it gives me power - power to control an American! How long have I wanted to control an American. So I am going to make a contract with him, payment for what I am doing for him. So here is what I am asking from him, but I would be keen to hear if I have missed anything in training an American to be a better person:
He must learn English.
He is in an English country, so I think it is only fair he tries to fit in by learning its language.
Put the "u" in words like colour. Replace all those "z" with s, like authorise. Oh, and say z as zed. Put the a back into all the words like encyclopaedia, after all, he wants to be a doctor. Replace those "s" with a "c' in words like defence. Put the "ue" back on the words like analogue. The big one - it is "re" not "er" in words like theatre. The rubber part of the wheel is a 'tyre' as tire is something you experience putting a tyre on.
Other words he needs to learn would include:
A 'fanny' is a vagina, so it is a bumbag, not a fanny pack. A 'root' is sex, so at a sporting event, he must not root for either team. Summer footwear is not flip-flop, it is thongs. The thing over the the engine of the car is a bonnet, and the spot at the back we put luggage in is the boot.
He must learn metric.
He doesn't really have a choice, unless he hangs around with really old people who went to school before 1972. We don't use UK Imperial Measure, let alone US Imperial Measure. Plus, as a medical student, it is unwise to mix up your measurements.
Become a socialist.
To be acceptable to me, he will need to enbrace socialism, like all good Australians. He will see paying taxes as a good thing, as it is, with unemployment benefits, free education (not University), universal healthcare and pensions amongst others. He will want to vote and believe that compulsory voting is a great thing. As a side issue, he will need to learn that there are other countries outside of the USA, so he must read international news and be interested in Asia, Europe and Africa.
He must write the date as Day/Month/Year, like the world does.
He must learn to pronounce the extra long A, like grah-ss. Hell, they say Mahz-da, so it can't be that hard.
Accept that finally after a few hundred years, the Queen of England is rightfully in charge.
Now I don't think that is too much to ask for in return for my help is it? Is there anything else my maniacal rush of power has missed? How else can I make an American a better person?
The funny thing about this is his last name is Bruce!
For those a little sensitive, I am just having fun, so if you take it seriously, more fool you - jsut point out bad things about being Australian I shouldn't expect from him).