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I once met a South African who proposed the idea that Australians were sheep shaggers. They were right, and wrong. Given that there are 20 million Australians, and 115 million Australian sheep, and sheep have been in Australia since 1788, I'm sure that random circumstances dictate that at least one Aussie has engaged in person-sheep intercourse. Possibly the same can be said for New Zealand.

What is it with these perverse colonial stereotypes? Australia used to ride on the sheep's back economically, and New Zealand probably did too. But how does it go from the strange fuzzy round things in paddocks being an economic pillar to nations of bestialists with wool fetishes. I get it that places develop a certain relationship with each other where a joke is made about the people of another place. It's the us/them paradigm. We don't do that, that's not normal, but they might do it. But they're different, so they don't know any better. Anthropologists refer to something called the 'spectrum of human behavior', and say that no 'society' exhibits all the behaviors in the spectrum. Since humans generally accept their own society's ways as normal, these statements about the others eventually take on their own life and become stereotypes.

It's interesting to note that there appears to be an eastern trend with South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and sheep shagging. One South African (they were either very strange, or more South Africans have thought or said it as well) said that they'd heard Aussies liked sheep. Many Aussies have said, heard, and joked about the New Zealanders and their abundance of sheep. So if this easterly trend continues, who do the Kiwis joke about? According to the hypothesized trend, possibly the Chileans or the Argentineans. The Argentineans have cows, so that doesn't really work, and the Chileans have ... um, I don't know, mountains? Well, actually Kiwis seem to have a go at Aussies. But if the trend occurred, their best bet would be Pitcairn. Not that there's anything to joke about there.

In defence of the Kiwis. 4 million people, and 45 million sheep. I can appreciate the validity and clear logic of an argument that available sheep outnumber available members of the desired sex. There are a few problems here.

  1. About 85% of Kiwis live in urban areas. Sheep in urban areas are rare, and easily outnumbered by available people of the desired sex
  2. It is unlikely that people get so frustrated that they give up and cross the species line
  3. By the time you were drunk enough to confuse a member of the desired sex and a sheep, you would either be dead or on your way to hospital
  4. And if you weren't drunk, I do find it unlikely that someone is stupid enough to be unable to distinguish the two 'prospects' I have met more Australians than Kiwis that might make that mistake. Disclaimer: I have met many many Australians and not a lot of Kiwis. Statistically, there might be Kiwis like that.

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