Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wombat Paper

     People in Australia are making paper out of wombat crap that other people are buying as souvenirs.  I am not making this up.





*****




*****




*****




*****





      I am assuming that by now that has had a chance to sink in.  And that you have had the opportunity to pass out and that the friendly local EMTs have been able to revive you and that your Internet connection has not timed out.  Which means we are in good shape, which is more than I can say for the town of Burnie in northwest Tasmania, which is that island that sticks off the bottom of Australia and is the home to the Tasmanian devil.  The town, like many others in the industrialized world, has been hit hard by round after round of job cuts, according to the BBC.  But it has apparently found its salvation in the dirty, smelly feces generated by the wombat, a furry marsupial found in the wild only in Australia.  
     Well, somebody in this seaside town has decided to make paper out of the copious amount of foo that these animals leave lying around.  Actually, to be more technically correct it is all the foo that one wombat, a little guy appropriately named Nugget who lives in a wildlife park near Cradle Mountain in central Tasmania.  Every day his handlers or trainers or someone at the wildlife park scrapes up all of Nugget's nuggets and sends them off to Creative Paper manager Darren Simpson who boils them, sterilizes them, rinses them, rolls them, pats them, then marks them "B" as my niece likes to say.  Then he sells it and tourists buy it.
      In fact they have been clamoring for it.  Creative Paper began by selling paper made out of kangaroo poo but soon it became clear that what the people really wanted was wombat crap paper.  Oh man.  Just the thought of toilet paper made from poop is making my head spin.  Anyway, apparently people visiting want a keenly Australian souvenir to take home, and I am guessing that when the customs people see that on your declaration they don't bother to ask.  I don't know exactly when a boomerang or a Greg Norman hat stopped being Australian enough for the turistas, but whatever.  I am sort of wondering though about who is coming through this beach community.  I mean, I've never heard of it and I am super smart, so I can't imagine that there are many Americans wandering through, but then again what do I know.  Still, I can't help but to think that Americans uniquely would be asking for paper made out of the dung of a small furry animal.  I don't know and I don't care.
      What I do care about is that somewhere out there someone is using a $26 ink pen to scribble out an absence note on paper made from the poop of a wombat.  I suppose that when you think about it in the right way it's just taking the long, less-than-scenic route from Point A to Point B.  I mean, paper starts as trees right?  So the paper is still basically made from the same stuff, just processed by a wombat AND a guy in a paper factory as opposed to just a guy in a paper factory.  Well no, not exactly.  See, wombats don't really eat trees except for the bark, but they eat a lot of grasses and roots.  So I guess that the paper should probably be called papyrus.  Or maybe poopyrus.  Okay, that was bad, I apologize.
      The moral of the story here kids is that people will buy the strangest things for the strangest reasons, so don't be afraid to create something that's a little off kilter.  As long as you can find the right niche to fill you won't be just some weirdo, you will be some weirdo with lots of cash, and that's okay.
      Oh man.  I would like to discuss this with you further, but I have to run.  It's time for me to go make some paper, if you know what I mean.

No comments: