Video Wonder: Australia's Accidental Heroes - Atlas Obscura
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Video Wonder: Australia’s Accidental Heroes

On the evening of January 22, two Australian men were on their way home from a bar on the Gold Coast in Queensland when they stumbled across an attempted robbery of a chicken shop. 

After foiling this robbery in the most casual way possible—by stealing the keys from the getaway car and punching the main assailant—they uploaded footage of the whole thing to YouTube.

Once the video went viral, Australian morning TV show Today invited the two men, James Ross-Munro and Kane Wiblen, for an interview. Their appearance, as shown in the video above, proved one thing: these are the most Australian Australians in Australia.

Even when 50 percent of the slang-heavy conversation is inscrutable, the video is highly entertaining. But so you can fully appreciate the deeply resonant Australianness of the whole thing, here is a translation of the more baffling words and phrases.

0:26 “Let’s go to the servo”
A servo is a service station, known elsewhere in the world as a petrol station or gas station.

0:30 ”Call the cops! Triple zero!”
Triple zero (000) is the Australian equivalent of 911.

1:14 “We’d been down at Options Tavern at a Stubbies and Singlets party”
Options Tavern is a sports bar located in a shopping mall. “Stubbies” can mean two things: a short (“stubby”) bottle of beer, or a pair of short shorts often worn by tradies (tradesmen). In this context, we are talking about short shorts. Singlets are tank tops that convey traditional masculinity—the kind worn by Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Stubbies and Singlets parties involve a bunch of guys standing around in singlets and short shorts. Participants may also drink stubbies.

1:26 “slipped over and busted my plugger”
“I fell and broke my flip flop.” (Note that “plugger” is regional slang—most Australians refer to flip flops as “thongs.”)

1:45 “pretty concerned about my blowout I had”
Ross-Munro is referring to the aforementioned busted plugger.

1:52 “saw a white Commodore pull up”
Holden Commodores are Australian-made cars, commonly driven by blokes wearing pluggers.

1:56 “sorta thought something was a bit suss”
The situation appeared suspicious.

2:03 “while they were inside the Oporto’s”
Oporto is an Australia-wide chain of chicken restaurants. Try the Bondi Burger.

2:43 “You look reasonable, buddy”
High praise in Australia. Distinct from “That was ordinary,” a phrase used by cricket commentators to convey extreme disappointment.

4:34 “Team Mootdangas”
This one baffled even your correspondent, who spent a solid 22 years living in Sydney. Having consulted with other Australians, I can now reluctantly tell you that “moot” is particularly crass slang for female genitalia, while a “danga,” also known as a dag or a dingle berry, is a piece of excrement stuck to a sheep’s undercarriage.

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.