Thursday’s child has far to go

Thursday Island is at the northerly tip of Australia.


Anyone who has spent more than a few days on Thursday Island knows the expression “Kubalah wah?”. Politely translated it means “Would you like to have sex?”. In response to this question there are only two possible answers and both of them are “Yes”.

The first means “Yes I would like to” and the second means “Yes but not with you. You are not man (or woman) enough to please me.” A favourite sport among the men, according to Eric Hansen’s book “The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer”, was to sleep, at different times, with the daughter, her mother and her grandmother. This feat was known as the Grand Slam, and according to several men and women it was a common activity enjoyed by all participants. They talked about the Grand Slam in the way that some people talked about golf.


While staying at the Grand Hotel in the early 1980s, Hansen was introduced to the Thursday Island handshake. This is a traditional form of greeting practiced by the young and sometimes not so young island women. The “handshake” when properly executed, takes place when a stranger, dressed ideally in loose shorts without underpants, is momentarily distracted. At that precise moment the woman reaches up the man’s shorts and gives his penis a friendly tug.


You might find this knowledge handy if you ever visit Thursday Island.

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 9:40 am  Comments (56)  
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56 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Re breakfast add. iHop also has meat lover’s grand slam which has bacon, sausage and ham. Well I hope all these eaters survive their triple by-pass. Shoulda had good ol’ raisin bran all along.

  2. And what if she’s not too fond of you? An “unfriendly tug”?

    • Ooh that sounds a bit uncomfortable Jimmy

      • Any idea what something like that could do to a kid my age?!

  3. I’m guessing strangers are often driven to distraction.

  4. This is the very first post I’ve read by you (and I’ve read hundreds) that I believe you’re pulling our leg. Is all this true?

    The east coast of the United States was smashed with a another major snowstorm last night, so the first photo is particularly painful to me.

    • It doesn’t sound at all far fetched when you’re familiar with a certain type of Australian. Just this afternoon I heard someone on the radio talking about the proposed new flood disaster tax “won’t solve anything mate, Queensland’s bloody rooted mate”.

      You can read some reviews on the book at Amazon, several mention the chapter on Thursday Island. I suggest you buy a copy UB, it’s a fantastic read.

    • Thursday Island…”sharks,crocs and randy nurses” is how a friend described it to me. I’d say the book nails it.

  5. I’ve booked my flight. And packed my suitcase full of shorts. Thanks for the holiday tip…

  6. I’m with Nota Bene, i’m on the next flight out with my suitcase filled with Henry Rollins gym shorts, happy Thursday.

    • that should be Henry Rollins style gym shorts, not his actual shorts of course.

  7. This sounds like a great place to get a friendly tug. A beautiful tropical island filled with friendly happy people who don’t have any sexual hangups? Damn! I’ll take my next incarnation there – and not as a turtle.

  8. let’s go! i particularly like the two versions of “yes”. that’s pretty much the truth for me…

    • You’re on…. pick Dolce up on the way will you?

  9. As for the non-wearing of underpants (“going Commando”) I can vouch for that part of the tale. Undies lead to nasty heat rashes and crotch-rots in the tropical humidity. The truth of the rest of the tail I cannot vouchsafe.

    • tale? tail? oh heck! up there it probably makes little difference!

  10. Well, good thing the weather appears warm there with all of those loose shorts.

  11. How does she know you aren’t wearing underpants until her hand is up there or your thing is out there?

    • Yeah. I’m hung up on the logistics of this thing, too.

    • Oh come on Bearman, this is the Gimcrack. We don’t refer to knobs as “things” here 😉

      • Good for you.. he’s got to learn to use big boy language…
        Besides, Bearman, it’s not like the tightie whitie is impossible to manipulate, just a little more trouble. And, don’t most of you want us to tug on your dicks?

  12. *makes note in travel bucket-list, maybe in 2012 … *

  13. Oh man, I’m busy Thursday …… what about Friday?

  14. Hmm I think I wlll get mostly the “yes but not with you” response… sighs

  15. How often do you go there Nursey?

  16. Hm… something to make note of for future travel…

  17. I’m convinced this place would do my husband some good!! 😉

    • Hello, Ange!

  18. More like a Grand(ma) Slam, I’d say.

  19. My husband doesn’t appreciate a friendly tug unless I mean business. TMI?

    • Ha ha… never TMI for me

  20. Hmmmm I may just have to pencil Thursday Island into my planner as I schedule a trip down under

  21. Better find a way to get down there.

  22. I like that both possible answers to the question are an affirmative. At least a bloke can go back to his mates and say ‘she said yes’.


  23. Surely the full Grand Slam would be to sleep with all the menfolk as well? Or would that be just too perverted? Come on, guys, show us what you’re made of.

    As for the truth or otherwise of the story, I demand to see your research references….

  24. Hmm ‘sausage links’… WTF?

    Looking at the picture of the ‘Grand Slam’, I suppose the pancakes are the daughter’s chest, the fried eggs must be Grandma’s mams, err but then it all starts to go horribly wrong after that…

    The King

  25. God I’m boring. That place sounds a little too much focused on one ting. And it begs the question of what the friendly greeting for women is. . . booby pinches?

    Also, I just can’t imagine ANY man who would want to have sex with three generations in this family. Sorry. If you knew my grandmother they way I knew her, the forbiddingness of her aspect would put even the randiest guy off. And then there is my mother. . . and my sisters. . .

  26. I’ve seen some photos and heard a bit about the Australian coast. It is beautiful, isn’t it?

  27. I actually find this post quite disturbing, in that I’ve read Hansen’s book. All of it. And I have NO MEMORY WHATSOEVER of the grand slam.

    And if I could forget such a thing?

    Really, what hope is there for me?

    • So what was your favourite story from the book Megan? I liked the one set in India where he worked at Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying.

  28. This sounds like a place I REALLY want to go!

  29. […] Myra has just exposed me to HEAVEN ON EARTH! Anyone who has spent more than a few days on Thursday Island knows the expression “Kubalah […]

  30. I found my next vacation spot!

  31. Just the usual, friendly Aussie hospitality!

    • Exactly, Mitzi!

  32. […] I might be talked into settling for a ticket to this place. According to […]

  33. Now this is one more place that I absolutely have to go to, and soon! You know, before I’m completely bald and ‘not man enough.’

    So, Kubalah wah?.

    • Yes. Especially if you shave your bald head 😉

  34. Australia is so awesome it makes my brain hurt.

  35. There are some hilarious comments on this post. I was curious about the name of the island–maybe Thursday means something different in Oz?

  36. I think it was discovered on a Thursday. There are Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday Islands too

  37. HA! Thursday Island sounds like San Pedro Island in Belize. Except they only take the first yes for an answer.

    Oh, how I´ve missed your blog, NM. I´ll be back for good in a couple of weeks.

  38. I always thought you were crazy but in those shorts i can see your* nuts.

    *Yes, Denny understands that you are is you’re. But the joke is better this way.

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