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SUNDAY PUNCHES | OBSERVANCES

But Don't Squeeze Too Hard

April 23, 2006

Wednesday is Hug an Australian Day. Justin Brown, the Australian consul-general in L.A., warns that you should grip at your own risk. "Be prepared for either a friendly slap or a serious romantic proposal, depending on the circumstances and the amount of alcohol imbibed," he says. (As for kissing, he adds, that's "limited to babies and elderly relatives, provided they have no facial hair.") Some of us wouldn't have to chug to hug the Aussies in Hollywood, if they're Hugh Jackman or Heath Ledger or Eric Bana or Kylie Minogue. Or Nicole Kidman, at right, even though she isn't pure Australian, considering she was born in Hawaii. She does talk funny, though.

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