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Tom Hanks’ Quarantine Diet Ignites a Global Debate

Tom Hanks is many things, including an Academy Award-winning actor, paragon of humanity and body positivity activist. (“Sometimes I’m in pretty good shape, other times I’m not,” the 63-year-old quips in his Twitter bio. “Hey, you gotta live, you know?”) Now, it seems, he’s become a de facto spokesperson for the Australian Tourist Board as well, celebrating all things Antipodean while under quarantine in Sydney after testing positive for Covid-19.

“Thanks to the Helpers,” he wrote in a caption for a photograph of a toy kangaroo clutching an Australian flag. “Let’s take care of ourselves and each other.” The real talking point from the image, however, is, of course, the tube of Vegemite in the corner – hugged by a miniature koala at the end of a suction cup. Making the photograph even more intriguing: the two pieces of toast slathered with an aggressively thick layer of the spread.

Naturally, concerned Australians are flooding the star’s Instagram page with solicitations to “go easy, mate” along with in-depth analyses of the optimum Vegemite to butter to toast ratio. Brits, meanwhile, are plagued with self-doubt. Is this Hanks casting his vote in the great Vegemite versus Marmite debate? Would it help our case if Marmite came in tubes? Why, in Marmite’s 118-year history, has no one thought to attach a plush corgi on a suction cup to a jar?

At least Hanks – or Hanx, as he signs off his posts – seems to be keeping calm. He shared an update on how he and his wife, Rita Wilson, were getting on on 13 March, along with a tongue-in-cheek reference to his 1992 film A League of Their Own: “Remember, despite all the current events, there is no crying in baseball.”

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