By Ross Hamilton
Welcome to the Great Hall at Parliament House, ladies and gentlemen. And it’s the big night you’ve all been waiting for – Team Australia versus The World.
By the lukewarm applause I think …yes, it’s Team Australian entering the arena, led by manager Peta Credlin in a leopard skin miniskirt. Tony Abbott follows her, resplendent in his purple toga. We can only hope, ladies and gentlemen, that for once he won’t be entering the ring in his budgie smugglers. And there’s Big Boy Joe Hockey, bulging out of his wrestling shorts. Bringing up the rear is the Schoolmaster, Scott Morrison, threatening the crowd with the old fashioned school cane in his hand. And their Cheerleader, Julie Bishop, is dancing around them, waving her red, white and blue flogger in one hand, her handbag in the other. I don’t know you about you, ladies and gents, but I still haven’t gotten used to the sight of a cheer leader doing high kicks in a tweed skirt.
The boys enter the ring, Abbott waving regally, Hockey ignoring the crowd as he puffs casually on a fat cigar and Morrison glaring at everyone over his glasses. Credlin and Bishop are posing for a photograph, arms around each other, Best Friends Forever, although I’m pretty sure I saw Credlin getting in a sneaky pinch on Bishop’s arm while Bishop ‘accidentally’ tugged on a handful of Credlin’s hair.
And here come the Challengers. Led by Barak Obama, a joint casually poking out from behind one ear. Vladimir Putin is close behind him, flexing his arms and kissing his bulging biceps. And there’s the Indonesian Prime Minister whose name nobody can remember. There is a little more applause for the Challengers. Their embassies have obviously turned out in force.
A mighty bell has just rung out and an expectant hush falls over the Great Hall. Her Royal Highness, Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, has entered, wearing her robes of office, the flowing white wig freshly back from the dry cleaner’s, her Speaker’s Mace casually balanced on her shoulder like a Neanderthal’s club. She takes her seat on the throne and with a casual wave of her hand, grants permission for the proceedings to continue.
And that’s the scene, ladies and gentlemen. Both teams by their corners of the ring as the referee slides under the ropes and into the squared circle. And luck is not with us – Tony Abbott has slipped out of his toga, revealing the dreaded Budgie Smugglers of Doom. I can hear a young woman behind me retching in horror at the sight. And Credlin is by the corner post, busy whispering her instructions into Abbott’s ear while Bishop has her flogger and handbag going like a Whirling Dervish.
The referee points to the time keeper and the bell rings. The match is on! Abbott leads off for Team Australia. Obama steps through the ropes for The World Team.
Abbott has pulled his Environmental Action Policy stance straight away, threatening Obama by standing still in the centre of the ring, arms held wide, eyes closed, motionless. The Fearsome No-action Action Policy stance. And it has Obama puzzled. But not for long. He drops down with an Executive Order, sweeping Abbott off his feet with aggressive coal emissions targets.
Abbott scrambles back to his feet. But wait – Abbott is shaking his head. “No”, he cries. He thrusts a leg out in front of him and theatrically points towards Putin. “I want you!”
Obama shrugs and swaps places with Putin. And Abbott charges across the ring, arms held wide, his chest hitting Putin with his best shirtfront. And he’s bounced off, ladies and gentlemen, he’s bounced, crumpling to the mat as if he had just run into a brick wall. Well it was always a pretty stupid thing for a skinny wet rag to try and shirtfront someone the size of the Russian Bear. Putin lifts his arm, cocking his oily elbow, dropping down and hammering it into Abbott’s bony chest. He’s such a fit man, is Putin, and more than one opponent has fallen foul of the Russian’s big reserves of the oil.
Wait – it’s Cheerleader Bishop. She has leapt into the ring, shaking her handbag in Putin’s face, shrieking at him and forcing the referee to escort her out again. And it has worked. The distraction has allowed Abbott to crawl to his corner, cringing by the post as he tags in Big Boy Hockey. And Hockey slaps his chest, roaring like a demented gorilla and charges in, leaping into the air to throw his full body at Putin. He must have gotten almost five centimetres off the mat! And it stuns Putin! Big Boy has dragged himself up onto the bottom rope. And there’s his war cry – ‘Buuuuudget!’ as he hurls himself down with his Budget Flop, hitting the fallen man hard, smothering with his weight.
The Cheerleader is dancing her victory dance already, high kicking a drink out of spectator’s hand. Perhaps a little too soon but she sure does love to get those high kicks going. Quite the spectacle.
Wait – the Bear’s Biceps are flexing, bulging. He’s thrown Big Boy off. Tossing him aside like a cigar butt. That took some mighty heavy lifting. And Big Boy didn’t like it.
Credlin is screaming out her orders at Abbott but he’s still cringing from his Putin confrontation. So it’s Schoolmaster Morrison entering the ring, the old fashioned cane in one hand.
Whoa – there’s a surprise. The Indonesian PM has reached through the ropes, politely tapping Putin on the shoulder and tagging himself into the match. I don’t believe it, ladies and gentlemen. He’s coming in as a peace maker, bearing a gift cupped in his hands, holding it out to Morrison. I think it is the traditional gift of the precious Cat Crap Coffee, made from coffee beans that have passed through the digestive system of a Civet Cat, a traditional diplomatic gift from the Indonesians.
Credlin is up by the ropes, screaming instructions. Cheerleader Bishop joins her, screaming something else. But something about it is not to Credlin’s liking. Now the girls are shouting at each other. Credlin pushes Bishop. Bishop pushes back. Oh no – now the girls have fallen to the floor outside the ring, in a screaming, hair-pulling catfight.
Now there’s a disturbance near the entrance to the Great Hall. HRH Speaker Bishop is on her feet, waving in security forces. She is ejecting close to half the audience from the arena!
It is pandemonium, ladies and gentlemen, complete pandemonium!
And back in the ring, Morrison is being magnanimous, the school cane under his arm as he pats the Indonesian PM on the head – will someone please get me his name! – telling him he is a good boy. But the coffee – the coffee has been thrown in Morrison’s face. But it’s not coffee. It’s fresh cat crap, ladies and gentlemen, fresh from a moggy’s bum!
Morrison has fallen to his knees, his fingers clawing at the stinging mess in his eyes. The Indonesian pulls Morrison’s hands away and rubs the cat crap harder into Morrison’s face. And now he has the cane. He’s hitting Morrison with it, smacking him over and over. I can hear him screaming at Morrison. “We don’t want your stinking refugees!”
The cane breaks and the Indonesian PM casually tosses the pieces onto the canvas as the he returns to his corner to tap Obama back into the match.
It’s Barak Obama, ladies and gentlemen, the Leader of the Free World. He walks casually into the ring, standing over Morrison. Unhurried, he looks over at Team Australia. Abbott is cringing behind the corner post again. Hockey is being treated for exhaustion after the failure of his Big Budget Flop. Credlin and Bishop have torn out fistfuls of each other’s hair. And Morrison is on his knees, sobbing like the school bully having gotten his comeuppance.
What is Obama waiting for, ladies and gentlemen? Now he is calling to someone outside the ring. I cannot quite make out what is being said. Something has been thrown into the ring. It’s a microphone, ladies and gentlemen. Obama was calling for the microphone.
He’s holding the microphone up in the air. And silence spreads out across the Great Hall. HRH Speaker Bishop pauses in swinging her mace at unruly members of the crowd. Credlin astride Cheerleader Bishop pauses in bashing her BFF’s head against the floor. All eyes have turned to the man in the centre of the ring.
He raises the microphone to his mouth:
“This is your best? These are your representatives? Your government? We think it time you found a new Team Australia. A better Team Australia. And don’t bother The World until you have something worth our time.”
He’s leading The World Team out of the ring, ladies and gentlemen. The match is over. But who has won? Team Australia members are now all arguing among themselves. The crowd are screaming their fury at being robbed of an outcome.
There’s the mighty bell again. Obedient silence falls in the Great Hall once more. HRH Speaker Bishop rises to her feet, her long wig a little askew from brawling with the audience.
“We are not amused.”
Neither are we, Your Highness, neither are we.
Ross Hamilton also blogs on his own site at Words By Ross