TOM LEWIS writes:
Damned inconvenient. Cricket on. You’d think they could spice it up a bit by losing the third test just to get the odds up a bit and increase the take at the gate. Yes, a double, m’dear.
Now, where was I? Don’t really know since I died, but what was it I wanted to say to you lot? Oh yes, ran into Jack t’other day and he’s got a few tidbits of a yarn. Apparently that wheat thing’s over. No James, the massage is at 3, isn’t it?
Um, where was I? Ah yes. Well, old Jack tells me he’s got another yarn and I’m s’posed to see him next week to get the guts of it. Dunno, really. There’s a Chrissie party on and were having a memorial for Harold Holt over at the Chinese down the road at the Cheviot Beach Club so we mightn’t get a chance to get it all down before this bloody mob close down for Christmas. Journalists. I ask you. Always the same: never let a good news story get in the way of a holiday.
Anyway, here’s the last bit Jack gave me about the wheat thing. Happy Hogmanay and we’ll be back in the new year or so. Have to rush – the massage was at 2 after all.
Love to all and remember: vote Liberal. They may be a pack of incompetent bastards, but they’re our incompetent bastards. Mud in your eye.
The Chronicles of Nadir
As told from the grave by Tom Lewis
Tale the First
The Scion, the Wheat, and the Cabinet
Chapter The Last
The Final Report
As clouds of smoke billowed around the Teak Table and the bush firefighters were gaining Labor [sic] pre-selection in droves, other momentous portents were occurring in the land of Nadir. While the snow melted and the water rose, rats were leaving sinking ships like a drawn treader and faster than the increasing drought could reduce stock numbers (or even numbats). Little Lucy’s husband was making a concerted push on the water front and had made so many feel-good announcements that she was, victory over the Lady Jadis apart, clearly flushed with success.
Meanwhile, on this side of the Cabinet, Little Johnnie, in a public relations coup the like of which had not been seen since Mrs Petrov was dragged screaming from a Lermontov airliner in Darwin, the coalface had been closed down as a gesture towards appeasing the lunatic fringe on global warming.
AW Board had escaped by the skin of his teeth and had them firmly sunk into the double board shuffle somewhere in the Channel Islands while his erstwhile colleagues slowly committed suicide pending their respective committals.
With the Christmas hols rapidly approaching, the children had spent useful time relieving the tension of their adventures by installing themselves on their respective thrones in the park outside the Goulburn RSL. Although it had caused a bit of a stink at the time, as is the way of these things, like the coalface, time heals all wounds and things are easily forgotten if not always forgiven or vice versa.
Alexander had become both Queen of the Faeries and Foreign Minister as a fully-fledged member of the Inner Cabinet (price $482 plus GST – the modern equivalent of 20 pieces of silver, or, a pound of flesh as it was known in Treasury, the portfolio the now enthroned King Peter had been given and the only kingdom he was ever likely to rule). As a further diversionary tactic a former Jewish journalist, and Middle East expert, Rosie Rosie (always a red’s red) had been appointed as ambassador to the newly created territory of Palestine, a traditional historical homeland the size of Monaco which now sat on a floating island half a kilometer above the ancient land of Brobdignag.
Queen Amanda, for her part, had become, well, slightly larger than she formerly had been in life, and was given extra responsibility as a new Australian Territory in the Great Southern Ocean about 50º 25’ E, 28º 45’S where she was now inhabited by a colony of lesbian sea lions, all of whom had passed the recently introduced dictation test, knew all about mateship, Australian values, bbqing in cold climates, and turkey basting as well as having promised to vote Liberal for the rest of their natural lives. The turkey basting had initially seemed odd and could have been scuttled until it was explained to Jeanette, a well known animal liberationist (after all she had taken Little Johnnie away from his mum) that there were no actual turkeys involved just a long plastic tube and a thing that looked like the business end of a Klaxon horn on a model T Ford. Jeanette had always had a soft spot for the model T and from time to time had fantasies about Corder and a dickie seat. She often had fantasies about dickie seats but that still hadn’t stopped THAT WOMAN getting pre-selection for Southern Highlands.
For Little Lucy, being a Queen was little different to being a Little Lucy really. After all, once one was born to rule, one was born to rule (although there had been a tad of trouble about that combined with being a Roman Catholic in 1688). Still, time heals all wounds, even being thrown over at your fist popular election as Lord Mayor for a bedraggled chook the age of Methuselah with the brains of a herring (and personal hygiene to go with it).
Mr Patel, on the other hand had struck up a clandestine correspondence with Mr Lodhi. Both were planning a break-out known to the law as an appeal. The thin-lipped veinless Ruddock had his eye on them like a, well, not like a hawke, (he, after all, was from the other side) but more like a Caldwell (come to think of it, he was from the other side as well but, it was an old saying: two Wongs don’t make a white and there was no point in playing with a Lodhi weapon.) Of course, every cloud has a silver lining and at least Mr Patel knew he didn’t have osteoporosis – he could now see the bones in his wrists for himself.
So, as the fire gutters and sleep draws on, gathering the loose ends as any good children’s story does, we find the four at the end of their particular adventure, returned from the Land of Nadir, blessed by the Scion and happily ruling over a grateful populace seemingly forever. Yet, while this is a children’s’ story, we live in an adult world with the dangers of war not yet receded. Home by Christmas becomes yet another casualty of realpolitic if not of a terrible war. In fact, in the time it has taken in the telling of this tale, the dangers only increased. ‘Tis but the way of the world (and of tedious, crude, laboured, Christian allegories) that the struggle never ends.
Unbeknownst to them, the children, Little Johnnie, Jeanette, Corder and all their fellow travellers were about to face their greatest challenge since the days of the Communist Party Case.
From the North, suddenly, unannounced, except by himself, had come the threat of Prince Crispian now allied with the Wicked Witch of the South, an evil, fire-breathing, unmarried, childless, whining, grating, gyrating, combinationalist, red both in hair and craw, Jules of the Galliard, who was to Dowland and courtly Elizabethan dancing what the rulers of the Peoples’ Republic of China had been to Tiananmen square. Suddenly, crocodiles were developing Hawke eyes.
Like the endless ebb and flow of the big bang cycle, force against force was aligned and the ever to be repeated battle loomed. Once more unto the breach, the mettle of their pasture was again to be tested: this time it would not just be about wheat.