Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And so to Canberra in search of organically grown goats ...

(Above: Tony Abbott in Canberra, a great place to find organically grown goats).

The pond has to go to Canberra for a couple of days, and a busy schedule means posting is unlikely for the next little while ...

There is much to attend to. A full hour has been allocated to discussing with Bob Carr an ambitious plan to impose sanctions on New Zealand for sheltering New Zealanders and fire blight.

We'll be drafting a letter of demand that free and fair elections should be called at once. This should put an end to any Warren Mundine-inspired notion that Bob is a colonialist, as scurrilously outlined in Carr has 'white man's burden', says Mundine.

It might also result in a land invasion in due course. Carr's knowledge of American civil war history, and perhaps even D-day is likely to prove invaluable.

Then there's another full hour allocated to explaining to Senator Stephen Conroy what pork barreling and boon doggling actually means.

It doesn't mean installing the NBN in remote nation-building electorates full of rusted on National party supporters out back of Bourke. It means giving Labor electorates a fast connection, and throwing the long suffering western suburbs around the nation a bone.

So they can communicate at greater speed the folly of having Stephen Conroy as the North Korean-approved Minister for Internet censorship. Golly, maybe we should leave a little space at the end of the meeting to explain to Conroy why he's a figure of fear rather than being seen as a nation-builder.

Speaking of nation-building, we've naturally only allocated fifteen minutes to discuss a second Sydney airport with Anthony Albanese.

"You're not going to do anything are you Albo? Diddly squat, three fifths of fuck all, as they say in Tamworth."
"Well, if you want the truth, and between you, me, and the millions with slow ALP-managed access to the intertubes, no we're not."

Second thoughts, make that ten minutes. Should be able to handle a scone and a cup of tea in that time, and to hell with thoughts of federal infrastructure ...

But the most pressing job is the most mysterious. It turns out that Tony Abbott suffers from a mystery ailment, carefully managed and hidden from the media and the world.

It seems whenever he goes to say "yes" he begins to stutter uncontrollably and simply can't get out the word. On a good day, he might get out a strangled "yessss, preciousssss", but it has such a hideous strangled Gollum air about it, that his advisors have proposed any and all positive thoughts be removed from his speeches and daily conversation.

Now this might remind you of The King's Speech, and having had some contact with speech therapy in the past, it's the pond's duty to help.

What complicates it is the way Abbott is simply unable to say anything associated with the concept of "yes" without a violent attack of the stutters.

That's why you won't hear him attempting to say anything like 'roger wilco' or 'affirm that' or 'that's an affirmative' or 'sure thing'. Indeed a vast range of speech is ruled out, including ay, aye, yea, yassuh, ya, yah, ja, yeah, yeh, yep, yeppters, jup, yus, and even uh huh, which though ambiguous creates tonal problems. Even "oui" can send him into a loop.

"Hai" can freak him out completely, which is disturbing, since the Japanese love "yes" and have found at least sixteen ways to avoid saying "no". (And it gets even trickier doing business with the Chinese, and the way they deal with yes and no).

The pond has allocated a full day to this burdensome task, and thinks some of the treatments prescribed for King George in The Madness of King George might also be pressed into service.

Yes, it could get ugly before the sun shines, but if the pond manages to get Abbott to say a couple of simple sentences - "yes, you are right", "yes, I am wrong", "yes, that is a good policy" "yes, that mining tax is fair and could even be expanded" and "yes, even though you're reading my lips right now, by the time I get into power it'll be most unlikely I'll do a recall on it" - the nation will be deeply in the pond's debt.

And of course the movie rights will become available in due course with only two conditions - Meryl Streep is not to play Dorothy Parker, and Geoffrey Rush offers too much gravitas to be considered for Tony Abbott. How about good old Hugo Weaving?

Ah we loves ya Agent Smith. Totally professional working actor. No slur intended, someone's got to play the forces of evil ...

As a result of Abbott attacking the Whitlam government while farewelling Margaret Whitlam, there's been a proposal that we should also include a course in manners, but enough already. We only have a day and an attack dog is an attack dog is an attack dog ...

It leaves little time for other vital jobs. We should have allocated another full day to explain basic television make-up to Julia Gillard's minders, but acknowledge that dress sense can never be fully understood by some (why you only have to look at ABC newscasters to realise the truth of that).

Fortunately we've avoided a meeting with Jolly Joe Hockey, so his attempt to sell us a used car, and the notion that he's somehow fit to run the Australian economy will have to wait for another day.

And despite pleading and begging from Senators Eric Abetz and George Brandis, the pond recognises that there are limits to what even the pond can achieve in a couple of years or a couple of centuries to stop them sounding like terminally tedious, repetitive, droning bores of the first water.

And as for the deviant tried to set up a meeting with Christopher Pyne, knowing that this would have scuttled the entire trip .... sorry, the pond would rather spend a day in hell than an hour in Pyne's office listening to him poodle on about medical certificates and righteousness.

Okay, so you're wondering how we'll tackle the Abbott problem.

First up is getting him to understand in a Japanese way how mortifying it is to say "no", and explore the ways of not saying "no". That's right, it's the good old double negative, and as Bill himself explained "thou expectedst not, nor I looked not for", though perhaps more relevant to Mr. Abbott "Nor never none shall mistress of it be, save I alone" (thanks H. L. Mencken)

Once we've got the good old double negative working, then getting him to say "yes" will be a doddle ...

(Below: Japanese ways to say "no", click to enlarge).

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