A very cruddy fable, Part 20: Breaking wind will leave you standing all alone

Word has always been that cockroaches would survive even the most apocalyptic nuclear winter but latest research reveals that the pathetic pale blue species found in southern Welsh climes fall on their backs and kick their legs in the air when exposed to Sunshine superstars. This particular species is now classified as Endangered which has left wagering agencies desperate for a real contest around which to ply their wares. Addicted as they are to last-man-standing contests, their attention has naturally turned to Three Rounds With a Revolving Door or Our Kevvie as he is sometimes known. His title bout preparations have been scrutinised with utmost intensity in recent days as his preliminary sparring sessions with Miner, the 400-pound gorilla, have sparked smouldering speculation: can he go the distance; will he throw in the towel?

Pundits seeking inside goss on his form from usually reliable sources were stunned to find the Gang of Four babbling like a brook. The Inner Sanctum – or ‘those bastards’ as they are more colloquially known to Fabian rear-seaters – was once regarded as a black hole (not so named by one Andrew Johns) with neither light nor word able to escape its ephemeral boundaries. But suddenly the Duck With an Abacus, Lend Us a Tenner, Hot and Steamy and the Emperor himself have been leaking like a middle-aged woman with laughter issues.

Soothsayers have been heard muttering that the malodorous miasma of morbidity stalks the land while casting furtive glances towards the Prince Among Men’s suite at the House with the Big Flag. Who is The Whisperer? The permutations are perplexing. It might be one, or two, or three or even all four of them spreading scuttlebutt to opprobriate opponents. The Welsh Rarebit and Two Fivers seem remarkably to have distanced themselves from having had any part in the fulsome folly of sticking it to those bastards with dirty nails so hard they’ll bleed from the eyeballs. Leaks, scuttlebutt, rumour and innuendo have it firmly that only two miscreants were guilty of the worst miscalculation since Custer trusted his own sense of moral superiority at Little Bighorn. Which leaves only two red-faced naughty ones standing around with wet thumbs held behind their backs. The Emperor and the Abacus now need only the fingers of one hand on which to calculate their real friends.

And as the vox populi (apart from the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the ABC) turn the screws ever tighter on the Fabian leadership, Janet Albrechtsen (who said Maxine McKew was the thinking man’s crumpet?) slipped a stiletto between the Emperor’s ribs in the manner of handing a drowning man an anvil. Her fiendishly-calculated masterstroke was to ignite Fabian tribal loyalties against the comrade who has none at all. She reminded all the apparatchiks that the Emperor had dudded the legendary Bright as a Button by preferring to have a photo op with Cate the Luminescent rather than attend the Fabian hero’s funeral. As JanetA the soothsayer said: you trample on Fabian traditions at your own peril. That she proffered this wisdom when it was way too late for any possible correction at all, one suspects, might just have permitted a wry smile to flit across her visage.

So now the time has come to question whether Mother Theresa will stand by her man. Her loyalty is not questioned (she has, after all, borne this burden for so long she surely will be the next cab off the rank after Mary MacKillop). But when everyone else in the country has moved upwind, will she be the very last to hold his hand as he waves goodbye to Kirribilli Palace? Pundits who write-off any incumbent early are often left to repent at their leisure but the great unwashed appear more willing to hug a leper than tell a pollster they would support That Bloke Whose Name Now Escapes Me.

Things are grim when even your very brother duds you for digging your own grave without just cause; when senior Fabian identities publicly brandish blazing cudgels to light your immolation pyre; when the only ‘mates’ you still have are the colleagues of union scabs you threw out of the Fabian society for being utterly unpalatable; when your brand new big policy on class warfare is embraced only by those who are so far to the left they come out to the right of Clive the Cane Toad; when the one person in the land who still says you are a great Prime Minister is your loyal deputy.

Still, it’s an ill wind, they say, amid reports that chiropractors are doing a roaring trade mending people who have been shaking their heads in dismay.

And what is wrong with the salacious midwinter Salle de Sade knees-up in The Steel Cage? Aside, that is, from the improper offspring that could result from cross-fertilisation between Lords and Ladies of the Manor and the Humble Hacks who sweep the stables for snippets of information. Every other annual gathering of Fierce Opponents From the Same Circle (think AFL, NRL and the Logies) results in nefarious naughtiness bordering on nuptials with nubiles. Not so in Kevvieberra – apparently – where chastity is not challenged and tumescence is not tolerated. Or so the hacks would have us believe. Though the news columns are scandalously devoid of scintillating snippets we who know them well know there must be reminiscences of rapacious revelries that would render Medusa positively beatific if they were but revealed. Alas, those who divine leaks for a living have sphinctered tighter than Captain Nemo’s clamshell. So sad! Mother Theresa begged-off (does that offer anything for the tea-leaf readers?) while Monsignor Antony was accompanied by his personal confessor and the shimmering sheaf of silver that ensconced the partner-less Ms Bishop (no, not the Beehive) surely offered temptation of some sort to somebody? Frankly, the fabler has to say that if a bunch of journos and a bunch of pollies can get on the turps all night – together – and nothing untoward happens, then standards in this country have declined to an entirely unacceptable level. Bunch of bloody wusses!

But thank you, Monsignor, for 21 days now without a public confession. You may yet have what it takes.