The following conversation was obtained by means of a hidden video camera placed in the prime ministerial office of Parliament House. The surveillance is now believed to be a Liberal Party initiative.
Scene: A lavish office in Parliament House.
KEVIN RUDD is sitting at his desk, reading a back issue of The Monthly with approval.
RUDD: Ah, Reagan, Reagan, Reagan. Why wouldn’t you listen?
There is a knock at the door.
RUDD: Come in!
A large man in a blue singlet timidly walks in. He is sweating profusely.
RUDD: Why hello, Russell. Pull up a pew.
TRUCK DRIVER: Thank you, PM. Sorry I’m late — the traffic was terrible. I would have caught public transport, but it’s —
RUDD (slightly frustrated): Fair suck of the stubbie, mate! Talk to Brumby about that. Chiko roll?
TRUCK DRIVER: No, thanks.
TRUCK DRIVER: Thanks, I’m fine.
RUDD: Salada? Another iconic Australian snack?
TRUCK DRIVER: No.
RUDD: This is a good day, mate: I got us our first saint. Australia 1; Atheists: 0. The Pope’s a total pushover. Nuns cure cancer, don’t you know. We’re going to install one in every hospital next month.
There is a prolonged silence between the two men. It is eventually broken by Rudd.
RUDD: So …
TRUCK DRIVER: Yes, Mr Rudd?
RUDD: Kevin. It’s Kevin. Kev. Now, how —
TRUCK DRIVER: (Nervously.) — yes?
RUDD: — did our, um, "plan" go? On a rolling basis, that is.
TRUCK DRIVER: Well …
RUDD: It did "go", didn’t it? (Strokes the fluffy white cat on his lap which purrs contentedly.)
TRUCK DRIVER: I have something to tell you, PM.
RUDD: (Touches nose confidentially.) Frankly, the beer is in the Esky, right?
TRUCK DRIVER: Well …
RUDD: The Torana’s in the garage, as it stands? Hmmmm?
TRUCK DRIVER: I’m afraid —
RUDD: The Aerogard’s in the swag, is what I’m saying. Going forward — if you get my drift.
TRUCK DRIVER: No, it’s like this —
RUDD: Can I just say this? The dingo’s on the pergola. Sorry, it’s a
tic. Go on.
TRUCK DRIVER: It didn’t happen.
RUDD: But he’s —
TRUCK DRIVER: Alive.
RUDD, shocked, is silent.
TRUCK DRIVER: He just got away. (Begins weeping quietly.)
RUDD: Well, paint me f*cking pink and call me a sheila. First the hairdryer, now this! What the f*ck did I hire you for?
TRUCK DRIVER: I just couldn’t do it.
RUDD: Guess what? I gave you three simple instructions. Programmatic specificity was total.
TRUCK DRIVER: I’m sorry, sir.
RUDD: Those were: firstly, drive towards him. Secondly, force him off the road. And thirdly, crush him. We were implementing a simple three-step plan to political recovery.
TRUCK DRIVER: But it’s unethical —
RUDD: Well, do you know what? I’m as buggered as a bilby’s breakfast.
TRUCK DRIVER: But couldn’t you just —
RUDD: I’ll tell you one thing: Tony’ll eat me up like an Iced VoVo now.
TRUCK DRIVER: Couldn’t you just defeat him … in the normal way?
RUDD: Can I just say: that’s impossible.
TRUCK DRIVER: Why?
RUDD: Let me say this: he’s prettier than me.
TRUCK DRIVER: What’s that got to do with —
RUDD: Seen those cheekbones? For one thing, they’re sharp enough to shear a sheep with, folks.
TRUCK DRIVER: What’s that got to do with anything?
RUDD: Sheilas like him, for some reason. It’s over. I’m plumper than a portly potoroo.
TRUCK DRIVER: No, you’re —
RUDD: Rounder than a rotund rock wallaby.
TRUCK DRIVER: Don’t be silly.
RUDD: There’s only one thing for it.
TRUCK DRIVER: What?
RUDD: We’re going to have to —
TRUCK DRIVER: Rub him out?
RUDD: Yes. That would appear to be the most viable option. I’m referring to the responsible course.
TRUCK DRIVER: You mean —
RUDD: Well, yes. Make him an accredited insulation installer.