Friday, 28 June 2013

Game On, Kevin

I've mentioned before that I plan to launch my own political party in time for the upcoming election (and, incidentally, why do people say 'upcoming', rather than 'coming' - surely the 'up' is redundant?* [* Indicates footnote] ). Now it has become clear that Kevin Rudd is to be my opponent. Galvanised by the political turn of events which led to Rudd's return to the Prime Ministership, I have been working night and day to come up with some core promises. Here are the first in what I hope will be a rolling series of announcements that will capture the hearts and minds of the Australian voting public:

1. There will be only one type of charging cord needed for all technological devices under a government I lead.

2. Motorised leaf blowers will be outlawed. A free Australian-made rake will be provided to every voting Australian

3. Much as I love them, self-serve supermarket checkouts will be outlawed. In fact, supermarkets will be too. They will be replaced by shops like Cullens, which we used to go to when I was a child. It was rather dark inside, there were wooden floorboards and shelves everywhere, even, possibly where there might otherwise have been plate-glass windows letting light in from the street. There was a wide counter running the length of the room. Behind it men in coats like lab coats, except that they were beige, stood waiting to help customers. They would greet my mother and listen while she told them what she needed. Then they would  run up ladders to fetch jars from shelves, measuring out portions from the jars into brown paper bags they deftly twisted into a sealed state.

I realise this change will seem inconvenient at first but my government's central vision will be the rebuilding of an understanding of the importance of farting around, a pursuit advocated in an interview shortly before his death by Kurt Vonnegut. I'm sure when I heard the relevant interview Vonnegut mentioned that queuing at the Post Office and being silently in love with one of the women there for years was part of the process, but perhaps that's just the embroidering of my romantic mind, as this is the only version I can find and that detail is missing:

"I told my wife I'm going out to buy an envelope. 'Oh,' she says. 'Well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet?' And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, I ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, I don't know. The moral of the story is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore."

* coming soon, my party's policy on clarity of language, which might have been a big vote winner against Rudd's predecessor but should be decisive against Rudd himself, given that he is the country's chief waffler, bar none, as evidenced by this:

PS You beauty, my brother's pointed me in the direction of the interview I remembered, complete with unrequited love of US postal worker:

"I work at home and, if I wanted to, I could have a computer right by my bed, and I’d never have to leave it. But I use a typewriter, and afterward I mark up the pages with a pencil. Then I call up this woman named Carol out in Woodstock and say, “Are you still doing typing?” Sure she is, and her husband is trying to track bluebirds out there and not having much luck, and so we chitchat back and forth, and I say, “Okay, I’ll send you the pages.” Then I go down the steps and my wife calls, “Where are you going?” “Well,” I say, “I’m going to buy an envelope.” And she says, “You’re not a poor man. Why don’t you buy a thousand envelopes? They’ll deliver them, and you can put them in the closet.” And I say, “Hush.” So I go to this newsstand across the street where they sell magazines and lottery tickets and stationery. I have to get in line because there are people buying candy and all that sort of thing, and I talk to them. The woman behind the counter has a big jewel between her eyes, and it’s my turn, I ask her if there have been any big winners lately. I get my envelope and seal it up and go to the postal convenience center down the block at the corner of Forty-seventh Street and Second Avenue, where I’m secretly in love with the woman behind the counter. I keep absolutely poker-faced; I never let her know how I feel about her. One time I had my pocket picked in there and got to meet a cop and tell him about it. Anyway, I address the envelope to Carol in Woodstock. I stamp the envelope and mail it in front of the post office, and I go home. And I’ve had a hell of a good time. I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut

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