Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)
TITLE: The National Australia Party Party
By Helen Murray
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Let me introduce you to some of the characters who live here.
Meet Lonely. He’s a bushman who lives on horseback, scouring the bush for the next source of food for his mobile livestock as they cross from one side of Australia to the other. He’s restless and watchful, and if you go bush with him you’ll work your passage. No passengers here and instructions are only given once! At night, by the campfire, you’ll hear a hundred stories, told with laconic humour and a lopsided grin. He’ll out-lie anybody and you’ll never know whether he’s story-telling or fair dinkum, which are both the same thing!
Take a Captain Cook (a look) at Swagger over there. He’s macho, and has to hold his head up with the big boys, even if he’s drowning. He’s soft at heart, but can’t let anybody see that because they’ll bash him up. It’ll take him years, if he’s fortunate, to discover that he’s viable as he is, and doesn’t have to put on this great show. At some stage he falls down the stairs and has to pick himself up and find a new path home for his broken bones. This is when he learns to like himself as he is, and gets a handle on life, or else falls passionately in love with a bottle.
Here is dear old Academic. He is high on brain power and thinks that is all there is. He eats cynicism for breakfast, analysis for lunch and superiority for dinner, going out in the evenings to his culture club to impress his associates and accumulate like-minded friends. He can be quite philanthropic at times and specializes in defending his opinions at all costs.
Around the corner lives Winner, who owns a very big business and worries constantly about clientele and employees. He has had a few big tumbles, some heavy bruising, plenty of scratches, but they can’t dislodge him from his dream which lives doggedly before him, and towards which he strives with blinkers on. When he’s accomplished it all, he’ll move to the country house for a rest, take off the blinkers and meet his family, only working three days a week.
Over the road is Femme Fatale. She has risen to the top of the corporate ladder while rearing one and a half children who are either also headed for the top or are on drugs because of the absence of a father. They wanted one and she wouldn’t allow it, or he had to wear a dress, which confused them no end.
Behind her lives Sugar, who is bringing up five children by different fathers. One of the boys is violently aggressive and two of them would like to get a trade, but don’t know how. They end up working in various odd jobs until they can get the dole. Sugar won’t go out because she is ashamed of her bruises.
Up the street is Focus, from China, doing brilliantly at University, hoping to become a permanent resident in Australia, enjoying the freedoms that still abound . She will too. In fact she and the Indian man who lives next door will become leaders of the country because they have not fallen for the politics of the National Australia Party Party which dictates that all young people will consider life one big long party, and learn to entertain one another until dawn every weekend. Those who are not entertainers will be ejected from society and forever live among the rejects.
Look! There is Tradie, who runs his own small business and is still married with three children. His son is learning the trade too, although he may prefer to have other strings to his bow as well. His wife keeps the books and is available to attend all the needs of the beautifully cared for children who flourish in his generousity. They surf at the weekends and camp out on school holidays. He plays in a band on Saturday nights sometimes.
Not many of them have much idea what 600 people do with their band in church at the end of the road. If things do get really rough, they might do a little more practical wondering what goes on there. Meanwhile the National Australia Party Party declares the evolutionary proposition that there is no god because you can’t see Him, and that philosophy is convenient for the time being.
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