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Dex Walks Into The Gin Joint.


KH in bureau on phone

No. No. I don’t know. Has Putin put the peace plan together? Who will withdraw where? Oh yeah, who says? We’ll see. When were the last NATO exercises? Oh darling I have to go, in has walked my adorable fiancee, looking glorious as per usual. No he doesn’t have to ever speak. I do that for him. Okay, okay gotta run honey, love you. 

Dahhhhling, how was tennis? Did you work up a manly sweat? I mean not a SEA EAGLES one of course, but a real one.

Looks suitably golden and offers a cheek wordlessly

Doesn’t he look glorious Hil? I mean here is a real man. Committed to the people. Just your average wholesome rural man doing great things without the pomp and circumstance of others, Hil am I right or am I right? I mean a DORIC column just ready for greatness. With a little help of course. That’s me. laughs

Darling are we any closer to finding out what is happening in the North? I was just talking to the Chinese and you know they’ve been in Syria and well despite the telecommunications dealio, I guess the question is 

looks at her wordlessly during this, as if observing a phenomenon he hasn’t quite mastered

A figure glides by in the hall, stops, smiles, and pokes his head in 

Interrupting anything important?

Ergh. Quick. Everyone hide. The Grim Reaper has decided to join us. Obviously got lost on his way to Mass. What’s up Dex? Didn’t find anyone to eat this morning? 

Funny. No it just looked fun in here. grins

Oh we’re all busy with lockdown. You know, following the vaccines and everything. Chinese throw some here, we throw some there. I thought maybe via contract tracing we’d be able to avoid each other. Lucky me. 

Aren’t you in Myanmar, Woman of the Year?

Has anyone got a dart? I’ve found a human board but maybe it wouldn’t penetrate. It would require the softness and compassion of dahhling George here. It would bounce off you. All flinty steel.

Red, maybe you could borrow some.

I’ll be sure to hit up the Chinese or the Australians and Brazilians who sold it to the Chinese…. oh I forget the lines get very fuzzy in the WTO who did what to who. Tell me Dex. Are we all on a social contract because I know how fond you are of those things. How to behave. Marks at school. Vaccines. Are you exporting that to Cuba? Is that one of your democracy projects? 

Looks bemused.

I don’t know what you are talking about. But there are things happening in this big wide world.

Oh I thought you wanted me to be McNamara. To sit wordlessly at your feet, espousing greatness while I attempt to speak to the people that matter. Thats the small people Dex and the rich people. And the important ones. But funnily enough, I’ve had some problems. Care to spill your guts or is that what you want me to do while I pore over some map lines?

Just poring over them would be good.

And that assists the great unwashed how Dex? Just a quick question. I don’t want to worry you as you keep anyone who really needs to know something from knowing something. Like, you know how surveillance is bad in China but not here? Like sort of that. 

If you support the nation state and you do seem to like the military these days god knows

Oh don’t pretend. That faux ‘I am distant from them, my morals preclude me from acknowledging what we know to be true.’ Dex, I knew you were capable of leaping great heights, but really. George have you ever seen anything so morally dextrous? He puts the Dex in that. Utopia but with shades of undocumented activity. 

George looks on wordlessly.

Well, it looks like you have better things to do than be the people’s eyes and ears. I mean, what would it matter? What is it that you do again? I can never remember.

Hil, have you got any knives nearby I want to see if my aim is still in. George, get the wedding invites printed today. I’m ready for a real relationship. Ship being the word of the day.

George, just remember. When you saddle a horse, make sure you look into their eyes. Five eyes here might take you for a ride you’d prefer to forget. 

Ignore him. He was just looking for his personality so he could rent it out to a few thousand democracy projects that he wants me to helm. The door is right there, Dex.

phone rings


Hilda passes phone

Oh, its Rupert.

Hello darling. 

No, I’m in the nosebleed section. Not for long.

Well for reasons Dex wouldn’t understand. It would require human understanding. Beauty. Strength. 

How long?

No problem. I can get there in two weeks. Probably best I go in after. Wander around with EWOK.



Over and out chief. Let you know how I go.

Dex looks on

For someone so committed to independence, you sure love people in power, Red.

I was thinking of having a base named after me. Hanging out with VIP’s. How are you on that score Dex?Because contact tracing would have me on my own and you…..that’s right. Where?

Looks like I have time for work. Anyone else or will we just invest the cash?

thunderous look

Dex, goodbye. Make sure you eat so the Christians survive. 

Well Elsa, let’s see how we both go. I wouldn’t want you to forget the suffering of Yemen. From the comfort of that screen.

Which designer house do you live in? I want to make sure I find out just so I can see whether you have cameras for Muslims in occupied territories. Or is that not something you’re into these days?

Bye Else. Always a pleasure. Bye George, hang tight. Keep the reins loose. She can get mouthy. 

thunders OUT DEX! Now!


starts singing from Kylie Minogue King Or Queen

You stand around the edge

Looking tip top, but you forget

That when I look at you

Baby, I see so much more

You could do

She stands with hands on hips

Really George, he is insufferable. 

He looks on wordlessly, little collie look, head askance.

Yes, he sure is interesting. 



And here we are

got my snorkle

my thermal beanie 


got my scottish flag


Just something subtle during these important times 

my thermos 

my sat phone isn’t water proof

Let me see

touches buttons 

I put contact on it but something isn’t right

hello hello hello are you the Americans 

oh he sounds japanese to me 

konichi wah rainbow roll without the mayo

what he is sayin’ 

somethin’ about those bloody exercises 

one more maritime exercise and I’ll pull a muscle 

can you tell AUSTAL I want the trickle down money

that’s right 

just put it in the front compartment, next to the lifejacket

it’s fluro pink

Marise will pick it up in a brown paper bag

She’ll be incognito

Wearing rhinestone and purple glasses that Barry gave her

Not Kosky the other one 

Oh der


oh that’s just a way of avoiding the relatives 

Shit he is coming through




Winston Surfshirt, you don’t know them 


Oh I don’t know I can only hear a chopper engine 

Darling what colour do you want the kitchen? 

I told you it is camouflage. I had my energy done and I am an echidna spirit. They’ll never know. 

I don’t think slate grey will do for me I am afraid. 

What does SCOMO think? 

The three bears? 

Um I think it means they are really hot and can defend the empire

Oh look, some hot chicks too. Can they be Goldilocks? 

I can’t spell moral. I’m dyslexic. 

Everything I learnt, I learnt from some very important people so I am sorry, I can’t complain really. 

But darling, if the tents are going AWOL in Afghanistan, where will we put the pools? 

Can you have pools in FIJI?

Why not? We’d love a rugby match, we can watch it on the big screen.

Oh. we’ve been working. We’ve decided to run a Russell Dairy Times day every year. Well we sit around the rocks in our flippers and read the defence white paper. Every time you hear the word ‘capability’ ‘strategic’ ‘rules based order’ ‘threats’ ‘maritime theatre’ and a few other hundred inspiring choice terms, you gotta scull Oban! You’d love it Brangus. I can’t wait for you to join us.

No it is really hard. You have to pick the final figure for the French sub outlay. To the coin! No-one is gunna get it. Oh you’ll love it. 

Um yeah I saw. Looked like a firecracker night round a winter bonfire but whatever wets your tent.

Bruce? Oh he’s being Bruce. I’m working on stealth capability. You know how subtle I am. All periscope and burnished steel.

Oh darling I didn’t mean it. I was just trying to make you more resilient. I just don’t want you to be less than you are. You in all that khaki glory. With a flourish of red for effect.


Who could resist it? I’d burst a pipe just looking at you but I know how well you’ve laid them. 

I heard the locals still have a dodgy line. That doesn’t sound like you my love. I’ll be over in a jiffy to drink love potions with the locals. We’ll fix it in no time.

Ways and means Kel, ways and means. 

Listen, what about a board game? Hydrogen hubs crossed with gas pipelines crossed with energy basins, a little windfarm and you gotta find your way out with your clothes still on.

Oh darling laughs you are such a prude. We need to reconnect I don’t want Canbra to take away that tantric je ne sais quoi. Come here. You’ll be up in a jiffy. 


(on computer, swimming goggles, talking to Yak Yak)

Yeah I got ‘em on. Sort of like infra red. Can you see anything? 

What about a goat? 

Can I laser my veins at the same time?

What if I press this button?

Has this got a Flucrum 3D Sonic Detection and Ranging System?

Why not? I can’t see the pipelines. I need real time flows. 

Oh yeah I heard that.

Oh but what about Bhutan 

Oh yeah? 

You’re kiddin’?

And what about the lines in Ladakh?

Nah dunno. Haven’t got there yet. 

OMG who is going to pony up the money for Imran?

I know he is available

sound of phone

Shit quick! It is AC! Everyone, assume positions!

(Ewok, Yogi and Yowie, huddled around computer, hide under bed) 

Hello my liddle darlin’!



Oh no, I was just daydreamin’ about you!

Oh that must be soooo exhausting.

Oh really. Who polished your boots this morning? You know no-one can do it quite like me! 

Did they use the lanolin or pigs fat?

If I was closer darlin’, I would. But that tropical heat, well, I could only do it if it was illegit. Gladys has us bunkered down so we can finish our tax. 

Yeah, a real fox that one. 

I have no idea what you are talking about.

Um well… I am. I am. I just…um, you know me. Just sittin’ quietly no doin’ anythin’. Dreamin’ of you.

Do you need help inflating the dinghy? I have the pump in the garage, I’ll get it out in a sec.

Lucky those boys are so strong. How do they do it. Must be all those push ups.

Have you grounded me because I was only going to say a few nice words to the Yankee boys. 

That’s an imputation I can’t agree with I am afraid. You can leave that to your morning briefing.

Arrowroot? Jesus. Exactly. Precisely. 

Smell something? No. Nothing going on here. 

(rolls her eyes toward the bed, EWOK and co smoking joint)

Have the Americans given’ you new technology have they? Can they smell things via the telephone?

I better take my smart watch off. They’ll know when I’ve smuggled a Tim Tam into Yak Yak.

computer starts beeping

What? No. It’s not Yak Yak.

(bangs computer hard, to try and turn it off)

No. No. He is not trying to help me cheat. 

Yak Yak comes off and on briefly

I have no idea. 

Yak Yak talks, screen blinks, hits it again

Um well, I have worked that out. I am just deliberatin’. 

You always say good things take time.

Well if you ask me, um well, our side played extremely well under difficult conditions, we did the best we could after some changes to our training and our forwards were exceptional in attack and at the end of the day, it is the players on the field you remember… nothing was left to chance, and shit yeah, they’ll get player of the match.  Might need a mouth guard though if you’re giving lip. laughs I’ve always said that about beauticians when you’re getting waxed. Keep your mouth shut.

Gina? Her hoochie? God no, Ewok would never smuggle it in contraband for us all to enjoy. We’re too disciplined. Engaged. waves smoke, glares at co under bed. they smile.

Oh the closest he got to being a rockstar was a gastric band. So he is in no position to judge.

The clocks in his house run on daylight savings just to avoid him. Can you imagine being on the same time zone? It would be like the shadow of doom. 

‘Agnes, Agnes, what about the human rights.’ He makes the grim reaper look like Bert Newton. 

PJ is helpin’ me. We’re gettin’ ready for Canbra. 


Oh darlin’, it rhymes with Homer. Never forget that. I’m gettin’ it with diamantes on the jacket so they know who owns it.

Over and out snugglepot. 

Reverse Cannibalism

Cow phone on back 

Hello hello 

Hello dahling 

OMG no 

And then what 


Oh you are busy 

Ooh forget about it 

How are the dissolvable bullets goin’? 

OMG you are busy 

Yeah I saw 

Yeah I saw 

Unbelievable. And what did she say? 

OMG. Really. 

Oh darlin’ it is hard for me here. I do not know if I can wait my darlin’. Do you think you could lift that ankle cuff just a little bit? 


OMG don’t do it 

It is too much oh darlin’ ooh I don’ think I can wait when I get me hands on that 

What? What situation? 

I don’ no what you are talking’ about. 

Who said. 

Oh yeah. That’s old news. 

I wear all my dresses. How many lasers do you use? 

Oh you’re kiddin’ 

Talk to Austin, I haven’t got time. I have to plan my sleep walking. 

Quick I got Yak Yak on the phone one minute 

Oh hi Yak Yak 

No. You roll them in coconut after you put them in blender. 

How many times have I told you. Sighs. Really. 

Um well, I had three Tim tams before dinner. And two butternut cookies after. 

Yeah well can you get a NAVY seal out of latex in under 15 seconds? 

I put it in the manual. 


Yeah no that sounds really interesting but I got CIC on the phone and he needs my wise counsel 

We’re goin’ to Balmoral with Charlie. 

Sure you did. 

Sure you did. 

Yep sounds fascinating gotta run bye 

Sorry it was Yak Yak 

Oh I dunno some legend thing he won a medal for 

I’d play strategic chess with him but he’d win. Can you cheat? 

Go on. That’s a good idea. 

He’ll eat me if he doesn’t get a good feed soon. 

It must be how they win. The locals avoid them in case they get eaten. Reverse cannibalism. 

Oh shit it’s PP wait a sec 

Yeah PP 

Yeah right 


What do you want? 


It’s not the same thing. 

No it’s not. 

What? I saved you first! 

I did too so. 

Um well. Yeah no I liked that. 

No that was awesome. 

OMG that was so good. 

Oh shit that was funny. Ha! 

Um yeah but 

Um well 

I’m fantastic. I win so there. 

I don’t know, go bury the gold or something. 

Your sapphire has been polished enough. I’ve got sore wrists! I won’t be able to take out Ewok in 50 years when we both calm down. 

I gotta talk to CIC. He and Joe and I got plans baby. 

Don’t start. Tell Yak Yak to put in the computer how many days I bin here, how many times I could have been naked, how many ponds and creek beds there are, how many times you lot sit on your arse. Divide it by boring articles, times it by cumulative lack of Dutch courage and then formulate a hypothesis that I can live with. 

Well I can’t help you with that darling. The whole world is watching. Bye bye 

Oh just Prince Valiant. Anyway darling I have to go. 

Yes. Please get some fresh air in that tent. You know how I hate it when I can hear the whirr of polyester on your fatigues. It’s like a French erotic movie without subtitles. 

I will. 

I am taking it seriously! 

Don’t listen to him. He’s jealous. I’ll crumble a butternut in his direction. 

Ok dahlin’ 

I love you sweetie pie!!! 

I would but you got too many exercises to plan. It really can take time! I want you to save your energy. Think of yourself as a solar panel. On my roof. 

Morning Sunshine,

Darling, I was wondering if you could open that little sweet mouth of yours to talk about anything that might matter. Like say, Myanmar. 

Oh darling heart, I think I did and then you stuffed it up. Helm requires consistency. Isn’t that what you are about? All those yak balls putting energy up into that dynamic little mozak.

We were sort of counting on on you. 

Why? I am busy reading about your incredible largesse. My, that must some golden bagpipe we’re carting around.  Or is that a fleece. All these legends have me wondering how you will feed the people. 

We are in the middle of 

Oh darling, how did I ever guess? It must be terrible to be amongst all that importance and power. I know, why don’t you offer a few breadcrumbs to the ladies. I was thinking I’d like to bag 2 percent of the largesse. As in, bag and pipe. Mine. 


It is only fair darling! All those weapons and all that integration. BTW I’m to helm and support while I denounce the military junta that has a woman who was under house arrest but I on the other hand 

Get over it. 

Oh I was just being logical. Coherent. Dots and stuff. Foster the people.  

The nature of strength 

Oh lord! Don’t tell me. I’m about to get a lesson on warfare and resilience. Please don’t. I was so enjoying the day. 

Not everyone 

Oh for fuckssake. How’s the VEEP going? Are there new policy gems or am I to believe that this is it? 

Honeybee, if you advocate certain things

Anyway. What are you doing? Is any of this going to trickle down or is Truman here going to watch you piss this up the 

Funnily enough, we plan. 

Goodness me. Any original thoughts as in Original Thoughts or you going to rip off US seeding? The chicks and I were thinking of having this amazing original idea in the bathroom and boom! Become billionaires overnight. You’d love it. Like as in, an AFR piece. 

‘We’re just clean cut little girls with amazing ideas that wow, then get funded and wow, we just become billionaires’. Maybe they should go into nursing. I was thinking I house in Point Piper. Whaddya think? 

Kat, you are so pleasant. Especially in the morning. 

Honeybee, that’s because I wake up thinking ‘Gosh, should I watch the planes or fly the planes.’

Darling, that would involve application. As in intelligent application. 

Oh my little Empirical Golden Boy could you use that intelligent application to discuss Lyme’s or should I amuse myself with immune protocol? Knowing how much you like protocol. 

And you’d know that because you spend so much time with the human race. Just poring over their experience like a little caring nurturing 

Oh darling you know me so well. You really have tried but the thing is I am still wondering you know, ah, why is it that when important people speak it is important and when unimportant people

But darling! You are so special and very important. It is just that if you weigh in on important issues it is probably to front up and talk the talk baby heart 

Oh FuzzyWuzzy, quick question how is that possible if you are fighting the very same surveillance that you call out other large countries for and assume that it is a level playing field? Sweetie pie.

Well my considered angel, if you are going to say you’ll fight for the little people honeybee, you have to fight for them. Like as in, imagine you are in a large country and alone. 

Oh precious heart, the problem being that I am in control so how do I do control and work out how the flying fuck you managed

Ah Ah temper temper

To roll back democratic reforms? Do you not think that when I say them. I mean, like as in ‘this is what I said and you said I could have everything, like women in power and stuff’ Wild concept, baby. Wild. 

Oh possum, bless your little socks. But knowing as you do that the international template is in a constant state of flux and currently if you had paid attention 

Oh and being your current Everywoman, should I read the bastard tea leaves or listen in to some important conversations to find out

Darling, we’ve so enjoyed the blonde act but it is getting a little thin and how about you instead focus on where the pins are lying on the maps 

Oh that would be so informative. Should I bring my textas? Some stick it notes? 

How about a personality? Depending on which one you decide on while dressing 

Ha. Imagine having one. Don’t. It will hurt that pretty head. I’ve got one better. How about I sit in on the meetings, trundle some khaki with information and then make the decision? Facts do help with accurate planning. 

Ah isn’t that amazing. Actually in a democracy, we have all the facts at your fingertips. You can actually read. And then, work it out. 

Oh, that sounds so…….empowered. But I mean, in real life! Like, bless, here are the dots. Here. Make the decision. 

Darling, we have Marise for that and well, I’m not sure the attention span runs that far. A meeting could last, gosh, longer than a trip to the shops. 

Oh possum. I really do understand how people are drawn to your unreconstructed brilliance. It is so vaguely reassuring, however in the world of neon leather and skin tight strategy, I can’t say it will stay turned on. And you know how I need to do it for the kids.

Yes, a real rated G number. That’s my protected plucked from obscurity given the world little princess 

Oh it really has been hard for some in this country hasn’t it. Just oppressed men riding the streets. Bagging the gold and throwing around new energy policy like some altar boy on the lam 

You know. Big girls try. 

Oh I feel so…. morally fortified. I feel that indeed, I might be able to run the joint. 

Never too late to start. 12 years, why stop now? 

I really am so glad I came home. The skills I’ve picked up during this whole process. ‘Intuit complex geographical arrangements and apply’ I was thinking more, own a mine. Run a company. Talk to Gina. Swan about on world stage. 

And would you glide darling heart or dive into a puddle just to make sure your feathers had something to feed off 

The latter. Sort of like a gas plant or a platform out to sea. A wind turbine. Or an energy hub. We are Progress 101. 


Policy Princess, stick to amusing. It requires very little substance. 

Snuggle muffin, then sticking to you would be all I need to do. Daaaaarling heaaaart. By the way, have you thought about modelling for Braveheart? The Streets Lion has a paddle pop opening.

I’d drip over you but you wouldn’t get it. 

Don’t excite me. 

walks out 

Aunty As Atticus: and Scout.



Why do we die in custody? 

Oh because some people think everyone should live and be like them. And that’s a bad idea. 

How do you stop it? 

Oh you don’t arrest people for minor things or put them in a position where they have drunk alot and then lock them up. Depression hits after alcohol. Don’t ever make a decision oh never mind. 

Why do they get arrested? 

Well I don’t know. But rules can be arbitrary. Generally it should be last resort. You’re lucky you aren’t in the US.


They kill people in jail. Don’t ask. You don’t want to know. 

But why? 

Oh Jesus. Um, well because it is a bad idea. And if you are poor and black or white trash, you might have more of a chance of being locked up. And then, gonski. No kidding. For real.

Are you a progressive? 

In some things. 

Do you like black people more than white people? 

No. I like people to be equal. 

Except you. 

Oh that’s the reward for a big heart. My sister had a bigger heart. You get more responsibility. 

Is that true? 

We would like it to be true. It should be true. Generally, it is true. I think. 

Can you love everyone? 

Yes. You can. 

Will the death penalty be forever? 

Not if I am in charge. 

Can it change? 

There are changes. Young people come in. Ocasio that girl.. You know. 

If people die in custody, why doesn’t it stop? 

I am not sure. Alcohol. Depression. I don’t know. I am not with them darling. 

Why not?

Because I am a white person up my own arsehole with self importance. 

(looks concerned) 

Sorry. I mean… because I chose something else. Bigger. 



Nothing what? 


Do you think we need a treaty? 

Oh darling. I think that is for you to determine. sighs But yes. To not recognise you is… mean. It is mean. It is changing. People like you are changing it. 

Will it be forever? 

laughs Yes. Forever. Yes. Although some African independence movements


Nothing. Let’s get a slice of gluten free nut cake shall we? Sure to whet the appetite. I really desire a gluten free nut cake. Just salivating thinking about it. 


You can’t seriously want to Olive Cotton me 

Now we didn’t say that 

I have faith in Mikey’s ability to protect us from anything malign. He is a great Australian! He is able to see the broad brushwork, the sweep, the canvas of life that requires only the very best from our typists 

Ease up

Little squirrels bunkering down to out squirrel the other little squirrels 

I said, ease up 

The pattern, the intricacies of the embroidered policy woven through a Canberra suburb like galahs nestling down to peck on the green slanted foliage of the orange blossom squaaak squaaak sqwuaak


Darwin! Ballarat! Bendigo! Squaaak Squaak Squaakkk. Oh but darling, it is all about timing! I mean, let’s cancel a Belt and Road initiative when the coin has already hit the pocket, dangling like a little friend inside the investment trust, anyone care for a REIT?  

Helm. Helm. 

Care for a REIT? I mean this is great stuff! Where did he get it from? Where do these little nuggets rush forth? Sitting in a restaurant, little wattle icecream with a Viongier? 

You don’t have wattle icecream with 

reaching forward touching his hair

This is the stuff of legends! Coal, hydrogen and complete protection from all malign electronic activity care of the information age care of the Tofflers care of the cables care of the satellites care of the incredibly sophisticated over the horizon, over the Katharine, over the patrol boat, over the Cocos, over the 

We got it 

Now this my darling, is our Australia. You see, Mikey just makes me feel warm and cozy at night. A little crocheted patchwork of informational cyber garrisons. All fortifying the nation with upright cause and beautiful behaviour. 

You know I think you’d be wonderful at Defence PR

I won’t need a Max, I won’t need a beach


Cotton me.


Julian! Julian! Help me! Quick! 

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