The ABC news hums in the background on the TV in the waiting room. In between stories of natural disasters, combative reality game shows, and farcical real estate segments, the TV emits a strange electronic whine.
Forty minutes later, the whine intensities into an almighty howl.
“The economy is rebooting!” Announces the prime minister, with his shit-eating grin. “The government budget has been returned to surplus!”
“What are you going to do with all that money?” Asks the gaudily-dressed news presenter.
“We are going to embark on an historic nation-building scheme,” beams the balding politician. The television is now ringing at 80 or 90 decibels. “Australia will be developing low-orbit nuclear weapons, which we will use to deter people from getting on Centrelink!!!!”
The television’s picture begins to warp and distort. Images of the ANZACs marching in a dramatisation of Gallipoli begin to be superimposed over the now-leering and belly-laughing Scott Morrison.
“You heard it here first folks! The Liberal Party’s new fully-lethal deterrent against welfare bludgers is sure to help rebuild our nation’s economy! What everyone wants to know, however, is, what percentage of the fissile material will be mined in Australia???”
I cannot take it anymore. I rush out of the waiting room and into the car park, clutching my throbbing head. I crouch down on the concrete, only to become exposed to the sound of a Mitsubishi Magna’s AM radio buzzing just within earshot:
“Welcome to the midday news! Today’s national headline: are our hard-working pollies compensated enough for their hard work?”