Andrew Gunn: Sputtering ‘Spirit of Trans-Tasman Friendship’ mothballed

Satire: The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has this week had the Spirit of Trans-Tasman Friendship put back in the garage for another year, after taking it out for its annual Anzac Day spin.

Pausing to buff the Spirit of Trans-Tasman Friendship before consigning it to another eleven and a half months of irrelevancy, Mr Turnbull invited onlookers to “put your head down there and look along those sleek lines”.

“See that? Aussies and Kiwis, the closest of bonds, a camaraderie forged in the crucible of conflict, a special mateship – isn’t she an absolute classic?” enthused Mr Turnbull, before turning the garage lights out, rolling across a steel door and enshrouding the 102-year-old Spirit in darkness until the Australian Government wheels it out for display again in April 2018.

Although Mr Turnbull highly values the Spirit of Trans-Tasman Friendship and speaks of it glowingly and often, usually in its absence, his daily runabout of choice is a late-model V8 Folden Ockeroo, which he prizes for its ability to “deal to” anything un-Australian.

“Check out those bars on the front”, Mr Turnbull cooed as he slid into the Ockeroo’s crocodile-skin bench seat. “Now you just imagine an unsuspecting Kiwi, it’s just been king-hit by a massive hike in its uni fees, it’s staggering round all over the show and it wanders out in front.”

“All of a sudden – BANG! We hit it, but no worries, it’s going to bounce off those faster than a P-addled possum up a gumtree, with no damage at all. Well, not to us anyway.”

“And see these big knobbly tyres and heavy-duty suspension? You get Mum and Dad Kiwi, they’ve been living hereabouts for years, keeping their heads down, working, paying taxes and generally contributing to society, but what’s this – now they’re right in front of you, sticking their hands up for a bit of help from the state!”

“Ker-ThumpKer! With this baby you can run right over their reasonable expectations and up here in the cabin you won’t feel a thing. What a bloody beaut!”

Pressed for comment on how infrequently the Spirit of Trans-Tasman Friendship appears in public at a government level, Mr Turnbull told reporters that he “might get it out again and kick the tyres when that rooster Brownlee turns up”, before reminding them that in any event “It appears a bloody lot more often than our Humane Policy on Refugees, I can tell you that.”

“That one hasn’t seen the light of day for years. Actually I’d very much doubt if it still goes. As I recall we put it up on blocks and used the money to buy a boat.”

“A patrol boat obviously, with plenty of grappling hooks.”

As at press time the Spirit of Trans-Tasman Friendship is again sitting silently in the dark at the back of the garage beside a dusty old cabinet, empty since last century, that continues to be reserved for the Rugby World Cup.

[Read the Stuff article].

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