The inimitable Mike Carlton:
Sonic waves from Queen’s We Will Rock You are splitting the very air apart when I find the new senator at his country home somewhere to the north-west of Narrabri.
The noise explodes from the sound system of a 1974 LH Holden Torana repainted in the colours of a Cadbury chocolate wrapper. Jacked up in the overgrown front yard, the car has wheels possibly salvaged from the undercarriage of a 747. Greasy blue jeans and a battered pair of Blundstone boots protrude from beneath it.
After some prompting, Senator-elect Jayson Dropkic, the sole representative of the hitherto little-known We Like Lots Of Loud Noise And Hooning Down The Main Street Chucking Doughnuts On Saturday Night Party emerges and switches off the racket. A beefy man in his late thirties, give or take, his bare upper body is an impressive gallery of tatts; his hair, thinning in front, finishes at the back in the sort of mullet unseen east of the Blue Mountains since about 1980. Puzzled by my appearance, he nonetheless extends an oily paw for a handshake and introductions.
“Congratulations on your win,” I tell him.
“Your win in the election. You’re the newest senator for NSW.”
“Shit, am I ? We weren’t watching the TV on Saturday night.” He grins broadly and turns to holler in the direction of the weatherboard cottage. “Hey Darl,” he yells. “There’s a bloke here from the media sez I’ve won the election.”
Darl joins us, as blonde as it is possible to be.
“This is me partner Shayna,” says the senator. The kids are with her. They are Chablis and Harisyn, Jaxxon and Kyteisha, and the five-year old twins Kahlua and Midori, awkward and shy in the sunshine. We repair to the verandah.
“Get us a drink love?”
Shayna returns with cans of Smirnoff Double Black, ice cold, which she cracks open with a practised wrist.
“And what made you run for election, Jayson?” I ask.
“I bloody well didn’t mate. We were having a few down the Commercial one night …”
Shayna corrects him. “Wasn’t the Commercial, luv. It was the Rissole.”
“Orright, the Rissole. We were all a bit snakes, like, when this bloke I met at the Summernats a few years back asks me do I wanna join his political party and run for Parliament. Fair dinkum, I didn’t give a bugger either way, but I been out of work ever since I lost me job changing tyres at Bob Jane’s last year so I said OK. And he put me in.”
We take another pull at the Double Blacks.
“And now you’re off to Canberra,” I say.
“The Senate. In Canberra.”
“Nah mate. I’m a NSW senator. It’s that joint in Sydney in Macquarie Street, innit?”
After a lot more explanation over a good many more Double Blacks, I take my leave. The senator assures me he will do his best for people and state, supporting the Abbott government when he believes its policies to be in the national interest.
What a splendid thing democracy is. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Senator Dropkic’s first negotiation with those two Liberal Party exquisites in the red chamber, George “Soapy” Brandis and Erica von Abetz
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