by Ross Sharp

Imagine …

I am sitting at a table at my local pub, outside, having a quiet beer on a perfectly fine day, minding my own quiet business, idly flipping through the pages of Saturday morning’s Courier-Mail, when I hear a faint hub-bub from behind me, a hub-hub that soon grows into something of a din, when into the pub, trailed by a small fleet of cameras and photographers and a couple minders, and completely unexpected and unannounced, strides Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey on a meet ‘n’ greet soiree with some of the common folk.

He shakes a few hands, clasps a few shoulders, has a chinwag and a chuckle or three, buys a beer – a midi, $4.40 – and then he wanders out to where I am, having a quiet beer on a perfectly fine day and minding my own quiet business, thrusting his hand into my personal space, introducing himself, and then, and then, he … sits down, opposite, and he begins to talk, not to me, but at me.

He talks of budgets and deficits and debts and disasters, he talks most excitedly and terribly, terribly seriously, his every word a portent of doom for future calamity and catastrophe if desperate measures are not taken and taken immediately to halt the country’s imminent collapse into cannibalistic primitivism and anarchy ….

He talks of “heavy lifting” and “sharing the pain”, and that’s when I throw my beer over him, make a Harpo Marx face, flap my hands and belt out a quick chorus of “Hello, Dolly!” before his minders wrestle me about a bit for the benefit of the cameras, someone calls the cops, and I am duly charged with assault with a refreshing alcoholic beverage …


Some time later …

I am confronting my fate at the hand of The Law, and The Law doth ask me if my name is my name and my address is my address, to which I reply in the affirmative, and then I am asked, “Mr. Sharp. Did you throw a glass of beer at the Federal Treasurer, Joe Hockey?”

“Yes, I did”, I say, “Only the beer, though. I kept the glass”.

“Why did you throw beer at Mr. Hockey, Mr. Sharp?”, I am asked.

“Because he’s a dickhead”, I say.

“I beg your pardon?”

“He’s a dickhead.”

“Could you possibly elaborate a little further, Mr. Sharp?”

“I’m having a quiet beer on a perfectly fine day, minding my own quiet business, idly flipping through the pages of Saturday morning’s Courier-Mail, when in waltzes Hockey who, completely uninvited by myself, plonks himself across the table from where I’m sitting and begins to rattle on and on and on at me about budgets and debts and deficits and disasters, all of which is complete and total bullshit, but no matter how many times you try to point out what bullshit it all is, or how hysterically over-the-top it all is, they keep on with it, they keep pressing the point that the entire country’s totally stuffed and will turn into a basket-case of epic proportions unless the government is allowed to screw people who can’t afford to be screwed any more than they’re already being screwed into chalky dust and economic oblivion. Bollocks. Where am I? The Democratic Republic of Congo? Nigeria? Haiti? North Korea? Is this Detroit, Michigan? Is this Baltimore, Maryland? No, it is not. Is it too much to expect a sense of perspective about a thing occasionally? A blue moon would do. But no, every single day, some lumpy-arsed wally is a-hollerin’ and a-howlin’ about some so-called “mess we’re in”, or some new “crisis” or “emergency” that will tip the planet off its axis and send us all hurtling into the sun. About the only damn “crisis” I’m seeing these days involve a bunch of frothing political lunatics whose intellects are so unevolved, whose imaginations are so devoid of anything, anything that might even come close to a coherent idea, a workable policy, that if you took a peek inside their pea-sized brains, all you’d see would be a couple tumbling tumbleweeds and a blowfly, and even the blowfly’s fed up to the back teeth and beside itself trying to get the fuck out. Silly buggers talking bullshit. I’ve had a gutful of silly buggers talking bullshit. My head feels like a scurry of squirrels have taken up residence in my skull. They hurt my head! These people are simply not rational. They say one thing one day, the opposite the next, they’re all over the bloody shop like a mad woman’s shit. It’s bad enough they’re talking all this bullshit on television and radio and newspapers and whatnot, but when one of these silly buggers turns up in my actual life and begins talking bullshit to my actual person, about “heavy lifting“ – What, are we supposed to haul Gina Rinehart’s fat arse across the fucking Nullarbor on top a high-chair? – about “sharing the pain”, then I figure I’m gonna share some of the pain that this silly bugger was inflicting on me, and throw my beer at him, even if only to get him to stop talking bullshit and just piss off. Wouldn’t you?”

“Yes. Yes, Mr. Sharp, I think I would. May I ask you one more question?”


“After throwing your beer at Mr. Hockey, did you make a Harpo Marx face, flap your hands, and sing a chorus of “Hello, Dolly!”?



“The occasion seemed to warrant it.”

“That’s all I need to hear, Mr. Sharp. Thank you very much for your time. Case and charges dismissed.”


Imagine that.

What a Wonderful World.

It Would Be.