After weeks of tough negotiating and heart-wrenching self-examination, I am delighted to announce that I am embarking on a transition to carve out a progressive new role for myself. How has this come about? Well, regular readers of this column would have noticed that I have long been in search of a new career. I have never thought that my three conditions were particularly onerous: a high salary, virtually no work and a social standing that would get me invited to the polo at Portsea and to appear on Q&A. But despite undergoing a search as long as the voyage of Ulysses, I was spectacularly unsuccessful; consulting firms, arms dealers and casinos have not exactly been beating a path to my door. I examined virtually every form of useless endeavour, from arts festival administrator to international human rights expert, but nothing materialised. This filled me with such despair and disappointment that I have been having a hard look at myself to see if I could become a better prospect for employment and a more attractive member of high society. And I have succeeded. In fact, I would not be surprised if, at the end of this year, I were invited to attend the polo at Portsea with Julie Bishop, and I have already made inquiries about where you buy those matching knee-length shorts that she and her partner are always wearing in photographs of that inclusive and diversified event.This is how my new progressive role will look.
First, I will drop my hopelessly antiquated titles like Queen’s Counsel and the Centenary Medal and just become the plain Duke of Moonee Ponds, with no frills attached. I am therefore taking a step back from the pomp and ceremony of the past, so that I can mix with the common people. This will enable me to spend more time on becoming progressive, while I divide my time between Moonee Ponds, Balmain and Kangaroo Island where I will be able to keep an eye on the preservation of what is left of the koalas, one of the many billions of species that were decimated by bushfires caused by Scott Morrison. And, as my friend Greta has suggested, I will definitely be going to Balmain by train and Kangaroo Island by ship. If they want me to have expensive security, they should look on the bright side: the cost of security will be a drop in the bucket compared with the financial benefits I will generate, as quite a bit of it will go to charity and other good causes.
Secondly, an important part of my progressive new role is that I will become financially independent. First step was to register a trademark for Brown Royal because if I didn’t, every man and his dog would be muscling in on my territory and trying to copy my brand with cheap knock-offs made in China. So the Brown Royal trademark I have registered will cover a whole host of goods and services where I hope to make a modest living. Nothing too brash, mind you. Here are a few that I have covered under the trademark. First there are diaries and calendars, which should be great with photos of the family around the Christmas tree with the dogs, although I am not going to trade on my family, of course. Then we have lots of clothing items like t-shirts and socks and, one that should go down well with the Republican movement, bandanas. My new bandanna consultant, Peter, is going to give me a heads-up on the colours available (red seems popular) and has sent me a copy of his book, Bandannas for Dummies. Then I have included health and wellness training, emotional support groups, counselling and companionship services. That should keep me busy for a while and, again, I should be able to draw on the family experience for my focus groups. Next, there is marketing and promotion, as I intend to do a lot of that, tastefully of course and only for good causes and if my upfront speaking fees (which are miniscule in the overall scheme of things) are paid. Actually, I am talking with Hillary and Bill about fees today.
Of course, I would not say ‘no’ to a book deal and a few movies, tasteful ones of course and provided they are not of the ‘tell all’ genre; I could tell most, but not all, and then only to educate the public about my challenging journey and the raw emotional issues it has raised. Barnaby and Vikki have been a great help there. And Greta has jumped in again and suggested a movie about how the koalas and the potoroos and many billions of other species have been murdered by Scott Morrison. How dare he!
Thirdly, there is of course, the so-called media. The momentous change I have announced today will, hopefully, bring to an end the disgraceful way in which I have been hounded and pilloried by them, especially the paparazzi. I guess the intrusion will drop off now and I am certainly not doing anything to attract attention. That should get rid of most of these parasites; the photo opportunity fees (which will go to a charity after administrative expenses) should deter the rest. In any case, I want to talk with Julie at the polo about how to avoid the media.
Finally, I hope to spend some time in Canada with that nice Justin Trudeau who has made some very welcoming noises and has already grown a beard. So I think it should be one progressive welcoming another. He has also promised never to do blackface again and I would never dream of doing it. In fact, Greta has suggested that, all in all, if I play my cards right, I could be in the running for Time’s Person of the Year (although she has asked me to steer clear of the Nobel Prize).
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