The Fifth of November

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


The Fifth of November - To my good friend Tess Tickle, who loves to contradict all my lame political discourse.

It’s grey outside; the gumtrees are swaying gently in the cool breeze. Tom Tom, my big cat, is next to me on the couch. Asleep. The little puss is outside somewhere, collecting sharp seeds and other annoying material in her fur. It gets into everything and my clothes are becoming torture to wear. When it warms up again I’ll just walk around in my undies, but I’ll have to wait until my front yard is no longer occupied. Yes, the council are still out there, observing my indolence, and the last time they were around here they sent the local filth over to harass me and accuse me of being a squatter, so I don’t want to be accused of indecent exposure. When I first moved in here and it was forty degrees Celsius I dispensed with clothing altogether, but one afternoon, whilst watering the garden, mad Nell turned up on her mobility scooter to catch a glimpse of my skinny arse. How embarrassing!

What a week! Tuesday was Melbourne Cup Day, which was run without spectators and which I ignored. Then there was the US Presidential Election the day after and today is Guy Fawkes day. It is as hard to pick the result of a US Presidential Election as it is a Melbourne Cup winner. You might as well pull a name out of a hat. Another horse was euthanised this year, which is the sixth consecutive year this has occurred, and while I am not cynical enough to suggest that one should be able to place a bet on the doomed horse next year, you’d have a better chance than betting on a Presidential Election. Besides, I’ve never heard of anyone taking a horse race result to the High Court; not even when it’s a dead-heat. Thank goodness we have compulsory voting and the AEC (Australian Electoral Commission).

When was the last time a defeated Australian Prime Minister threatened to take the result to the High Court? Yes, our electoral systems are totally different and basically beyond comparison, like baseball and cricket, both of which involve a bat and a ball, but are in no way the same. (Cricket is obviously superior, if only for the fact that there are fielding positions called Silly Mid On and Silly Mid Off, not to mention Third Man, Square Leg and Gully.) The question today is whether President Trump will metaphorically take his bat and ball home and refuse to accept the Umpire’s decision, and as we say down here, will spit the dummy, which is what we call a pacifier. Will he suggest to his supporters that they set fire to the Capitol and suspend democracy altogether? Blame Hilary Clinton – that always seems to work.

“To live through a revolution is a delirious experience. It is a little frightening, but it’s also exhilarating, to see authority flouted and then routed.”¹ Maybe we’ll witness another Gun Powder Plot, in which if Trump loses the election his supporters will attempt to blow up any political opposition. However, Guy Fawkes was caught red-handed and was tried and hanged on the 31st of January 1606.

“At least he hasn’t started any wars, Craig,” my friend Tess Tickle tells me on the phone, referring to President Trump. “Not for want of trying,” I reply. “He wanted to nuke North Korea and declare war on Iran.” But we’ve been here before. After scraping into office in 2000, Bush Jnr. inveigled the coalition of the willing, Bush, Blair and Howard, to invade Iraq in 2003. The threesome were all easily re-elected to the beat of the war drums, which is why I, as a mere Australian (yes, a descendent of convicts), maintain an interest and strong opinion about what happens on the other side of the world. During my lifetime Australia has been dragged through the quagmires of Vietnam and Iraq, with the loss of the lives of our citizens for no obvious rationale. Australia remains a slave to US foreign policy for rather convoluted and complicated reasons I can’t be bothered mentioning here, but let’s just say it’s due to racism and insecurity: Beware the Yellow Peril!

I’m sure everything will settle down, eventually. There will be more horse races, elections, ball games and attempted assassinations. You either win, lose or end up on the end of a rope, and as the great band Penetration sang, “Life’s a Gamble!”² However, I only bet on certainties.

¹ French Revolution 1968, McConville and Seale, William Heinemann Ltd. 1968, p.94 ² Chambers & Murray, Virgin Records, 1978.


Submitted: November 05, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Craig Davison. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Mike S.

I'm embarrassed for America, but then I've felt that way since Jan., 2017. We live in a mess of a country

Thu, November 5th, 2020 6:12pm

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I blame the lies spread on the internet. Trump has diminished the nation's standing. Very sad.

Thu, November 5th, 2020 12:43pm

JE Falcon

Sad, very sad.

Fri, November 6th, 2020 12:48am

Author
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Things is looking up. He's gone!

Mon, November 9th, 2020 4:05pm

Peter Piper

Hi Craig you’ve obviously got a flair for politics with an attitude like yours I’m surprised you haven’t run for office. However, I get the impression your assessment of the US election owed more to your friend Tess Tickles than social media. But you certainly know your cricket so it’s not all bad. Have to say I was reminded of the story of the bloke who went to his doctor complaining of hearing voices from his underpants; don’t worry mate says the doctor their talking Tess Tickles. My only question is did you back Twilight Payment or did you follow the market and loose it all on Surprise Baby? Best wishes from a “whingeing pom” Peter.

Sun, November 8th, 2020 2:46pm

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Reply

I only bet on love and always lose, but then it's probably political in small town Australia.

Mon, November 9th, 2020 4:03pm

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