For the Love of God and Money.
Christopher Luxon sat on the damp wooden seat. A fluffy towel around his waist as a trickle of sweat ran down his head and unpleasantly formed into a large drip on his ear lobe. He winced and ran his hand over his head like a windscreen wiper, before dropping his arm and letting the perspiration run down onto the seat next to him. Why the bloody hell had Dave insisted on meeting here?
The door opened and a slim figure in the doorway said “you in there Chris?”
Chris Yes, now close that bloody door you’re letting the heat out.
Dave felt his way through the steamy room and took a seat next to Chris.
Dave So what was it you wanted to talk about Big C? Hope it’s nothing to get steamed up over.
The sound of one man sniggering, like a hyena.
Chris Focus groups say we’ve been pushing the anti Māori thing a bit hard. Before you blame me, it wasn’t that stuff I said at Waitangi, it was people watching that bloody movie. You know, the one about the land march and then starting to think - hang on a second this whole Maori privilege thing is a load of crap. Just quietly, between us, it does seem a bit far fetched to be fair. So we should pull back ok?
Dave Sure. And can’t you have a word with Simon Power about not playing that leftie stuff on TVNZ. Especially on Waitangi day.
Chris I’m so glad you agreed.
Dave Oh no, I didn’t mean us. I thought when you said we you meant your party.
Chris come on Dave there are votes in the middle that we need in order to win, and they’re getting put off by the rhetoric.
Dave I don’t doubt that they are Chris. The issue I have is there are voters on the right, people you consider your voters, who love that stuff. I’d like to make those voters ours. Besides you know we have no limits, we’re libertarians, the party of having the freedom to say, and do, anything you want without consequences.
Chris Well unless they break the law right?
Dave Oh sure then it’s time for the heavy jackboot of the state. Can’t have anarchy, not when it comes to people’s property.
Wayne People can be a bit sensitive about their property I’ve found.
Chris and Dave look at each other as if to say - I didn’t invite him, did you?
Chris & Dave We can’t be seen with you Wayne, we’re not even allowed to mention you.
Chris Apparently there is a risk that “those bloody voters will put two and two together and work out electing wealthy white men who don’t give a shit about anyone except themselves and their rich mates is a bad idea”, or something. Sorry.
Dave Yes - you’re a complaint candidate, you’re not supposed to end up in charge. Great at moaning about everything but with no plans at all to actually fix anything.
Chris You mean like Bishop?
Dave Yep, although without his weird focus on constantly posting about food.
Wayne I’m curious, why have you gents been complaining about these government policies being cancelled, after you demanded they be cancelled in the first place?
Chris Because now I’ll have nothing to complain about, and it makes the government look like it’s listening and responding to people.
Wayne How ghastly, imagine doing that.
Wayne only usually came to the club for a game of tennis or a “bite to eat” with sponsors. When Wayne said “a bite to eat” he actually meant “some good single malt”. Lately however he’d decided that this room was the perfect place to hide away from the media, and the councillors, and the rate payers.
Nicola Good afternoon gentlemen, I thought I’d find you here.
Chris and Dave What are you doing here, this club is only for male members. We checked.
Nicola The old guy out front did put up some resistance. Then I said I’d tell him all about inferior, less qualified, less experienced, males getting promotions ahead of females and after a while he changed his mind. He said to go in quietly and kept muttering under his breath “just stop talking for the love of god and money, just stop talking.”
By coincidence the motto of the private club was “for the love of god and money” but Chris couldn’t remember anyone saying anything about god on the times he’d been here. Among friends he referred to the place as “the gods of loving money”.
The place reminded him of one of his favourite bible phrases “it is easier for a rich man to enter a camel than it is to thread a needle”. He didn’t really understand it but it seemed relevant. His all time favourite, and the one he always said to himself before cabinet meetings, was “do unto others before they do unto you”. He’d picked that up from Judith.
Dave Can’t control your deputy eh Chris, I’d never let mine come to an important boys meeting like this.
There was a hissing noise up in the far corner of the room.
Nicola You guys won’t notice I’m here, you never do. You didn’t even say hello at Waitangi.
Chris & Dave You were there?
Nicola Yes, like the mother of the bride in Muriels’ Wedding I was there unnoticed. It was like being back in school, I’ll show them I thought. I ended up hanging out with the Greens - it was bloody horrible.
Chris I’m so sorry did they make you listen to music with the beat in a funny place and give you some of their brownies? They did that with me and now I can’t listen to Coldplay any more, it just leaves me, well - cold.
Nicola It was worse than that, they kept smiling at me - vile. I even thought Marama was going to hug me at one point. James just stood there weeping and being consoled by the others about him not being tangata whenua. Chloe kept saying “it’s not your fault you’re a straight white man”, meanwhile Ricardo kept saying “it’s all your fault, you’re a straight white man”.
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Chris I went to this town hall meeting in Rangiora yesterday, doing a bit of a roadie. No one mention limos and sausage rolls, I’m not bloody Soymon Brudges. Just giving folks a chance to get to know me.
“Did someone mention sausage rolls?” Came a deep smoky voice from the mist.
Chris You as well Bishop? Is there anyone that’s not in this steam room? You got Colin Craig back there as well?
Silence, just the sound of chewing.
Chris Anyway I was in Rangiora and the bloody meeting was overtaken by nutters?
Nicola You mean racists?
Chris Oh no, no problem with them plus you know - it’s Rangiora so that’s a bit of a given. No, the place was full of conspiracy nuts asking about Pfizer reports, so I left a bit early.
Dave It’s getting to be a bit of a habit Chris, this leaving early and running away. First you ran away from Waitangi, now you’re running away from Rangiora. It’s not a great tactic running away, keep doing that and they’ll say you’re the new Jacinda.
A familiar voice from the back I heard that you arrogant little prick.
Chris and Dave looked at each other - it couldn’t be, could it?
absolutely bloody marvelous - made me laugh out loud...keep 'em coming.
Delightful. I could hear the querulous voices as I read along