Congratulations to those who campaigned for a hasty rollout of vaccinations - epidemiologists, health workers, some politicians - in the face of the Federal Government's poor initial strategy. The former Premier Gladys Berejiklian always seemed to be a disciplined person, keeping her emotions in check - clenched teeth, tight cheeks, turning away from prying questions at the regular daily media conference - but one SSOA emerging writer Matt Jackson has allowed his imagination to run riot in this comic sketch of some of the main players in decision-making ...
Dan, Gladys and Scott walk into a bar.
The place goes silent as they enter. People named Annastacia and Mark, and all the rest nobody really knows, watch on.
The bartender puts his dish rag aside as the three newcomers approach. ‘What can I do for you?’ he asks.
‘That’s a good question,’ says Scott.
The bartender waits expectantly.
Scott waits back.
‘All I’m saying,’ says Dan, picking up on a conversation nobody else is party to, ‘is that nobody else can be served until we are.’
‘What would you like then?’ the bartender asks.
‘All of it thanks,’ says Dan. ‘Sorry, I forgot my card. Put it on the tab?’
‘Oh, for f...s sake!’ screams Gladys. She takes a white-knuckled grip on the counter. ‘Give us shots. We all need to get some shots into us!’
‘That – is – ridiculous,’ says Dan.
‘Go get ... ,’ responds Gladys.
The bartender glances warily between the arguing duo. ‘I’m not sure if I can serve you,’ he says.
‘Shots!’ repeats Gladys, slamming her fists down. ‘You need to get some shots into us! Into all of us!’
‘Shots!’ Scott suddenly interjects.
‘Just shots!’ Dan agrees, apparently changing his mind.
‘But ... ok ... fine!’ the bartender splutters. ‘I can do that.’
‘Oi!’ Mark and Annastacia and the rest yell in unison. ‘You told us just before that you couldn’t serve any shots. What’s that, eh?’
Gladys picks up one of the stools and smashes it into Dan’s legs, cutting him down at the knees. ‘Shots now!’ she screams.
The bartender hurriedly assembles the tiny containers, pouring so rapidly that most of the liquid in the bottle he chooses spills over the counter as he tries catching up. ‘Alright, alright!’
Gladys snatches the first of the shots from the counter. She downs the contents, then stops. A broad smile spreads over her face. Amid the chaos and bedlam, she appears as proud as punch.
ONLY TIME WILL TELL
Copyright: text Matt Jackson; photos Wix.
This SSOA blog showcasing the work of emerging writers is made possible as a result of accommodation assistance from the City of Sydney.