Angus Taylor's recent trouble with calculations stems from a lifetime of failure with arithmetic, as Rocky Dabscheck explains.
MINISTER UNDER ATTACK, Angus Taylor, has opened his past to show his life really does add up.
Angus Taylor addresses a roomful of journalists. There is a large, white projection screen behind him.
Taylor: Thank you all for coming today. I have fossicked through the vault of films shot by my father, myself and other members of our family. Fortunately, I have been able to put together several films and I believe my honesty and integrity is there for all to see. Now for snippets of my life.
(Taylor presses a key on his computer, moves to the side of the hall and images appear on the screen.)
(Young Angus is in his grade two class.)
Teacher: Okay, class. I have five bags of apples, each with five apples in the bag, plus one bag with seven mandarins in it. How many pieces of fruit do I have?
(The kids each enthusiastically thrust an arm into the air.)
Teacher: Sally, what’s the answer?
Sally: Enough fruit for my mother to make a great fruit salad.
Teacher: I’m sure she could, but I need a number. Anyone? Roger?
Teacher: Nearly, but not quite. Okay, Angus. How many pieces of fruit?
Angus: 32,419, sir.
Teacher: Gosh, oh golly, Angus. That is way too many.
Angus: No, it’s not. 32,419. And I think it is really bazaar, I mean bizarre, of you to think that isn’t the answer.
(The Taylor family are at their holiday home in the bush. Angus is playing with his new water pistol.)
Angus: Yes, Dad?
Dad: Get on your scooter and ride across to the Andersons’ place. They need some water. I’ve put a gallon container of water on your back basket. Charge them 20 cents. Off you go.
(Angus scoots off to the Andersons'.)
Mr Anderson: Good, you’re here, Angus. The water. Your father said it would be 20 cents.
Angus: No. My father said it would be $80 per gallon.
Mr Anderson: You’ve got to be kidding me. $80 a gallon! Where am I going to find that sort of money? Blast! I really need that water. I’m cactus without it. Give me a minute, I’ll fetch the money.
(Anderson trots off and returns with $80. Angus takes the money, gets the gallon container and places it on the ground next to his scooter and quickly rides off.
Anderson moves to the gallon container, goes to pick it up and notices it is empty.)
Mr Anderson: Hey, Angus! You come back here! There’s nothing in it!
(Angus is seen scooting off for dear life into the distance.)
(A teenage Angus in cricket whites, scoring for his local cricket team. He is adding up their score.)
Angus: 7, 25, 3, 14, 19, 31, 0, 2, 0, 6, 5, plus 8 extras equals 593.
(Angus then reads out the score.)
Angus: Boxer’s Creek Under 16s, 145. Goulburn Under 16s 593. Goulburn Under 16s are the district champions for 1982.
Boxer's Creek Captain: That’s absolute crap. We won!
Angus: No way. My arithmetic is faultless. I will not have my calculations questioned. I’m Angus Taylor and I’m always right. You guys are bizarre.
(We see a mature Angus Taylor on the golf course, in a bunker, sand wedge in hand. Fifteen times, Angus attempts to hit the ball out of the bunker. He eventually picks the ball up and throws it onto the green. Four putts later, he completes the hole.)
Angus (to his golf partner, Peter): What did you get, Peter?
Peter: A one over par five. How about you?
Angus: Four. Right on par.
(At this point, Angus turns his computer off and stands centre room, in front of the journalists.)
Angus: I think that should squash any qualms you may have about my integrity. And to show my gratitude for you all coming today, I have organised a lucky seat prize. All feel under your seat and the one who has the four-leaf clover wins a weekend for two in Sydney, flying first class.
Rocky Dabscheck is a musician/songwriter and front person for Rocky and The Two Bob Millionaires. He is also the author of 'Stoney Broke and the Hi-Spenders'.
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