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Rocky Dabscheck recently interviewed Margaret Abbott and, inadvertently, left his recording device at the Abbotts home. When he retrieved it two days later, he discovered this conversation.

MARGIE: Tony, do you mind emptying the washing machine and hanging the washing on the line.

TONY: Actually, I do. Not doing it.

MARGIE: What! You’re not doing it! May I ask why?

TONY: I’ve decided I need to concentrate on my ex-prime minister duties. Putting our washing on the line does not fall into those duties.

MARGIE: Oh. It doesn’t, does it? Well, tell me; How does my having your dinner ready on the table at six, every night you are home fit into ex-prime minister duties?

TONY: Don’t be so short sighted woman. People need consistency from their political leaders. Knowing I always have my dinner at six when I am home is an important civic duty I perform, which benefits many of our fellow Australians.

MARGIE: How about unblocking the drainage in the back yard?

TONY: Can’t do! ex-prime ministers can’t look too pre occupied with their own back yard.

MARGIE: Well, how does you going on a five day bike ride fit in? To me, it looks a bit self-indulgent.

TONY: Open your eyes, woman! Obviously, it fits into ex-prime minister duties. Think of the mature conversation I have with the populace as I stop at towns along the way.

MARGIE: I hope we don’t pay for your accommodation, sustenance, lycras and bicycle on these trips. We, meaning our joint bank account.

TONY: Ah, don’t be silly. As if we would. Fits into ex-prime minister duties, so I bill the taxpayers.

MARGIE: And may I ask when your next extended bike ride will be?

TONY: Thursday week, and I’ll be away for ten days.

MARGIE: Oh, will you? And where are you off to this time?

TONY: I’ll be riding to a few outback Indigenous communities, to tell them to get off their arses, do something useful and stop expecting the taxpayer to bankroll them all the time.

MARGIE: I’m sure that will be well received. By the way. Can you drive me to mums. My car is playing up. I need to get it to the mechanics.

TONY: No. Too busy. I’m meeting with Peta in an hour, to work on my new philosophical treatise.

MARGIE: Thank you very much. I guess I should know my place by now.

TONY: Don’t go on about it woman. As an ex-prime minister I have to get my ideas down on paper for future generations to read.

Don’t worry. I’ll book a cab for you and I’ll put it down as a parliamentary expense. You won’t have to pay.

MARGIE: Aren’t I the lucky one. Having a husband as generous as you. Oh, silly me. I forgot you crafted the 2014 Budget, riddled with benevolence to all and sundry.

TONY: Our nation wouldn’t be in the mess it is in if not for the fucking Senate.

MARGIE: While I’m out can you pick up some wine and cheese for me? My book group is meeting here tomorrow.

TONY: What’s wrong with you, woman?! After the recent kerfuffle over me having been too pissed to make it to a vote in the House all those years ago, I can’t be seen buying some grog at the local bottle shop.

Uh, that reminds me. I’m away on Friday on a four day tour of the Margaret River Wineries.

MARGIE: You can’t be seen buying a bottle of Stone’s Green Ginger Wine and some Porphyry Pearl for my book group, but being seen prancing around trendy wineries is okay?

TONY: Of course it is. As an ex-prime minister I have to be seen to to be promoting local produce and industries. Don’t worry dear, because it will be part of my ex-prime minister duties I will bill 100% of the costs to the taxpayer.

MARGIE: You and your ex-prime minister duties. I’ve never heard such bollocks.

TONY: Margaret. Don’t you believe that adherence to one’s duties, to the Lord, nation, community and family, is the pathway to a worthy and happy life?

MARGIE: I would think there is ample evidence in my life to suggest I do.

TONY: Well, what is tonight?

MARGIE: The 17th.

TONY: Yes. But what else is it?

MARGIE: I don’t know. 793 days since that loser Turnbull took over as Prime Minister? Tell me Tony.

TONY: It’s the third Wednesday of the month.

MARGIE: Oh. Ah. I’d forgotten.

TONY: Duties Margie. That’s right. The third Wednesday of the month. Conjugal duties, dear.

MARGIE: Oh.

We now feel it is now an appropriate time to allow the Abbotts some privacy. 

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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