Channel Nine aren’t too sure if their once-popular entertainment show, “This is Your Life”, has a viable future.
Eddie Maguire himself is ambivalent, but is willing to experiment to see if its fortunes can be resuscitated.
So, Eddie has decided that he will be the compere. He has also realised that a big name guest is needed to bring up the ratings. And, who bigger than ANDREW BOLT!
However, Eddie doesn’t realise the connection (or, more accurately, ex-connection) between Andrew and the “This is Your Life” producer, Suzanne Walshe.
But, you may ask, who is this Suzanne Walshe chick?
Yes, this Suzanne Walshe
Eddie: Righto, Walshie...Andrew Bolt is our feature guest this week, so I want you to rustle up a few significant people in Andy’s life, to make him look good, as he is a good mate of mine, you understand...
[Walshie, at the mention of Andrew’s name, feels an inner twinge of discomfort but, being a good actor, shows no outward signs of her inner emotions.]
Walshie: Erm...no worries, Eddie...I’ll get cracking straight away...
[As Eddie exits her office, Walshie can feel heaps of succulent schadenfreude coming on. “Andy Bolt!” she repeats to herself, “well, well, well...this is going to be an interesting show, if I have anything to do with it...heh...heh...”
And so, Walshie begins to put her Machiavellian bastard of a plan into action. Utilising all of her acting and impersonating skills, she puts together a series of tapes that she will play on the show.
Then, on the night in question, Eddie strolls off, Red Book in hand, to track Andy down. As a rouse, one of Walshie’s underlings told Andy there was a Tea Party meeting in the Channel Nine staff canteen and he had dutifully turned up to rally the troops. However, when Andy got there, he was the only one present and was forced to listen to the tea-lady complaining about her lumbago. So when Eddie fronted up with his camera crew, it was a welcome relief to escape from the inane prattling of the old duck.
Soon, Andy is ensconced on the big sofa in the studio. However, unfortunately, he is blissfully unaware that his ex-fiancé is sitting in the producer’s garret above the studio floor.
And Eddie, for his part, hasn’t been informed on what is about to unfold. He has always been quite happy to rock up and simply read the script off the auto-cue.
As she is counting down the seconds to broadcast time, Walshie is having a few delicious thoughts. “Heh...heh...so he doesn’t remember us being engaged, doesn’t he...And I was nothing more than a belly dancer, was I...well, I’ll show him...It’ll be me who’ll have the belly-laugh this time...hee...hee...”.]
Eddie: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...You saw on the monitor the famous celebrity who I surprised in the staff canteen...and it is my great pleasure to now welcome to the studio...Mr...Andrew...Bolt!!!
[However, a cacophony of boos and hisses rings out from the studio audience. Eddie is totally taken aback, and hasn’t realised that Walshie has done a reverse Rooty Hill with pike and mustered up all the Occupy Wall (and every other fascist) Street protesters she could cram into the studio. Eager to detract from the rudeness of the leftie malingerers in the studio audience, Eddie starts to read from the auto-cue.]
Eddie: Righto...let’s get this show on the road, shall we...And our first video guest tonight will tell us what a great guy Andy is...and he is none other than...erm... Alan...Joyce?
“Joycey”: Top o’ the mornin’ to ye, cousin! And isn’t it great to see ye gettin’ on so well in Oostraylia, to be sure...to be sure...Yes, I remember well the good old days when, as cousins in the great Joyce-Bolt Irish tinker clan in Ballygobackwards, we used to travel around on our horse and cart...mending pots and pans...and laying down some mighty driveways that would make the M1 in England look like the Rocky Road to Dublin...to be sure...to be sure...And, wasn’t it during those great days, cousin, we learned all the tricks of the entrepreneurial trade...Oh, and by the way, Andy, and you too Eddie, as I hear you are a bit of an entrepreneur yourself...heh...heh...would you like to join me in buying up an old airline or two – I’ve got myself involved and turned them so much to shite, they’re goin’ for an absolute song...to be sure...to be sure...Whaddya think, lads...are ye in?
[Eddie and Andy haven’t realised that they have been watching Walshie playing silly buggers. They look at each other as if they’ve both been sucked onto the set of a Twilight Zone episode. Mercifully, however, Walshie moves the auto-cue on.]
Eddie (extemporising): Huh...they say blood’s thicker than water...I reckon that bloke’s even thicker again...Now, viewers...it’s my great pleasure to offer to you someone who will definitely make sense...and...it...is...Hugo...Chavez?
[Walshie runs the tape, and she is such a great impersonator, again no-one even suspects that it is her playing the part.]
“Hugo”: Andy!!! Comrade!!! Companero!!! It’s great to be part of this magnifico opportunity to pay tribute to you, comrade...
[Andy is looking aghast at the monitor. “WTF is this clown on”, he mutters sotto voce to himself. “If he thinks I’m his comrade, he must have just got back from Columbia and ingested his year’s supply in just one friggin’ hit!”.]
“Hugo”: Oh, yes, they were the days, comrade, when you and I roamed our beautiful Venezuelan jungles, AK 47’s in hand, waging guerrilla warfare on the capitalist swine and their gringo collaborators...And then, around the campfire, you would read to us from your favourite book, “The Collected Works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky and Bob Brown”...Yes, those were the days comrade...
[Andy, looking exceptionally alarmed, turns to Eddie, placing his hand against the side of his mouth, masking his words from the camera.]
Andy: Shit!! I don’t remember any of this!!
[Eddie prays for the auto-cue to move on, and thankfully it does.]
Eddie: Right...now, that was intriguing, wasn’t it...Isn’t Andy such a very broad-minded chap to have such “interesting” friends...And now, our next guest is...Al...Gore?
[Walshie runs the tape of her impersonating the famous environmental educator and ex Vice-President of the USA.]
“Al”: Well, howdy, pardner!!! It’s my great honour to say a few words of praise to you from my eco-ranch here in the good ol’ US of A...And I just want all the good folk there in Australia to know that, if it wasn’t for you, Andy, those poor polar bear critters in my famous documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth”, would have certainly drowned when their ice floes melted due to global warming...But, just in the nick of time, you and your Greenpeace greenie buddies came along and gave them mouth-to-mouth, Tony Abbott-style...
[At the very mention of Tones’ name, a near-riot breaks out amongst the leftie feral studio audience. Again Andy turns in shock to Eddie.]
Andy: Shit!! I don’t remember anything about this...
[Once more, Eddie is glad to see the auto-cue tick over.]
Eddie: Yes...thank you Mr Gore...now...everyone...we have...this time...a local Australian celebrity...
[“Thank Christ”, Andy mutters to himself.]
Eddie: And, it is none other than...Geoff...Clark?
[Walshie had herself taped doing an impersonation of the ex-Chairman of ATSIC cooking a bush tucker barbeque, somewhere way out west of Woop Woop.]
“Geoff”: Andy!! Bro!!! Jeeze, mate, we really miss ya out these parts...Ever since you were taken away all those years ago by the Chief Protector and his slimy mob, we’ve missed ya, bro...But, even after all these years, we reckon you can still make it back, mate...Just follow the Rabbit Proof Fence – after all, it weren’t a problem for Molly and Daisy...heh...heh...
[Andy can’t believe the extent of the sleights against his impeccable character and, again, looks incredulously at Eddie, mouthing soundlessly that he has no memory whatsoever of being a member of the Stolen Generation.
Meanwhile, upstairs in the producer’s garret, Walshie is wetting herself laughing. She runs the auto-cue to inform Eddie that there will be a musical interlude, with Jim Kerr in the studio singing his famous “Simple Minds” hit, “Don’t you forget about me”.
Eddie: And thank you, Jim Kerr!!!
[The audience would rather carry on with singing, “La...la...la...la...” and do so vociferously, so Eddie just talks over the top of the bolshie wastrels.]
Eddie: And...our next guest will – hopefully – tell us what a really great guy Andy is...So, it’s my great pleasure to introduce to you...erm...Abu...Bakar...friggin’...Bashir?
[Walshie gleefully rolls the tape of her doing her best Abu impersonation, filmed in what looks like the penthouse suite of some correctional institute in Indonesia.]
“Abu”: Salam, Brother Andy!! It is so great to smuggle this tape out to be shown on your TV program!! I am delighted to be able to tell everyone how instrumental you were in helping us set up our network of fundamentalist madrassa schools here...I remember well how you, as a young trainee teacher came over here and, by the sweat of your brow, personally erected madrassa after madrassa, whilst, at the same time, quoting to your eager students chunks from the Koran, which you obviously knew off by heart...What reverence and dedication to our cause!!
[Eddie has heard enough, and so has Andy, who is squirming on the sofa, gesticulating to Eddie that he has no memories whatsoever of any such dodgy extra-curricular activity on his part.
Then, Eddie reads the auto-cue from Walshie, directing him to involve some audience participation. So, Eddie begs members of the audience for some sort of a positive testimony on Andy’s contribution to the welfare of humankind. In the front row of the studio audience mosh-pit, a very eager chap has his hand in the air, shouting, “pick me...pick me...” repeatedly. Walshie instructs the boom-mic operator and the cameras to hone in on this particular individual who, “coincidentally”, is a close friend of hers.]
“Random” guy: Oh, hi Andy – it’s been such a long time, so you probably won’t remember me...but we went to school together and I recall your party trick in Maths class when you wanted to get out of doing your work by pretending to the teacher that you had left your calculator at home...But what the teacher didn’t know was that you had your calculator with you all the time...Everybody else knew you had gone to the dunny and secreted it in a place no-one would dare look
...What a hero and legend you were...all your class-mates were in awe of you...So, Andy, I’ve got my calculator with me – will you show us all your party trick here on national TV?
[Andy is packing it big time by this stage. He hasn’t got a clue who this dork is and, whilst he is futilely claiming no memories whatsoever of such a preposterous claim, the studio audience is chanting, “What does he want? Vaseline! When does he want it? Now!”
Eddie is even more mortified at the surreal direction his show has taken. He turns around to commiserate with Andy, but, by this stage, the sofa is as empty as Tony Abbott’s wallet, and Whyalla’s main street, after the Carbon Tax has been brought in. And, looking at the monitor, Eddie notes that the credits are running and the next program is just starting.
Whilst the studio audience files out to see if Betty Windsor is still around to chuck some more rotten tomatoes at, Walshie comes down from the producer’s garret onto the studio floor, where Eddie is still all lathered in sweat.]
Eddie: Jeeze! Never again...never again...Hey, Walshie, I think I’ll hand this job back to Mike Munro – it’s too much like hard work for my liking...However, I really felt sorry for poor old Andy tonight...he was so highly thought of by all those famous people – but it was really strange that he couldn’t remember a single thing about what they were recalling...do you think he’s getting a bit of the old-timers? And why did he shoot through without saying cheerio?
Walshie (sniggering): Nah, more like selective amnesia if you ask me...And, as for his hasty departure, let’s just say he suddenly remembered he had a prior engagement...heh...heh...