When he was cutting his teeth in student politics all those years ago, Tony Abbott used to refer to himself as “the junk-yard dog
And, even today, he is still playing that same role, guarding the junk-yard, in Oil-drum Alley, of that old Liberal codger, John “Albert Steptoe” Howard, with his back-sliding son, Malcolm “Harold Steptoe” Turnbull and their gang of live-in relatives, including Cousins Barnaby, Sophie, Angry, Peter D, Godwin, Julie, Joe, John A, Peter R and Chris.
Now, just recently, Albert has just got over the shock of a visit by the Carbon Taxman, who was responding to complaints from the neighbouring hippies in Windpower Alley, that his junk-yard was full of noxious substances that were polluting the local atmosphere with CO2, methane, and god knows what else.
So, just before the Carbon Taxman made his pre-arranged visit, Albert and Harold hide all their misfit rellies in their “Sophie” (the name they have given to their shed).
However, after his visit, the Carbon Taxman reckoned it is more of an issue for the Council Sanitation Department, saying, “Jeeze...this place is so bad, it would make the Augean Stables, before Hercules rolled up his sleeves, look like Hyacinth Bouquet’s front parlour”.
But what was so bad about the yard? Albert, Harold and the rest of the Steptoe Clan couldn’t see a problem with any of the following:
- Heaps of Tony the Junk-yard Dog’s doodoo’s lying all over the place
- A big pile of guano in a corner, deposited by seasonally-migrating seagulls from Nauru
- Heaps of rusting steel that Harold got dirt-cheap from Whyalla, after it was wiped off the map
- A pile of old boatphones, leaking acid all over the yard
- The rotting corpse of WorkChoices, left swinging in the wind on the clothesline (waiting to be resurrected by Cousins John Alexander and Peter Reith)
- Piles of rotting fish (Tony the guard-dog won’t eat them – he prefers to just give them a kiss)
- Heaps of Cousin Joe’s discarded KFC cartons
- A fleet of rusty Commodores (but no Bentleys)
- Sheets of Productivity Commission Reports that Cousin Barnaby used as toilet paper
- Chaff bags full of decaying left-overs from a recent series of Revolting Peoples’ Tea Parties
- And, not unsurprisingly, an infestation of “Julies” all over the place (as you can imagine, Cousin Julie took great umbrage at being compared to a cockroach.)
A few weeks later the Steptoe Clan’s junk-yard is the scene of an ever-increasing miasma. But still there is no sign of a visit from the Council Sanitation department, as threatened by the Carbon Taxman.
Then, just as everyone is getting complacent and, as usual, picking on Harold, who, they reckon, is not really one of them, Tony the Junk-yard Dog starts to create a racket outside.
Albert: Good old reliable Tones! He’s a great guard-dog, he is...That can only mean there are unwelcome visitors at the gate...Let’s go outside and see the bastards off, good and proper...heh...heh...
[The Clan hesitates at the front door and they all stare at Harold. Instinctively, he lies down over the threshold, and they all troop out, using him as a door-mat.
Outside in the junk-yard, the Clan notices that Tones has exited his kennel – “Kirribilli” – and is standing at the three-metre-high gates, challenging, in his own idiosyncratic fashion, some person on the other side.
However, one would expect a guard-dog to be barking ferociously at any unwelcome presence threatening the vicinity of its designated territory. But not Tones. All he can muscle up is his trademark wussy, “No...no...no...”, bark that he learned from Hillbilly Skeleton’s cat.]
Albert: Oh, for Christ’s sake, Tones, give over! You stand as much chance of scaring away unwelcome callers as I do of putting on my trakky-daks and representing Australia at the London Olympics...Right, you on the other side...identify yourself! And don’t forget, we decide who comes into this yard and the circumstances in which they come...
Voice: It’s me, Julia Gillard, the local Council Sanitation Inspector...and I’ve been advised by the Carbon Taxman that this place is a health hazard and could do with a good clean-up...
Cousin Sophie: We don’t care who you are...and, as a matter of fact, I’ve got a petition here signed by all of us, telling you and your fellow shiny-bummed bureaucrats to get stuffed...
Jooles: Huh – a petition from you? I bet Peter Slipper hasn’t signed it...heh...heh...
Sophie: Cheeky bitch! Why don’t you go back to Libya – haven’t you got a few hundred thousand towel-heads to massacre!
Cousin Peter D: Yeah, ya old boiler!
Cousin Godwin: Yeah, and don’t forget to send us an email postcard...hee...hee...
Cousin Chris: And why don’t you go away and have a kiss ‘n’ kanoodle threesome with Kev and Bob...
Cousin Joe: Yeah...and dry your eyes with your Carbon Credit tissues – they’ll be as useful as Monopoly money after we get on the Treasury Benches...
Jooles: Huh, if anyone’s got a monopoly around here on great big black holes, it’s you mate...hee...hee...
[Suddenly, everyone’s attention in the junk-yard is grabbed by the dull, repetitive sounds of something being whacked against what appears to be a hollow object. They look around and can’t believe what they are witnessing. Cousin Angry has found an old clapped-out speaker in a corner of the junk-yard and is, alternatively, spraying it with furniture polish and then head-butting it
The blood from Cousin Angry’s lacerated forehead is mixing with the furniture polish and is pouring profusely onto the grimy cobblestone yard.
Then, to everyone’s disgust, Tones lopes over and starts to lap it up!]
Harold: Huh, Tones...I didn’t realise you were into blood Pledges...hee...hee...
[So the insults hurled at Jooles across the locked gate continue unabated. Finally, after Cousin Chris tells her to, “rack off, you back alley bitch”, she has had enough, and calls it a day. However, the words of the last term of abuse give her an idea.
Meanwhile, Harold lies down over the threshold, allowing himself to be used again as a doormat.
Later that night, after the Steptoe Clan has gone to bed, Jooles returns. But this time, she has got company – not least, her new poodle, “Peaches”, that Tim gave her for her fiftieth.
Immediately, Tones sniffs the bitch (the poodle, not Jooles) outside the gate and starts to get all randy.]
Jooles: Tones! There’s a good boy...look what I’ve got for you...open the gates, and she’s all yours, mate...You’ll get so much action, you’ll make Larry Flint on Viagra look like Simeon Stylites...yum...yum...
[Tones doesn’t need a second invitation. With his teeth, he grabs hold of the “Andrew” (Bolt ) on the gate, slides it across and the gates swing open to reveal not only Jooles and her now-cowering poodle, but a SWAT Team of Council Sanitation operatives, ready to disinfect, and even burn, all the crap in the Steptoe junk-yard.
As Tones looks longingly and lustfully at the poor poodle, who has positioned herself defensively behind Jooles’ protective legs, Jooles lifts her up and gives her a few re-assuring pets.]
Jooles: Now, Tones...as I was saying...why don’t I take you away from all of this, away from your dilapidated kennel, and set you up for life at the real Kirribilli? Why, you could be the resident guard-dog and live happily-ever-after there with Peaches...
[At the very mention of such a horrendous prospect, Peaches tries to burrow even further into Jooles’ ample bosom for comfort. However, Jooles, still holding Peaches, walks over to her car, Tim at the wheel, with Tones tagging along, tongue hanging out in anticipation. They all jump in and Tim takes off like a bat out of hell.
During the journey, Tones hears something about a meeting Jooles has to attend firstly in Woop Woop, so he snuggles down in the back seat, ogling lasciviously his prospective bride, Peaches, who is ensconced on Jooles’ lap in the passenger seat.
Then, after what seems to be hours, Tim suddenly pulls over.]
Jooles: Righto, Tones...you’ve been cooped up for a while now...why don’t you jump out and have a pee before we go any further...
[Tones reckons Jooles has been reading his mind, and gratefully jumps out after she reaches around to open the car-door. However, he is no sooner Pointing Percy, when the car takes off quicker than Cousin Barnaby driving a taxpayer-provided car into a swollen Queensland creek. After a few moments, the twin rear-lights disappear over the horizon.]
Jooles: Heh...heh...it’ll be a long walk back to Kirribilli from here for Tones...
Tim: Yeah, but he’ll do okay out here – after all, he’s been feral for a while now...hee...hee...
[But, the happiest and most relieved in the car was Peaches. The prospect of a dismal future of a life-time of ironing a junk-yard tyke’s budgie smugglers was not something she had been looking forward to.]