There is a funny idea abroad (by which I mean, of course, in this dry brown land in which we dwell) that there exists a minor figure of such truthful grit that every attribute of ordinariness is congealed within their being.
This entity, I am led to believe, is now thought to be putting aside a characteristic reticence and a mug of tea, throwing the Akubra into the ring and stepping flat-footed into the political arena. Their mission? To wake up Australia.
As soon as I heard that such a quintessential creature was out and about, I went to great pains to locate it.
My search was not an easy one. Bona fide "Australians" — folk claiming to be as ordinary as you and I — seem to inhabit this island continent in demographic proportions. And all of them seem to be under the distinct impression that they're no more or less ordinary than the next person.
I visited Summer Bay and Ramsay Street, and toured many a dormitory suburb in my quest — all to no avail. Until last week. Just before sunset, at a location I am not at liberty to divulge, I came across a little Aussie battler heading homewards.
You can imagine my excitement! To think I had discovered the real McCoy! (Although, as it turned out, the little Aussie battler's surname was Papadopoulos.) As a strict conservationist, I was obliged to ensure that the little Aussie battler remained in a pristine state, and that my presence did not disrupt its environmental integrity in any way.
Maybe passion got the better of me. Perhaps ambition thwarted my best intentions. But in that moment of first contact, I could think only that I wanted to share my discovery with the world. So I signed on as the little Aussie battler's press agent.
Harry M. Miller has his stable of celebrities, Channel 9 may have Eddie McGuire under contract, but I've got the little Aussie battler.
Now, if anyone wants to know how the little Aussie battler is hurting, if anyone wants to know what the little Aussie battler is thinking or fearing, or what the little Aussie battler's likes and dislikes are — they'll have to come to me first.
We need not go on assuming that we know what the little Aussie battler wants. Now, we can ask questions. Now, we can get straight answers. Now, thanks to me, no-one, be they politician or sociologist, need lose touch with the grassroots. Now, with my little Aussie battler as close as a phone call away, the vagaries of everyday existence can be easily monitored.
In the weeks ahead I hope to recount some of the sayings, comments, anecdotes and complaints that the little Aussie battler has kindly shared with me. Since our first meeting, a real bond has grown between us, and I'd hate to think that my little Aussie battler could be exploited in any way.
In order to protect this national treasure, the generic term — "little Aussie battler" — has been officially registered. Henceforth, no one can claim to speak for the little aussie battler without Little Aussie Battler™ authority.
As for political ambitions, the Little Aussie Battler™ informs me that, for the moment, all options are being considered.