Good morning. Or rather. “G’day”, as you “blokes” and “sheilas” say. By popular demand, we carried our Mendacimeter to Australia, where Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard agreed to take the Truth or Consequences challenge. Following is the transcript of our interview.
Paco: We’re here in the studio, graciously loaned to us by ABC (faint noise of angry ABC technicians and executives banging on the sound- and shatter-proof glass with, respectively, hammers and golf clubs) – Thanks, fellas! We’ll be out in a little while! Sammy, is that padlock secure? Ok – and we have as our guests Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I’m delighted you both could join us today.
Rudd: Our pleasure.
Gillard: Thenk U, Mr. Payco.
Paco: Now, I’ll just power up the Mendacimeter – There! – and we’ll get going. Mr. Prime Minister, let me begin by asking you a few questions. Much has been made of your claim to have lived in a car for a while when you were a boy. Can you enlighten us on that subject? Did you really have to live in a car?
Rudd: Well, just for a while…
B-r-r-u-p!, B-R-R-U-U-P-P!, B-R-R-R-U-U-U-P-P!
Rudd: Alright, what happened was this. I sat in the car for an hour…
Beee-dooo! Beee-dooo! Beee-dooo!
Rudd: …for a half-hour, while my mother went into a McWombats and ordered some bandicoot burgers and chips.
Paco: Hmm. M’yes. Let’s move on to politics. Do you believe that the national apology to the aboriginals was the right thing to do?
Rudd: I most certainly do.
Paco: So, grandstanding politics didn’t play any part in your decision?
Rudd: Not at all.
Rudd: Er, is it getting hot in here or is it just me?
Paco: No, no! It’s not just you. I notice that Ms. Gillard, there, seems to be “glowing”, as well! Now, Mr. Prime Minister, what one thing, in your opinion, enabled your party to beat the Liberals in the last election?
Rudd: I would say it was my comprehensive and detailed plan for change.
(The Mendacimeter blew up, scattering pieces all over the room; I noticed with horror that Mr. Rudd had a shard of plastic sticking in his ear)
Paco: Sammy! Call an ambulance! Mr. Rudd has been injured!
Rudd: No, no; not to worry. (He plucked the sharp piece of plastic from his ear; at the business end was a large glob of earwax). Lucky for me I hadn’t eaten yet!
Paco: That’s a great relief, Mr. Prime Minister! One more question: do you plan on continuing the centrist platform you ran on during the election?
Rudd: Oh, absolutely.
(The shattered remains of the Mendacimeter began rattling in all parts of the room; a lone tweeter emitted a feeble but distinct, “Tweeeeeee!”)
Paco: W-e-l-l! It looks like the Mendacimeter is down but not out! Madame Deputy Prime Minister, let me ask you a question. Your hair is a striking red, but I’ve never encountered that hue in nature. Is that your natural hair color?
(Staring in wide-eyed terror at the remains of the Mendacimeter, obviously impressed by its durability as well as by its accuracy, Ms. Gillard simply pointed at her throat, opened her mouth, and emitted a dry, rasping noise, not unlike Elsa Lanchester in The Bride of Frankenstein. The Mendacimeter, however, broken and scattered though it was, was not about to permit Ms. Gillard to plead a sudden attack of laryngitis. Her inarticulate gargle was drowned out by a sound like a mosquito whining into a megaphone).