As the polling emergency turned into electoral farce and the Coalition was being trashed not only in the polls but also in the News Ltd media, Malcolm Turnbull called his deputy, Michael McCormack, into his office and said “Mike, old son, I have a great idea! We are going to go all out and win the country voters.”
“Good idea, Boss, how will we go about it”? asked Mike.
“Well”, said Mal, “we get ourselves one of those Driaza Bone coats, some RM Williams boots, a stick and an Akubra hat. Oh, and a blue cattle dog. Then we’ll really look the part. We give away a whole stack of taxpayer’s money again. Then we’ll go to a typical old outback country pub. We’ll show we really enjoy the bush.”
“Right” said Mike.
Days later, all kitted out and with the requisite blue heeler, they set off from Canberra in a westerly direction. Eventually they arrived at just the place they were looking for. After the Press Conference, they found a typical outback pub. They walked in with the dog and went up to the saloon bar.
“G’day mate”, said Mal to the bartender, “a couple of your best shandies.”
“OK.” said the bartender with a bit of a smirk, “two middies of our best shandy coming up.”
Turnbull and McCormack (remember who he is?) stood leaning on the bar drinking their shandies, chatting, nodding now and again to whoever came into the bar for a drink. The dog lay quietly at their feet.
All of a sudden, the door from the adjacent bar opened and in came a grizzled old stockman, complete with stock whip. He walked up to the cattle dog, lifted its tail with the whip and looked underneath, shrugged his shoulders and walked back to the other bar. A few moments later in came another old stockman with his whip. He walked up to the dog and lifted its tail, looked underneath, scratched his head and went back to the other bar.
Over the course of the next hour or so another four or five stockmen came in and lifted the dog’s tail and went away looking puzzled.
Eventually, Mike could stand it no longer and called the barman over.
“Tell me” asked McCormack, “why those old stockmen come in and look under the dog’s tail like that? Is it an old outback custom?”
“Strewth no”, said the barman. “Someone told ’em there was a cattle dog in the saloon bar with a couple of arseholes.”