Hawke a Loogie
Right away we emailed our Aussie buddy Ian for the dirt down under. Ian was a spook back in the day. He is very good with cars, cameras and computers (his job in Vietnam was making sure the head of the KGB's car would not start every morning).
Ian did not disappoint: Sir Bob dumped the first wife, who now is in a Ronnie Reagan-style, very public decline with Alzheimer’s. The new wife is Blanche duBois, Sir Bob’s biographer at the time of the break-up. The working title of the biography must have been “The Glans Menagerie.” Sir Bob also had a very public affair…well, it BECAME public….two days before his last election….with Diane Sawyer. Unlike our politicians, Sir Bob went public right away: “Yup….I did her. I am a bastard. I hope my wife and the electorate forgive me. If not, I’ll take what I deserve…” His approval rating went UP……But then, Australia is a place where the national sport is still fighting in bars. At least Australia comes by its macho image honestly, and not hypocritically. But then again, they are a nation founded by BLUE collar criminals, not white collar criminals. Mr. Bush take note.
Speaking of the Bushes: Our buddy Donny Brasco was one of the VVIP guests for the dinner. I can’t imagine what they tagged him for to be on that guest list: there were judges and mayors that didn’t make the cut from the reception to the dinner. Anyway, Don is an Australophile. He moved there after Stanford, and even wrote a book about the place. He also interviewed and wrote an article about Sir Bob back in the day. Don is possibly the only person in Monterey County who had any idea who Sir Robert Hawke was prior to last week.
Don is the consummate Republican, so Republican he is really a Libertarian, and the most honest, ethical guy you could ever meet. If there were even three or four more like him anywhere else in the Party, there might be some hope for all of us. And, there is no cash flow problem in the family. As a wealthy Republican businessman, Stanford grad, former resident of Australia whose daughter is an artist and writer there, Don made the shortlist for ambassador under daddy George H. W. Bush. However, the nod went to Don Lane, son of the founder of Sunset Magazine, and a white-collar idiot. At his conformation hearing, it became painfully clear that our new Ambassador to Australia had not been told that New Zealand was not actually part of Australia. The guy was confirmed anyway. Don is still pissed. I told my contact at MIIS that if the conversation at dinner ever lagged, she could mention Don Lane and Diane Sawyer.
As I said, the client went all out: Central Coast foods, the best Central Coast wines….including champagne and dessert wines, full bar….lots of staff. The only thing they missed is that dear Bob and Blanche are recovering alcoholics. Oh, well….plenty for the rest of us then.
Since Sir Bob was a Labour Party guy, and the foto Ian sent us was of a ruggedly handsome, silver-haired gent, and with both Blanche and Diane under his public pubic belt…..we were expecting a Man of the People. Harry Bridges of the San Francisco longshoremen, a Jack London type. Late Brando if he could have pushed away from the Twinkies.
Nope. Sir Bob is a prick. More than normally self-absorbed, even for a politician. Most politicians PRETEND to care about the workers and their fellow guests. After all, there might be votes, and even retired pols usually reflexively go for the vote like an old fire horse responding to the bell. Not Sir Bob. Someone temporarily misplaced his Bally briefcase. Heads will roll. It was a beautiful, sunny 70 degree afternoon in an excruciatingly gorgeous rose garden. Too fucking cold, we’ll stay inside…hidden from the people who paid good money to meet and be greeted.
The corker for the caterers was food related. Neither Blanche or Bob would eat a single thing during cocktails, choosing only to glare at any waitron that offered hors d’oeuvres. “Matters of GREAT IMPORT are being discussed here…go away, cretin” was the implication. Then, His Bobness realized he had not eaten…..mid cocktails for us…..and he couldn’t admit his mistake of not eating hors, and instead just marched into the dining room and sat down on his own. What was to be a nice easy three-course dinner turned into a rout, as we scrambled to stop cocktails and fire the entrées. Of course, the guests were as bewildered as we, and followed Bob in to eat, or rather to sit and wait for the ten minutes it took us to turn around the first course.
The real bummer for us was MIIS decided not to let Ian film and photograph the event. Damn. We could have digital evidence of high placed rudeness. Back to Brando: “Cholly, Cholly, Cholly…..I coulda been somebody. I coulda been a contender…..Instead of what I am…..Which is a Chump.”