Comedians everywhere breathed a sigh of relief upon the release of last week’s budget, which has managed to supply a wealth of subject matter for satire of all kinds. “We comedians have fallen on hard times lately,” said Luke, who does improv at his local. “We had a good season the year 9/11 became funny, but it’s going to be a while until MH370 jokes fly.”
For Luke, and many like him, Abbott’s budget has become a catchall for socially conscious humour. Indeed, since the budget’s release, Honey Soy’s offices have been inundated with pitches, which sadly coincided with a renewed interest in the 2000 video game The Sims. One writer proposed an article comparing Joe Hockey to the kid who used to lock his kitchen-inept Sims in a room without doors and force them to cook until they burnt the house down. Another compared Tony Abbott to the kid who used to send his Sims to swim in the pool and then delete the ladder so they drowned. Was I the only child who did that, or what?
One treasury official confided to this reporter that the budget was actually just a practical joke gone awry. “April 1st rolled around so we put this joke copy of the budget in front of Tony… And then he signed off on it”. Our official—now between jobs and smelling of what my mum (who drove me to the interview) described as ‘funny cigarettes’—declined to be named and then asked me for money. When approached for comment, Tony Abbott put a kibosh on the rumour, saying he took the budget very seriously, from its Comic Sans title to a crayon graph that accompanied treasury data on page 56. Abbott particularly praised the decision to restrict the dole to people who contribute to Australia’s development in the roads and agriculture industries. Talking in his sleep, he said “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it” before claiming a renewed interest in pre-Civil War America.
Shortly after the budget was passed, a rapturous horn sounded over the horizon and a number of farms in Greater New South Wales reported the widespread extermination of their crops and cattle. The President of USyd Atheist Society declined to interpret the weirdness as sign of divine intervention, but did say that the society intended to hedge their bets and paint a cross in blood over their doorframes before their next GM. A snap action was also called in the days following the budget’s release. One protest, led by the university left, called for a rejection of all deregulation of health and education. Another protest, led by the university Right, called for further deregulation and the establishment of a stronger caste system that keeps undesirables in their place. The two protests collided, contracted, fought and raged—seeming to surge like a sea made of people, placards crashing like waves on human heads—and by the following morning what remained of the bodies were strewn about Eastern Avenue. So it goes.