“You’re not writing about Julia Gillard this week, are you?”

“Er, well, yes, actually.”

“Can’t you find something else to write about? Everybody’s writing about her. Why don’t you write about Him instead?”

“Who? Her boyfriend? What’s so interesting about him? He’s a hairdresser, right? That’s interesting?”

“Didn’t you ever see Shampoo? That hairdresser George — you remember, Warren Beatty — was very ‘interesting’, wasn’t he? Rode a motorbike, shagged all the ladies.”

“What’s that got to do with whatsisname … Tim?”

“Well, he was a hairdresser and he rode a motorbike.”

“Are you suggesting that The First Bloke is a pussyhound?”

“Listen to this. This is someone he used to work for. ‘He was a very bubbly guy.’ Well, there you are!”
“Oh fer Chrissakes!! All hairdressers are bubbly. It’s part of the job! Doesn’t mean they’re shagging the customers.”

“Oh don’t be so naive. ‘They met at the salon but he never cut her hair.’ Not in public, anyhow!!”

“You have a filthy mind.”

“Lucky for you. Mind you, she’s no Sunday school teacher, either. Says on Wikipedia, ‘since 2006 Tim Mathieson, blah, blah, previous relationships with union officials Michael O’Connor and Bruce Wilson and fellow federal Labor MP Craig Emerson’. Yeah, that we know of. And she’s what, 48, 49? How many husbands had you had by the time you were 50?”

“Five, if we count you. What’s that got to do with it?”

“She’s not married.”

“Yes, but what’s your bloody point?”

“She’s what used to be called a liberated woman, that’s the point. Bit of hope for us in that, don’t you think? You know. Liberated. Uninhibited. Swingers.”

“Oh don’t be daft! What do you think she’s going to do — get them to throw their car keys into a bowl at Cabinet meetings??”

“Idiot! I mean, she’ll be sympathetic. Listen to this in The Age: ‘I’d say I’m a truly modern person’ — she says she’s less conservative than Rudd on ‘some of the conscience questions’. ”

“And?”

“Well a woman like that’s got to be better for us than Mr and Mrs Church Doorstop, hasn’t she? Mind you, I bet she won’t let us get married.”

“Well, if she’s as ‘modern’ and ‘liberated’ as you make out, why ever not?”

“Peace in the house, darl. Can you imagine the row back in Altona? ‘You’d let every Tom, Dick and Harry Hairdresser marry each another, but you won’t marry me, Julia?’ She’d never risk it.”

“You could be right.”

“Anyway, don’t write about Julia this week.”

“All right. I promise. Anything for peace in the house.”

“Good. Write about The First Bloke instead, and I’ll give you what he gives the Prime Minister. I’m in the mood for a blow-dry.”

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