June 24

The republic is not dead. It is just resting.


[ Opinion polls indicate that support for even a vague undefined republic has collapsed in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. This column was the subject of a comment in the popular Strewth column in The Australian on 25 June 2011 under the heading 'Pining for the fjords' . The comment began:

"ONE thing we weren't prepared for yesterday was Australians for a Constitutional Monarchy appropriating Monty Python's Dead Parrot sketch, the republic playing the feathered 'not dead, just resting' role."  ]

A customer enters a republic shop.


Customer: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint. 

(The owner does not respond.)


C: 'Ello, Miss?


Owner: What do you mean "Miss"?


C: (pause) I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to register a complaint!


O: We're closin' for lunch.


C: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this republic what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.


O: Oh yes, the, uh, the Keating-Turnbull…What's,uh…What's wrong with it?


C: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!


O: No, no, 'e's uh,…he's resting.



C: Look, matey, I know a dead republic when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.


O: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable republic, the Turnbull-Keating, idn'it, ay? Beautiful presidential palace!


C: The palace don't enter into it. It's stone dead.


O: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!


C: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Turnbull – Keating Republic! I've got a lovely old monarchist  for you if you show…(owner hits the cage)


O: There, he moved!


C: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the cage!


O: I never!!


C: Yes, you did!


O: I never, never did anything…


C: (yelling and hitting the cage repeatedly) 'ELLO Turnbull Keating Republic!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!


(Takes republic out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)


C: Now that's what I call a dead republic.


O: No, no…..No, 'e's stunned!




O: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Turnbull-Keatings stun easily, major.


C: Um…now look…now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That republic is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged whinge about John Howard's duplicity 


O: Well, he's…he's, ah…probably pining for his presidential palace.


C: PININ' forhis presidential palace!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?


O: The Turnbull-Keating prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable republic, id'nit, squire? Lovely presidential palace!


C: Look, I took the liberty of examining that republic when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting in its palace in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.




O: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that Keating -Turnbull  down, it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its president, and voila you'd have a Soviet Socialist republic 


C: "VOILA?!? Mate, this republic wouldn't "voila" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!


O: No no! 'E's pining!


C: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This republict is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im ino his palace 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!He's f*ckin' snuffed it!….. THIS IS AN EX-REPUBLIC!!




O: Well, I'd better replace it, then.


(he takes a quick peek behind the counter)


O: Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of republics.


C: I see. I see, I get the picture.


O: (pause) I got a Grand Duchy.




C: Pray, does it reign?


O: Nnnnot really.




O: Well! I never wanted to do this in the first place. I wanted to be the columnist on  The Australian's Strewth column anyway.



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