At 6.59pm on Tuesday 8th September I received a call from a private number. Now normally, I wouldn't answer. It's witching hour with the kids and dinner is in the oven. I'm eating Porchetta with a side of orange, fennel, rocket and parmesan salad courtesy of Lino and La Camera's Father's Day Box (BOYCOTT UBER EATS & DELIVEROO). This evening I played "Phone Roulette". I recognised the droll tone immediately, The Dishonourable Daniel Andrews, Chairman of the once great State of Victoria.
CD: Are you the one they call the HospoVet?
HV: Who's calling?
CD: It's your fucking Premier. Are you the low life that's writing all these bullshit lies about me?
HV: Well, I'm writing a lot of things, some make reference to you, if that's what you are asking?
CD: Cut it out. You are risking Victorian lives.
HV: I'm risking lives? How so?
CD: By peddling your bullshit lies and challenging the advice that is forming my strategy. My plan. My Road Map. My Traffic Light Scheme. Mein Kampf.
HV: Mein Kampf? Isn't that German for my struggle or my fight? You may be in breach of copyright.
CD: Fuck copyright and fuck you. I have it on good advice that my plan is good, really good. The super computer says so and my Buddhist mate has received a message from a higher power. I'm telling you, this time, we have got it right.
HV: The advice to which you refer, is that medical advice?
CD: Of course it's fucking medical advice. I have based my entire plan based on the data and the medical advice.
HV: Are you familiar with the concept of a second opinion?
CD: I'm familiar with smart asses.
HV: That's a bit rough. Are you telling me that your tax payer funded curfew and lockdown was based on medical advice?
CD: It was based on advice, yes.
HV: Medical advice?
CD: Listen here you piss ant, advice is advice and I'm advising you to drop right off.
HV: Got it. May I ask you a couple of questions relating to our Hospitality industry?
CD: Sure, what's the second one?
HV: Why is a heavily regulated, professional industry that understands contamination, sanitisation, food preparation, security, responsible service not allowed to open until, at least, 24th November?
CD: Well, the advice and data tells us that it's unsafe to do so. If we open up cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs, we risk a third wave and people will die.
HV: Won't people die, regardless and completely unrelated to whether the Hospitality industry is able to reopen, save jobs, restore mental health and rescue the Victorian economy?
CD: That's not what the data says. That's not my advice.
HV: But on July 30th, you got up on your daily soap box and I quote "I know that it may seem counter intuitive that you can go to the pub, but you can't go to your mates place, but ultimately the data drives that decision. That's where the transmission is. It's not in cafes and restaurants."
CD: Did I say that? That was then, this is now. The advice says I'm right.
HV: Right on July 30th, or right now?
CD: I'm always fucking right you cum rag. Where are you going with this?
HV: Last question. Why have the CFMEU negotiated to return to 85% capacity with workers travelling all over the state, on trams, trains and busses? Outside their 5km radii and with their thermoses, lunch boxes, smokos, elevators, shipping containers, porta loos and expert hygiene tactics. Only to return to their homes and families and repeat for 5 days a week, while the rest of Victoria burns. That sounds like an awful contradiction to the data and medical advice to which you constantly refer to and apparently base all your decisions.
CD: That's not confirmed.
HV: Yes it is.
CD: No, it's not.
Beep. Beep. Beep.