I acknowledge those proud Quadrant contributors past and present, who ask despairingly what the lone individual can do when the enemy circles.
Josie hurled her knitting across the room and followed it with the remote. She hit the ABC reporter right smack in the face as intended.
The television spluttered and went dark.
“Smarmy bitch,” she muttered. Her cat, Cat, gave her a belligerent look and stalked into the kitchen. “I’ve had enough of this nonsense, Cat,” she said loudly. “I may be old but I’m not stupid. How dare they do this to my country.”
She sat quietly for a minute. The room was gloomy and cold and the hot water bottle on her lap was clammy. Josie had survived war and depression, worked hard and paid her dues. She loved Australia but now it seemed to be falling apart. Sometimes she felt as if she no longer belonged here, like a piece of detritus. That new little Prime Minister was prancing around parroting on about enshrining his precious voice in the Constitution so that 3 per cent of the population could tell the remaining 97 per cent where to go. That was obviously as ridiculous and damaging as his push for net zero, or men giving birth through their penises.
“You’re all a bunch of bloody drongoes,” said Josie as she poured herself a medicinal G and T.
Her Bob had always said if you don’t like what’s happening, you get off your butt and fix it, or you shut up and move on. But Bob had been dead for years. Josie thought for a bit. It was time to take a stand. There must be something she could do. She decided that she could only fight one battle at a time. “I reckon I should have a bash at the oldest culture in the universe, because once that lot mess up our Constitution, everything else is cactus.”
She had another G and T to clarify her thoughts. Then she sat down at her keyboard and typed in “bumper stickers”. Up came many choices. She selected Aussie Stickers because she liked the name. Apparently, she had to do some art work, fill in a form and send it off.
“Too easy,” she exclaimed. “And only four dollars each! And free postage!” After checking that Aussie Stickers was really Australian and not some devious Chinese mob, Josie designed her first sticker. It had a beautiful big Australian flag and read:
Constitutional change? NO WAY!
The ten stickers arrived two days later as promised. They were perfect. Josie stuck one on the window beside her front door and another on the back of her little yellow car. She felt better already.
The next evening there was a knock at the door. Josie was puzzled. She rarely had visitors. It was Dave, the plumber from down the street.
“Sorry to bother you, Mrs D,” he said, “but I was following you home and saw that sticker on your car.”
Josie’s heart sank. She didn’t know him well. What if he were one of those Aboriginal activists who looked white but were really black—snowballs or was it lamingtons? Something edible anyway. She checked that her personal alarm was in her cardigan pocket, just in case.
“I’m wondering where you got it because I’d like one for my ute.”
Read it all, highly recommended.
PS: To order stickers, please contact email@example.com