Steve Braunias: Secret Diary of Bill English

MONDAY

Pizza for breakfast. But I was in a rush and didn't have time to grate the cheese, so I just poured on the tinned spaghetti and threw it in the oven.

"I've got a plane to catch," I said to Mary.

"Where are you going?"

"Japan."

"When?"

"Tomorrow."

"Well then you'd better get moving."

I showered and dressed, then read up the diplomatic notes on Japan. Rugby World Cup. Doomed attempt to breathe new life into the TPP. Don't mention the war. Sushi.

I asked Mary, "What's sushi?"

"I think it's seafood pizza," she said.

"That reminds me," I said, and opened the kitchen windows to let the smoke out.

The edges of the crust were burnt to a crisp and the spaghetti was on fire, which is something I'd never seen before.

It tasted better than usual.

TUESDAY

I continued reading methodically through the diplomatic notes on Japan at the airport when I noticed people were pointing at me and laughing.

Then I noticed I was on TV. I moved closer to the screen. It was the John Oliver show from the US. I watched it for a while but I don't know why people were laughing. It wasn't very funny.

WEDNESDAY

Talks went very, very well in Tokyo with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

He said, "I remain committed to the doomed and futile attempt to bring the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact into force despite the withdrawal of its biggest signatory economy, the United States."

I said, "I remain committed to the senseless and hopeless attempt to maintain the unity among the signatories and early entry into force of the TPP agreement."

Then we talked about rugby.

THURSDAY

To a sheep farm on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido. I'm not sure why I was taken there. The Japanese are an inscrutable people.

Back in my hotel room, I ordered sushi from room service. It was certainly a novel twist on pizza! It appeared that the base was some kind of seaweed, and it actually wrapped around the raw fish. There was also some rice, and a piece of avocado.

I put it in the microwave and got showered and dressed, then read up the diplomatic notes on my next destination, Hong Kong. Okay to mention the war.

After a while the smoke alarm went off, so I smashed it with a broom and opened the window.

It was a pretty interesting pizza. I'm not saying I didn't like it, but it could have done with some tinned spaghetti.

FRIDAY

To Hong Kong, where I meet top-ranking officials at a lavish banquet in my honour.

Everyone laughs at my jokes and they take a great interest in my views on world affairs.

"Speaking of war," I said, "there's something I'd like to ask. In the wake of threats of missile strikes against Australia by North Korea, can a North Korean missile reach New Zealand?"

They look confused and ask why I would want to know that. I explain that it's a matter of no little interest to the people of New Zealand, who I am proud to serve as interim Prime Minister.

Their faces fall.

"Oh," one of them says, "there's been a misunderstanding. We thought you were John Oliver."

- NZ Herald

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