All hail the Tongan Navy
Praise the Captain and the crew
Who snatched brave Ratu Mara
Fearless critic of the coup
In sailed the Tongan Navy
All guns blazing on the deck
Through shot and shell and fiery hell
They saved good Ratu's neck
And even if that's not the truth
'Tis right and good to fudge it
Lest else this would a dull thing be
About the b****y Budget
Got it in one, sir. There's nothing wrong with a little poetical embellishment. Especially not in this case. This is the Seals at sea really; a meticulously planned mission, successfully executed - as was Osama - except, here, the aim was rescue rather than retribution.
And, as the extinguished poet laureate, Sir Jam Hipkins (Honour pending) reminds us, hailing the heroism of Tonga's nautical Nightingales does allow us to turn our heads to wall, my darlings, and ignore the bloomin' Budget.
Which most of us will be happy to do. Forget Aquarius, boomers, this is the dawning of the age of austerity. Hair was there, now the cupboard's bare.
It's cold turkey time, team ... except we can't afford the turkey. We've just got to bite the pullet. Not since Nordy, who slapped an extra sixpence on the beer - Thirst cuts are the deepest - has the nation reeled from such sweeping savagery savagely sweeping right across the board.
Working for Families, KiwiSaver and interest-free student loans have all been semi-sacrificed, sort-of, simply to balance the books. Or they will be, in six months, after the election, perhaps, which just goes to show what a fine mess we're in.
It's like Christmas in the poor house
How hath it come to thist?
That we are each an Oliver,
Whom fate has cruelly Twist.
For years our Budget bowl's been filled
With ladled gruel galore.
Now mean ol' Bill has laid it out,
"Sod off! There is no more!"
On this, our darkest day - well, almost, nearly our darkest day; on this, our bleakest morning - except for all the other, much bleaker mornings; in this, our hardest hour - apart from the one when we lost the quarter-final in the last World Cup and the semifinal in the one before that - each of us will seek such crumbs of comfort as we may find in the wreckage of our dreams.
Mercifully, there are some. At least the world's going to end on Saturday. So we've got something to look forward to. Well, assuming that preacher geezer's right, of course. And if he's not then, hey, Dan Carter's staying. That's good. No, it's terrific! The Rugby Union's probably bought him a dairy farm so he doesn't have to pay too much tax.
And there are some other blessings we can count, more bright sides to consider. We may be broke and busted, bankrupt and bereft, but it could be much, much worse. We could be Chinese water melons, exploding willy nilly, hither and yon, unexpectedly splattering the Great Wall and the terracotta army with our nutritious essence in random outbreaks of vegetative detonation.
Decline to third world status
Is a better thing, dear friend,
Than to find ourselves extinguished in
A red and squishy end!
Speaking of inflated vegetables and things that go bang in the night, it's also cause for celebration that we aren't wandering willies. Or don't have wandering willies, if you prefer. Poverty-stricken we may be, clasped tight to the bosom of penury, but not held in lust's clutch like the amorous Arnie, (ex-Governor Schwarzenegger) who we now know was keeping house with the housekeeper, or the IMF's unsavoury Strauss-Kahn, who appears to have been
abusing people, power and position for a long, long time.
In this part of the world, when we call our politicians bonkers, we just mean they're a little potty, not that their reputation is in one.
Money you can borrow
Cash you can repay
But the fund of reputation
Can be squandered in a day
No bank on earth can lend you
A good name, if such you lack,
And no fund upon the planet
Can ever buy one back.
So let's not have too much binding in the marshes. Sure, we can grumble about the Budget. That's why we have budgets.
They let us blame the politicians for the failings in ourselves. After all, we're the ones who want to live in lotus land. All the pollies do is water the plants. But, never fear. There is a silver lining - even if we've had to borrow the money to buy the silver.
There are others, plants and people, whose straits are even direr than our own. Things could be worse - not much, but a bit. So let us brace ourselves and roll up our sleeves and get stuck in and never forget, "When the going gets tough, the stuffed get going". Unless you've got a better idea, of course.
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