Island Life by David Slack

And I get on my knees and pray

1 Now these are the names of the children of Decision 05, which came unto the living rooms of New Zealand; unto their televisions did they come, unto their radios, their newspapers too, and unto their blogs did they come also.

2 Winston, Helen, Rodney and Peter,

3 Donald and Tariana,

4 Rod and Jeanette, Jon and Pita.

5 And the voters were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the booths were soon to be filled with them.

6 Now there arose up a new kind of voter, which knew not registration, and Exclusive was his name.

7 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Godzone are more and mightier than we, and they fancy the woman Clark, and the woman Fitzsimons:

8 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply and it come to pass that there be engineering of a social kind, whereby verily they should make our Brethren to be less Exclusive and perhaps go even unto raves and the parties known as "dance", and even the Dawson known as "Charlotte" may yet return to our television screens.

9 Therefore they did cast amongst the voters pamphlets to set fear amongst them and they did alert the very aged Don to their game and with much notice did they alert him,

10 And yet the aged Don did lose all memory of their meeting, and it did not come back to him for a week, and neither for two weeks.

11 And fully four weeks passed before it came back to him when Noelle did place her fair Irish hand upon his memory gland and coax it yet back unto life.

12 But the more the Brethren did cast amongst the voters pamphlets, the more the questions from the reporters of the left did grow.

13 And they were grieved and did hold a conference of the press.

14 And lo the Brethren of the Exclusive were all dressed in shirts of business and the colour of those shirts was indeed white and they did all present a countenance plump and also dour and of the many thousands of viewers who did see them they could be told apart by only their mother.

15 And they did declare that it would be not for them to vote, but for God to ordain who should win the election: all their service, wherein they did make pamphlets, was in His name.

16 And the King of Radio spake to the leaders of the right, of which the name of the one was Don, and the name of the other Rodney:

17 And he said, When ye do the office of a Prime Minister and these jokers should come unto your front office; I put it to you that it will be unto their bidding that you will govern.

18 But the leaders of the right feared the voters, and said to the King of Radio: let me be perfectly clear about this Paul, we will listen to everyone, and their best did they do to assure the King of Radio that they would be not any person's bitch.

19 And the voters did gather and place their mark upon paper and spoiled were the papers of only a few and fast was the counting of the papers and verily faster yet was the placing of these numbers upon the site of the Interweb

20 And these numbers were not read by the expert from Massey who yet declared: verily the Brethren who did not make a vote shall rejoice tonight for there is coming a mighty victory for the parties led by Men, and there shall be a Prime Minister and his name shall be Don.

21 And the Brethren said unto one another: we can go to bed, for it is 8.15 and that is the hour of the Devil.

22 Yet in the morning, the Brethren did open their Sunday Star Times and did sorely choke upon the spectacle, for the wicked voters of Auckland of the South, where the Brethren did themselves dwell, had recorded their votes for the lot known as "the other."

23 And verily the Brethren did take their ration cards from their wallets and they did see that they were indeed ripped, and asunder were they torn. And they did wail and rend their garments, and the business shirts of white became strewn all about.

24 Therefore God dealt well with the Brethren, and yet they knew it not and fell to their knees crying "What in the name of You is all this carry-on? How in Your name are we supposed to work with this?"

25 And it came to pass that a working group was formed and its number was seven and this was the seven who had become comfortable with the gaze of the media, and all of them were Men, for there was work by Men to be done.

26 And the work of Men was to watch the television to see what did come to pass. And the Men were sore frustrated because the leaders of the parties did meet and go away and talk no more.

27 And the woman known as Helen, and also as caretaker was she known, did go away and even unto Invercargill did she go to watch a motion picture about an Indian who was fast.

28 And even when the motion picture had ended did she say not a word about the formation of a government. And yet the working group did dry to deduce meaning from her words and still they could find no clue, for there was little to be known from the words: "He didn't seem to be going all that fast to me"

29 And the working group did gnash and wail, and it did fidget also as it watched the television for news of negotiations. And even did it yield to temptation, for it did cast its eyes upon the high-rating and critically acclaimed Unauthorised History of New Zealand (Tuesdays at 10.00pm on 2) and often did the arms of the working group rise in indignation and yet neither could the working group bring itself to change the channel.

30 Many days passed in this fashion, and in this fashion did many more days pass, until upon the very moment at which the working group was poised to abandon its struggle, a message was passed to the group by telephone.

31 And the message was good, for it declared: 'The woman Clark has cast a dummy from her mouth, for the woman Turia has required that she arrive for discussions in a limousine and verily she must travel in this limousine lying prone in the rear set, and lying prone in this seat, she must expose herself to the full gaze of the television cameras of TV1 and TV3 and also the TV known as Maori.

32 And the message did continue: "I think you jokers are in. You'd better give Don a ring."