I knew something was wrong as soon as I switched on the kitchen light.
The cupboard door was slightly ajar. I don't go around leaving cupboard doors slightly ajar. They're either closed or they're open. I don't do ajar. I don't even like the word. It makes me want to scream and run amok - amok, I do. Oh yes. I most certainly do amok. I've made a political career out of it.
I flung open the cupboard and saw biscuit crumbs.
Crumbs, in my cupboards? I don't think so. Not on my watch. Something was afoot.
Do I do afoot?
I don't know.
It's hard to think straight at the moment. Ever since this whole business with the wretched Hager book and his wretched accusations and his wretched proof, I've been a mess, more or less under house arrest, unable to sleep - I looked at the kitchen clock. It was after 4am.
I took a deep breath. I just needed a nice hot cup of tea and a lie down. And a biscuit.
I followed the trail of crumbs to a packet of Milk Arrowroots. One was missing.
I realised in an instant who was behind this interesting little break-in.
Hager, and his long, biscuit-clutching fingers! Hager, and his sharp, biscuit-biting teeth!
It had his fingerprints all over it. As such, I got out my police kit, and dusted the entire kitchen for prints.
Finished dusting the entire house, including the driveway.
I couldn't stand it any more, cooped up inside, hungry, pale, quite possibly insane, so I called John but as soon as I started saying I needed some fresh air, he snapped, "Sit tight. Sit tight, and shut your big fat trap."
I said, "You can't talk to me like that!"
He said, "You and your mate Slater have got us into this so I'll talk to you any way I goddamned like!"
I said, "What d'you mean, ‘your mate Slater'? You and Cam are thick as thieves. You get up to all sorts of things together. Things that not even Hager knows. Things you'd like to keep secret."
I could hear him breathing.
He said, "Is that a threat?"
I held the receiver closer to my mouth and breathed loudly.
He said, "Tomorrow. You can go out tomorrow. Just for a bit."
We've always understood each other perfectly.
Politics is a stage. I command it. I thrive on the spotlight and the applause of the audience and the opportunity to perform in the grand theatrical manner.
Today I settled for making a quick visit to a business in Mangere.
It was off-Broadway but they all count.
On the way there, I froze.
What if Sabin was there?
Brook Sabin, the TV3 cub reporter, with his fresh little face and his white little teeth, has always brought out the worst in me. It was Sabin who reduced me to a raving ninny during the Oravida scandal, when I shot my mouth off about Katie Bradford. It was Sabin who made me look bad the last time I was let out in public, when I stormed past him in the airport like a criminal.
I got to Mangere. The press were there but no sign of Sabin. It went without a hitch and I could feel the love of the public. Things are looking good.
John phoned and said, "Things are looking bad. We're hanging on by our fingernails. Don't go outside again. Every time you do, we suffer. OK? Take one for the team."
I can never resist his wheedling and pathetic manner when the chips are down.
I lay in bed and stared at the ceiling and got up sometime around 4am and went to the kitchen and that's when I screamed.
Hager had been at the biscuits again. Hager - and Sabin, in cahoots, stuffing their greedy little faces. I shook the packet. I was definitely another few biscuits short of a packet.
I screamed and ran amok and heard the ambulance, its siren from afar.
- Sunday Star Times
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