Ever wondered what constitutes a typical working day of one of the most elite of the media elite? Wonder no more. I have valiantly taken it upon myself to venture behind the scenes to transcribe the real reality of the daily battle for truth against the army of the rest of you. What follows is not for the faint of heart and should be read only with the understanding that you are explicitly advised not to read it. Any spelling or grammatical errors are entirely the fault of the scribe and not the subject:
6:45am: Catch the alarm on the first ring. I’ve still got it. There’s no snooze button in the war against sandal wearing leftists. Today is going to be a good day. I don my slippers and robe, fastening the belt carefully with a half hitch. I pause briefly in front of the mirror to ensure both sides of the belt are of equal length and that the collar of my pyjamas isn’t protruding in an unsightly manner, and am horrified to find my hair in unstatesmanlike disarray. Fortunately it’s nothing a lick of my tortoise shell comb and a few ordered passes can’t correct and anon I’m en route to the kitchen to make a nice pot of tea.
7:07am: After some deliberation I’ve selected a tea befitting my mood. I scoff at those who drink coffee and refuse to allow any in the house. Mother brought home some decaffeinated international roast sachets after attending a CWA meeting once and there were some stern words spoken by yours truly, I can tell you. We’ll have none of that socialism by stealth around here. Chinese green tea is even worse. How can they call it green tea when it’s consumed by reds? The thought strikes me as witty and insightful and I make a note in my diary to contact my colleagues to discuss coming up with a phrase about something that looks green but is really red. This is how my mind works – razor sharp and ever alert. You have to get up pretty early in the morning to get one past old Gerald. 6:30am for instance, or perhaps even earlier.
This morning’s tea is Earl Grey. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Gerald,” I hear you say, “but Earl Grey isn’t a morning tea! It’s best suited to the afternoon!” and I would be compelled to concede that you are correct, learned and adoring reader. English Breakfast is a much more respectable choice, but between you and me, sometimes I like to live on the wild side. I bet you didn’t expect that little glimpse behind the curtain of mystery that enshrouds Australia’s greatest intellect, did you? Well buckle your seatbelt because there’s more to come. Sometimes I even have a biscuit with my tea before breakfast. I like to think that minds like mine aren’t constrained by the same rules as you ordinary folk. I remind Mother of this all the time.
7:24am I begin my preparation for the day ahead. I am listening to Radio National while watching News 24 on mute with subtitles for the hearing impaired. Sometimes if I squint I can pretend that the radio is in fact the soundtrack to the television. It might as well be because I’m sure these leftists are all issued the same daily talking points. I make a note in my diary to contact my colleagues and have them mention that in the next daily electronic mail memorandum of talking points. Razor sharp. I don’t know how I do it. I catalogue a few spelling mistakes in the subtitles and put them aside for use in my planned correspondence with Mark Scott later.
8:19am I collect the daily papers from the front yard and head to the Institute™ to begin work. The journey generally takes about two minutes as the Institute™ is conveniently located in a converted granny flat in Mother’s back yard. Sometimes it takes longer as the latch on the side gate is somewhat rusted and can in cold weather be infuriatingly recalcitrant. This is why I always leave a few minutes earlier than I need to. Tardiness is but a short step from whale music and injecting rooms, and as Director of the Institute™ I must set an example for my employees. The fact that I don’t have any employees is something I see as immaterial. Standards are standards. The Institute™ is the nation’s leading collective of superior intellects. It has a brass plaque and printed stationery. It will not be mocked.
9:00am The day’s journey begins. I have a porcelain dog I call Margaret that I keep in a bed I have fashioned from a Bata shoe box and wood-grain patterned adhesive paper. This morning, as every morning, she has been roused from her slumber and is now occupying her habitual position on the desk beside my personal computerised workstation. I talk to her often and sometimes I pretend she talks back to me. I even record her opinions in my much lauded weekly electronic publication which showcases the inferior intellect of everybody I don’t agree with. This is funny on many levels because she is porcelain, and therefore not a real dog, and even if she was real, dogs can’t talk, and even if they could talk, they could hardly hold an insightful opinion on the failings of leftist media, could they? I know, it’s a scream, isn’t it? They aren’t really Margaret’s opinions at all. They’re mine and I just pretend. It’s what we intellectuals refer to as a literary device and it’s very clever. What’s more, I am so clever I use two literary devices. [It’s about time I got some recognition –Ed]. Try doing that with open-toed footwear.
I have established my telephone dial-up connection to everyone else’s personal computerised workstations and have made an orderly pile of today’s newsprint publications in order to begin cross-checking them against the electronic versions that I have delivered to my monitor. I will of course begin, as I do every morning, with the Guardian on the Yarra – that’s what I call The Age. It’s a very clever joke and my friends never get tired of it. I’ve selected a red Kilometrico disposable 1mm ball-point pen with which to mark inconsistencies and errors. I used to favour an Artline 8mm felt tipped pen, but I found that the ink seeped through the paper, causing confusion. On one occasion I mailed a 1,500 word electronic letter to the editor of a publication I shan’t, through grace, name, drawing his attention an error that didn’t actually exist, but was in fact seepage from my highlighting the misuse of the word ‘your’ on the preceding page. How we laughed that day, Margaret and me. The editor indignantly claimed that I was in the wrong until I pointed out that my error couldn’t have occurred without his ineptitude in printing the error of the preceding page. The correspondence is detailed in full in my electronic publication, issues 124-237. [Failure to reply is clear forfeiture of position. We showed him! – Ed.]
10:00am Tea time. The morning has proven quite productive so far. I’ve sent an electronic letter to my friend Andrew, pointing out some misspellings and questionable grammatical choices on his web-log. I know he works for a rival organisation, but essentially we’re on the same side, and I am nothing if not the paradigm of professionalism. It gets a little tiring doing this every day, but Andrew seems to appreciate it. I’ve also written to Piers and advised him it might be wise to stop denying the existence of carbon dioxide until my colleagues at another Institute™ finalise their latest research and publish the appropriate brochure. The price of the pursuit of truth is, after all, eternal vigilance.
12:30pm Lunch. Today I’ve packed cucumber and Nutella sandwiches. I could journey home for lunch of course, but I worry what sort of an example I’d be setting to the employees. Also, Margaret frets if I leave the Institute™ through the day. I’ve spent the remainder of the morning watching Media Watch on iView. Mother doesn’t let me watch it in the house anymore owing to an unfortunate incident wherein I accidentally used a permanent marker to draw horns on Jonathon. The television screen is now barely smudged, but Mother now insists that my finger gun and ‘pew pew pew’ noises are distracting. It is most unfair. I wrote to Mark Scott about it and await his reply.
5:00pm Home time. Time flies when you’re corresponding with Bob Ellis. What a cunt.
6:45pm Bed time. I have some concerns about Margaret and was considering returning to the Institute™ to check on her but Mother doesn’t like me traveling after dark. Instead I’ve had a nice cup of tea and listened to three tracks from the latest Susan Boyle album. I dare not listen to more as experience has shown it disturbs my sleep and can create unnecessary embarrassment in the morning. Mother is entertaining a guest from her dancing class. He’s obviously quite inept as I can hear all manner of banging noises and Mother yelps intermittently. He’d better not be wearing sandals or I will be having stern words in the morning. We don’t like those types around here. Why can’t people wear decent shoes?