AN accidentally intercepted telephone conversation:
NASAL VOICE: Hello, little boy. How are you holding up in Bali?
TEEN VOICE: The pigs have me locked up for nothing! A little dope, that’s all. And it wasn’t my fault… (shouting) Mum and Dad forced to come to this crap hole because they said I was too young to stay home alone. It’s their fault! It’s their fault!
NASAL: I know, I know… but you shouldn’t call them pigs because it is culturally insensitive. In a Muslim country pigs are not very popular, and you don’t want me to send Judge Bromberg up to make you change your tone, do you?
TEEN: So, like, this guy forced me to buy the weed. Forced me!
NASAL: I know what it’s like, young man. A bad man once forced me to buy $17,000 worth of frocks with stolen money, but like you I was young and naïve.
At this point the conversation was swallowed by static, but clarity soon returned.
NASAL: So, little boy, have you had any visitors?
TEEN: Just Dad, what a loser!
NASAL: And your Mummy?
TEEN: She’s too scared ’cause she knows it’s her fault for making me come here. I am so much not down with that bitch.
NASAL: I meant official visitors, like Mr Rudd. He’s probably flying to Bali right this minute, but you shouldn’t talk to him, and never, ever pose for pictures with him, OK?
TEEN: Who’s he?
NASAL: A very nasty man who will not go away. He’ll promise to get you released, but don’t listen to a word he says.
NASAL: Leave it to me, little boy. I’m working on a regional solution and will have something worked out with Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor and maybe New Guinea before anyone has a chance to molest you, seriously molest you
TEEN: You mean like that Mr Rudd?
NASAL: No…well, he might, you never know what he might get up to.
NASAL: And when I get you out we’ll all go to the Lodge to have our pictures taken. Won’t that be lovely!
TEEN: Will there be sniffer dogs there?
NASAL: Not for you, little boy, not for you … and if that nasty Mr Rudd does turn up, I want you to give him the name and phone number of the massage girl you were with when they arrested you.
NASAL: We missed getting any pictures of him at a place called Scores in New York, so this time I could get a nice little snap for my dossier, er, album...
And then the line went dead.