Young Chip Rolley is owed a vote of thanks for reminding one and all that jumping to conclusions about other people, their likely actions and motives can be the height of presumptuous folly. If the Professor were sharing life and bed with Anne Summers, as does Young Chip, the week just passed would have presented a splendid opportunity to spend a lot more time at work, where the sound of gums gnashing -- and dentures grinding in the glass by the bed as well -- would be muted by distance. It cannot be happy times in the Summers household. If Chip has any sense he will not play too noisily with the pots and pans from under the sink. Poor Anne must be so irritable now that Saint Julia has been burned at the stake, she will have the smacking stick handy and be looking for someone, anyone, on whom to vent her frustration.
Yes, Chip would have been well advised to spend more time at the office, but a quick glance at The Drum confirms that he has been avoiding his desk. No doubt he has secured a doctor's note for presentation to Mark Scott, explaining his absence as essential to the well-being of a disturbed senior whose tortured brow needs constant mopping.
"Some chicken soup, my Little Love Prune?"
"Get it away from me, you testicle-dangler!"
"You must eat, my Anguished Angel. You simply must!"
[the sound of smashing crockery, followed by the thud of a solid object striking human flesh]
"How many times have I told you GI Joe is banned in this house and not to be hidden under the pillow. You have a perfectly good Tet Offensive Barbie in those nice black pyjamas Tim Mathieson ran up on his Singer. And don't you dare play with the saucepans again."
Anne's delirium is understandable. She put all that effort into a just-published book decrying Tony Abbott's assaults on Gillard, only to see it rendered comically irrelevant by the misogynists of her very own favoured party. What is the poor woman to do now? If she promotes the book, it draws ironic attention to Labor's hypocrisy. And if she persists in calling on female members of the Rudd cabinet to quit, she'll have no gal cobbers whatsoever. It was all very well and good decrying a Liberal's hateful bias, but far from a good career move when it is the bruvvers' turn to order that their shirts be ironed.
Madness can be Anne's only refuge, Young Chip the sole safe object on which to vent her fury.
Yet while Young Chip absorbs another recitation of the stock speech, "Great Moments in Abortion History: D&C Means You and Me", neglect is bringing on a crisis point at The Drum. Over the last few days, stories have been appearing twice on the homepage -- stories like this one, for example. Late last night, three other articles were double-listed.
Moreover, the wonderful post-Crikey zaniness that former editor Jonathan Green brought to The Drum has gone walkabout. No more Alene Compostas, not a sign of Bob Ellis doing to a web page what recent meals have inflicted on the front of his jumper. Not a trace of the fresh and approved opinionists of the sort the ABC sees as its sacred duty to save from lives of endless shuffling in those Centrelink queues. The best the site has been able to manage of late are Daily Life and the Conversation re-treads, Clementine Ford and Ruby Hamad.
Get back to work, Young Chip. Your patient is beyond sanity and hope. And best of all, Mark Scott will let you play with the Ultimo cafeteria's saucepans.