This is the beginning of a new sporadic series in which I go out and have gonzo adventures with well known New Zealanders. If you have any suggestions for whom I could adventure with next, please let me know.
“The thing with trickle down” says John Key as he hovered over his fourth line of coke that night, “is that it only exists in two places.
“The first place, is in lefties’ minds.” he leans forward and snorts, hoovering up the line he’d meticulously set out before with his platinum Amex. “And the second, right now, is down the back of my throat”.
He chuckles that good natured chuckle of his and we high-five.
“Of course no-one in my party believes in the trickle down effect. We know that giving rich people tax cuts doesn’t means they’ll spend it back in the local economy and provide more jobs. You give the rich money, they get richer. If you focus the tax cuts on the rich and increase GST, well that’s going to hurt poor people more than rich people. Amirite? And no-one really wants to help poor people. People pretend to be socialist. But you put a big enough cheque in front of them and they’re gone. Look at Shane Jones. Look at Bomber. Well no-one should pay attention to that guy. He’s fucking nuts.
“I’m not the right wing crazy that people think. God knows I could have been. Have you seen my popularity ratings? Of any Western democracy, I have the highest popularity ratings of any leader. Any.”
He leans forward, conspiratorially. “Even that black fella over in the States. What a load of piss and wind he turned out to be huh?”
John turns to the stage where Warrant’s Cherry Pie is blasting out while two women on stage gyrate to the distorted guitar and misogynistic lyrics.
“Oh I love this bit…SHE’S MY CHERRY PIE! COOL DRINK A WATER SUCH A SWEET SURPRISE! TASTE SO GOOD MAKE A GROWN MAN CRY. It really does make me cry too. To watch these girls. They could be someone’s daughters. Obviously they are someone’s daughters. But they could be someone’s daughters, you know what I mean?”
I didn’t, but I don’t want to appear ignorant.
John nods along to the music, as the dancers, I think their names were Beowulf and Candy, perform mind-bogglingly elaborate and physical moves on the pole. Each time John’s head bobs, his perfectly-fitting suit jacket slides up his arms a wee bit and I see his Rolex. Every single time. I wondered if it was deliberate.
The dancers finish their routines and gather up their clothes and leave. I notice John didn’t contribute a lot to their tips.
“I didn’t get rich by giving money away mate.”
The stage goes quiet, then suddenly “MY ANACONDA DON’T … MY ANACONDA DON’T …MY ANACONDA DON’T WANT NONE UNLESS YOU GOT BUNS HON”. This time it’s not John introducing the song like he has done the last three but the actual stereo system.
“Let’s get the hell outta here, my anaconda don’t want none even if they’ve got heaps of buns.”
John leads the way. He’s using a gait you don’t usually see in public. He kind of leads with his pelvis as he walks, as though his crotch is a guiding beacon. As we get to the door, he suddenly pauses, adopts a Ravishing Rick Rude pose and thrusts at the bouncers.
“See you fuckers next week.”
The bouncers smile. One offers her hand out for a low-five, John obliges, swinging down hard as a man in his position of authority would, only for the bouncer to pull her hand out of the way before they could meet in a satisfying thwack.
“Too slow Mr Prime Minister” chuckles the bouncer. John smiles politely. “You got me Brenda” then more quietly “I’ll get you”.
We walk out of the club, John’s angry now. He feels like he was embarrassed by Brenda the bouncer. “Too slow? TOO SLOW? Fuck it. I’m faster than any man alive.”
He high fives me. In the face.
“Didn’t see that one coming did you?”
With eyes watering from the open-palmed punch the Prime Minister just gave me, I climb into the trailer of the Hilux that we’ve been cruising around in all night. The PM gets in next to me while one of his hired goons gets in the cab to drive.
“Want to do something awesome?”
It wasn’t really a question. None of his questions have been.
“Let’s go fuck something up”.
He bangs on the cab of the Ute and we’re off. I have to grab the sides just to stay in place. The PM likes to ride quickly and with the wind in his hair. He stands up at the front of the trailer and spreads his arms.
“I’m flying Jack. I’m flying”.
He collapses in giggles. “That movie was so gay.”
“Oh good we’re almost here.”
I see the sign for Herne Bay go blazing past the ute. We must be doing at least 75 kph in a 50 zone.
Suddenly the speed drops, and keeps dropping, I look round to see the Prime Minister has tied a blue bandana around his head and has a baseball bat. We get close to a driveway and the PM executes a perfect golf swing, cracking the bat straight into a letterbox, I see the letters C U N twist in the air as the letterbox breaks into several smaller pieces.
A man comes rushing out of the house, he’s wearing a dressing-gown and hair rollers. He looks like he used to be somebody. But now he just looks like a dejected, sad ageing dude. He sees his letterbox in pieces. He sees the Ute driving off in the distance, he sees the Prime Minister standing at the back the ute, middle finger on each hand extended. He shakes his head sadly and gathers up the pieces.
“WHO WAS THAT?” I yell over the roar of the 3L, 4 cylinder, 16 valve Double Overhead Cam engine.
“Just somebody I used to know”.
The ute braked suddenly and I fell forward into the back of the cab.
“Harden the fuck up mate, and get out.”
I looked up and saw that we’d arrived outside the hotel.
“Thanks for the evening Mr Prime Minister, it was really informative.”
“Suck it” he said as he grabbed his crotch. “And tell those lefty readers of yours to get over it, I’m in charge now. And I will be as long as I want it.”
With that, the Ute belched out a plume of smoke and was off in the distance as I sat in on the footpath coughing.