Toby Halligan tries to unpack Tony Abbott’s last week in politics. And it only ends in tears.
Thank god he was touring an onion farm, not a cattle ranch.
With the chomp of a single onion Tony Abbott has made writing comedy about him pointless. Tony Abbott now is to politics what Puppetry of the Penis is to theatre.
As a professional comedy writer typically my process is, when trying to find humour in the often dry business of the state, to unpack a particular moment and try to get inside the head of the person in question.
But understanding how Tony Abbott came to this particular decision is hard. Is it just campaign 101 for Tony? Babies are presented you kiss them, hands are presented you shake them, when an unpeeled, raw onion is presented, you eat it?
Remember this was a zero risk event. There was literally no pressure of any kind. Tony was presented with a scenario most 8 year olds are happy navigating. You’re presented with something in an inedible state and the question is: Do I Eat This?
Is it possible that the Prime Minister has simply never encounter an onion before? No. He apparently declared afterwards: “Better than any other onions I’ve eaten in a long time”.
Of course, our leaders have eaten strange things before. Who could forget a young Kevin supping on his own ear wax?
But Tony’s wasn’t an unguarded moment – it was a staged media event.
So how has the world responded? With bewilderment. There’s this from internationally renowned newspaper, the Washington Post, which contains this particular gem:
“Chomping into a raw onion as if it were an apple is an unusual thing to do.”
Hail the masters of understatement at the Post. That’s like saying: “Trying to eat a live raccoon is a bad idea” or “driving with your teeth is unsafe”.
And there’s this headline from the New Statesman: “Australia’s PM bit into an onion in the manner of an apple, skin and all, as if it’s a normal thing” with the sub heading: “Weird bloke, this bloke, isn’t he.”