The noise from the attic starts slowly, the occasional clank and clink of shuffled chains on Boxing Day, just enough to extinguish any Christmas hope that the Cornish pirate’s curse might have dissipated, that the thing in the ancient sea chest might have been killed by the heat of a record summer under a metal roof.
More a hopeless wish than hope. Nothing can lift the curse of the betrayed pirate king, abandoned centuries before on a speck of Caribbean rock with only the devil for company.
As sure as the mutinous crew and their ship was engulfed by flame, one Pascoe of each generation is haunted by the inescapable sea chest and what it contains.
The noise – and stench – build each night until by New Year’s Eve’s eve the howls and screams banish sleep and the putrid ooze seeping under the attic door announces it is time to once more brave the horrors.
After years of this torture I am immune to the serpents and spiders nesting on and around the sea chest, the thing that beats with its own dark heart. I am startled though by an apparition that escapes as I touch the lock – Peter Dutton picking his gold teeth with a long thin blade.
But once more it is there before me, the ancient tome opening itself and forcing me to look and record what an unseen hand scratches out in blood.
Some say it’s now the work of a Labor election post-mortem. Some say it’s the ghost of the last liberal Liberals. Others claim it’s what hides under Malcolm Roberts’ tinfoil hat.
I only know it as Olde Pascoe’s Almanacke.
Clive Palmer is awarded the Order of Australia for services to advertising industry revenue.
Prime Minister Stunt Morrison starts the new year by embracing the “Scotty from Marketing” tag.
“I’m proud to be selling Australia, anyone want to buy it?” he asks from the steps of Shark1 before flying to India to sell coal.
Gina Rinehart is named Australian of the Year.
Barnyard Joyce posts a selfie video, pausing while tossing slops to pigs, to say it’s what he does and everything is going according to the Big Cloud’s plan.
February is again the shortest month. Everyone is grateful for that small mercy as peak summer arrives.
The Prime Minister’s Office notifies Murdoch organisations that media conferences will no longer will held outdoors after Scotty from Marketing’s pet lump of coal spontaneously combusts.
Home Affairs Minister Dutton says the disappearance of fire extinguishers is nothing to do with him.
Non-Murdoch journalists are left to die waiting in the Parliamentary courtyard.
Crikey’s Bernard Keane uses the occasion of Christian Porter announcing another version of the Religious Beliefs Promotion Bill to ask:
“Attorney-General, we are aware, despite your best efforts, of Witness J and Witness K – whatever happened to Witnesses A through to I?”
Barnyard Joyce posts a selfie video, pausing while feeding chooks, explaining that is what politicians do when Parliament is sitting and that Big Cloud has everything under control.
Merry Christmas pic.twitter.com/QGYPv51pTN
— Barnaby Joyce (@Barnaby_Joyce) December 24, 2019
Bernard Keane is reported missing. Opposition Leader Elbow says he has never heard of him.
Another unprecedented weather event: A series of massive cyclones from the northwest and northeast fight out a lengthy draw over Australia.
“I know we forecast the chance of significant rain in April, but this is ridiculous, more clear evidence of our changed climate,” says a Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson awaiting rescue on the roof of the Brisbane BoM building.
Barnyard Joyce posts a selfie video, pausing while feeding ducks, to say the Big Cloud always had rain in its plan.
The BoM spokesperson is not rescued.
Bernard Keen’s missing person report goes missing from the files of Minister Dutton’s new Home Force.
The last of rural Australia’s topsoil is washed away. Lake Eyre fills, then overflows and keeps overflowing
Scotty from Marketing is spotted buying Maccas in dry and sunny Tucson, Arizona. He says Jen made him take the secret holiday to spend time with the girls before the busy Budget period. It was coincidental that QAnon survivalists had a major compound nearby.
Acting PM Michael Whatshisname announces Barnyard Joyce is Australia’s flood ambassador.
“Just Joshing” Frydenberg delivers his second Budget, forecasting that wages growth would take off any day now thanks to the drought breaking and the government buying the numbers in the Senate to scrap corporate income tax.
Opposition Leader Elbow holds his tinny steady enough against the current to be heard to congratulate the government.
While interviewing Christian Porter about the new Religious Beliefs Preferential Treatment bill, Leigh Sales asks whatever happened to the promised federal integrity commission.
The AG says Peter Dutton is investigating the possibilities of a more pro-active form of integrity enforcement.
Andrew Bolt begins his new job as an ABC prime time host by saying: “Welcome to Half-Past Seven.” Yet-to-be-dismissed ABC staff christen the program 1933 Hours Minus 3.
Barnyard Joyce posts a selfie video, pausing while feeding carp, to explain that’s what Flood Ambassadors do and it’s not for us to know what Big Cloud plans next for us, but it might be worth asking Peter Dutton.
After a series of unfortunate on-field drownings, the NRL and AFL abandon the 2020 season.
The rain stops, leaving Australia with an inland sea and Western Australia with renewed hope of secession, given that it is no longer physically joined to the east coast states.
Malcolm Roberts, the Minister for Science in the restructured coalition government – the Senate and House of Reps are consolidated and One Nation acquired to compensate for National electorates that no longer exist – explains that it is the weight of the inland sea pushing the remaining Australian land mass down that’s causing the east coast problems, not rising sea levels per se.
It is not clear if Opposition Leader Elbow, wearing floaties somewhere in the Pacific, says “hear, hear!” to that or “here, here!” Nobody seeks clarification.
A journalist lost in the new Canberra Courts and Religious Observance Commission complex opens an accidentally unlocked door and is able to remain unobserved long enough to understand a trial is underway of Witness XB31.
Uber Minister (and that’s not ride sharing) Dutton dismisses the subsequent report as Canberra bubble gossip about family matters.
Scotty from Marketing announces a world tour with Jen and the girls to promote Australia as the water sports capital of the universe.
The #MeToo movement asks Labor for its hashtag back.
As some pensioners aren’t failing the Robo-tread-water-or-drown Test, Treasurer “Just Joshing” declares old people worth keeping alive would already have provided for themselves with franking credits and have their own yachts, so all pensions are therefore cancelled, giving the budget the chance of regaining surplus as soon as the flood waters recede or Science Minister Roberts’ succeeds in his plan to refloat the continent by pumping hydrogen into old mines.
Uber Minister Dutton announces a new naming system for all public servants and journalists, consisting of letters and numbers, saying it’s a way of getting national security retaliation in first. Anyway, they are all witnesses of one sort or another to government policy.
Nationals leader Michael Whatshisname is lost in a diving accident while trying to retrieve family heirlooms from Lake Wagga Wagga, once (and only once) called the capital of Australia.
His replacement, Barnyard Joyce, says his return to the Acting Prime Ministership in Scotty from Marketing’s extended absence was all in the Big Cloud’s plan, though, yes, Gina had been helpful and a great support.
Uber Minister Dutton deploys ADF forces held in reserve ever since the drought of ’19 to Washington to assist the Trumpists against the “forces of anarchy and moral decay” in the wake of the abandoned presidential election.
Photographs emerge of Scotty from Marketing carrying Donald Trump’s bags in the Mar-a-Lago bunker.
Brian Houston is named Australia’s Ambassador to the US.
AG Christian Porter says the Atheists Identification and Reassignment Bill will bring operational clarity to government and ensure delivery of the Australian Promise.
He denies there was an attempt to hide the bill by announcing it on Christmas Eve after earlier unveiling the Federal Parliamentary Integrity and Devotion Commission to be chaired by George Christensen – and anyone who suggests otherwise can answer to Minister Dutton.
And through it all, Australia survives, though millions of hectares and their inhabitants of various species don’t.