BY WILLIAM COLVIN
Not many people know this, but I’m actually adopted.
Mark Colvin, an ABC journalist and an incredibly sweet man, is the man who raised me and gave me his last name, but he’s not my real father.
I remember that when I was very small, my biological parents took me on a holiday to South Australia.
It was the weekend, we were staying at a little farmhouse, and my parents had made plans to go into the city and wander around, seeing galleries and doing stuff like that.
On our way out , just before lunchtime, we stopped in at a neighbouring property, a grand old mansion, to ask for directions.
My parents got talking with the owner, a burly young man with a big smile and chubby fingers, and soon enough, he asked us to join him and some other guests for lunch, and they agreed. I didn’t know it then, but the man they were talking to was Joe Hockey.
It soon became clear that this was no ordinary lunch. The other guests were all wealthy businessmen, politicians and celebrities, and their families, and Joe was sparing absolutely no expense in their entertainment – this was nothing short of a banquet.
The feast took place in the main dining room of the house, an incredible marble hall bathed in sunlight. The tables were marble, the chairs were marble thrones, even the plates looked like they could have been marble.
Despite our opulent company, we weren’t neglected. Joe treated us as guests of honour. My parents sat next to Joe, who was sitting at the head of the table, and I sat at the children’s table with the other kids.
Course after course arrived of the most amazing and exotic food. Squabs, pheasant, lamprey pie, sweetly spiced ices, bouillabaisse, incredibly delicate tarts and cakes, charcoal cooked snappers, it went on and on.
Joe was giving the adults little blue pills, which as an adult I now guess were probably Xanax, and everyone was plied with incredibly expensive wines.
Every few courses, buckets would be brought round for everyone to vomit into – big ornate clay urns filling up with sick – and everyone merrily played along, even my parents. It was the most decadent thing I’ve ever seen.
Late in the afternoon, Joe stood to make a toast. He thanked everyone for coming, and then turned to my parents.
“I think I speak for everyone here, when I say that we’re all especially glad that you were able to join us. After all, a banquet like this does need something truly, truly special as it’s final course, and we’re so glad you could provide it.”
My parents looked confused. I noticed that all of the other guests, aside from my parents, were now wearing strange gold masquerade masks over their eyes, with little gold antlers rising up above their heads.
“Prepare the final course!”, shouted Joe.
I felt strong hands lifting me from beneath my armpits as big men in chef’s clothes grabbed my parents and hauled them away from the table. I kicked and screamed as a sack was pulled over my head.
The next thing I knew I was tied up in a kitchen, watching my mother and father screaming as they were gutted alive by butchers.
Joe personally oversaw the creation of his grim meal. My parents were speared from bottom to mouth on wooden skewers and spit-roasted.
After they were cooked, they were transferred to big silver platters and covered with roasted fruits and vegetables. The last image I have of my mother is of her eyeless head, hairless and roasted, with an apple in her mouth.
I was spared for the time being, to be eaten for breakfast the next day, left tied up in the dark, freezing pantry.
Luck – if you could call anything luck after seeing your beloved mother and father roasted alive by Joe Hockey and whisked off to be eaten by his guests – came to me in the form of a kind young servant girl, who freed me in the middle of the night, and put me in a small rowboat in a river near the house.
The current carried me a long way down stream, and I was eventually found by normal people and taken to child services. I was too young to speak, and my parents became missing persons.
Eventually I was adopted by Mark and Michele, and grew up as a relatively normal child, the memories of my biological family and their deaths at the hands of our current treasurer buried deep in my subconscious, only to return to me conveniently in a dream last night, as Joe Hockey’s political career hangs in the balance.