Chapter 1

I'd been shot on Saturday afternoon, flown home on Sunday. Weena's (and Patrick's) TV debut had been on Sunday evening ... an unusual appearance for Sue. But Rob had protected me from the phone, though he kept good notes. He told callers that I was "resting comfortably." I knew that Monday morning would be chaos.

Weena rebandaged my arm after she got home, put Patrick to bed and then us. I just held her and felt her tension dissipate.

Monday morning the phone exploded again. I told Weena that we'd have to pay Rob whatever the answering service got plus "danger pay." She decided that (a) I was staying home and (b) she would, too, "so you've experienced nursing, dear." Patrick wanted to know if my "owie" was "all gone." I told him "Not yet." He nodded sagely.

Weena "permitted" me to shower, told me to leave my arm "open to the air" for a few hours and started fussing in the kitchen. I was on my third cup of coffee when Rob came in and said "I think there are a few calls you might want to return."


"Someone named Kevin in the ACT, your mum, Maggie in the Alice, a reporter from the West Australian who claims to know you, a woman called Willy, and Perkins. Oh, and Charlie and Chaz. All the rest can wait, I think — or be totally ignored."

"Did Willy and Perk leave numbers?"

"Of course. I'd suggest you call using your mobile and I'll keep on manning the hotline."

"Right." I decided to call Kevin first.

"Hey, Janice, it's the walking wounded ... No, I'm not really in bad shape. But I know Kevin called me ... Right. Right ... Hey, Kevin! ... Really? Just a second ... Weena! Kevin says they've been showing your chat with Sue repeatedly ... She wants to know whether anything meaningful will happen ... Right. Right. I'll tell her ... Really? Are you serious? Today in the House? ... Oh God! ... Well, what should I do? ... Oh. Okay. Yes, I think we get that. I'll call tomorrow morning ... Right." I got off the phone, looked at Weena and Rob and started to laugh.

"Sweetheart, you're a celebrity! Kevin says the politicos are running about like beetles from under a rotting stump. They run you and Patrick at least once an hour. And the 'issue' has already been entered for today's Question Time. We'll have to see whether we can watch. Do you think Sue knows? You might want to tip her off." Weena was already getting Sue's card and her mobile. "I'll call mum and reassure her."

I did. All mum wanted was to be sure my "owie" was being taken care of and how cute and well-behaved Patrick had been. Then I called Maggie. She thought it was a hoot. I'd done exactly what the "nitwits" [her term] had told me to do, and Weena'd pulled the rug out from under them. I told her what I'd been told about Question Time and she said she'd watch — and try to tell Shirl to watch, too. Then I called Chaz and ran through it all again. And then Charlie. Then I called Perkins.


"Gordy, you phoned."

"Yes. This is my mobile. Hold on while I walk outdoors. Okay. No obvious eavesdroppers and I doubt whether they've got a parabolic mike on me."

"Do you look under the bed every night?"

"Yes. And in the closets, too. Are you okay?"

"Just fine, why?"

"Well we've all watched Sue and your family and are rolling on the floor laughing. I swear one of the men nearly wet himself. The nits from the ministries just disappeared. The Colonel asked me what you'd been told, I reported, he pointed out that you hadn't gone public, and he promised me a drink in the OC. 'That'll keep the pols out of our hair for a while, ' he said."

"Well, I was just told that I'm on the order paper for today's Question Time. Can you get it on the telly?"

"Damn right!"

"Well, enjoy." We laughed and I got off. "Weena!"

"Did you bellow?"

"Yes. Do you want to talk to Willy?"

"Oh, yes. Give me the number. I'll call." (Another off my list!)

I called the reporter. The number was busy, so it moved to the bottom of my stack. I called Mona at my office.

"Hi. I thought I'd let you know I'm alive ... Oh, you saw her ... Yes, she was most protective. I think I'll be in tomorrow, unless the world ends ... No, I'm not expecting it. By the way, is there a telly around? ... Oh, I understand I'm in today's Question Time ... You can? I didn't realize. Anyway, I'm sure you've a mound of phone messages ... I'd say toss them, but you're too responsible. I'll see them in the morning. Thanks."

Weena was still on the phone with Willy. I looked in on Patrick, but he was busily colouring a piece of paper in a scrawl of his own devising. Rob came in.

"Only a few more calls. Two newspaper reporters and some independent producer who want's to make a film for TV. I laughed at him, but promised to tell you."

"Well, you did. How about some lunch?"

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Story tagged with:
Ma/Fa / True Story /