The understatesman

At the local Rapid Creek Market this morning I gave Kevin Rudd two tomatoes. I have never given tomatoes to anyone, ever before – such is the seductive power of fame. My grandfather used to give us homegrown tomatoes – by the barrel at certain times of year. These ones were ‘local produce’. Kevin is startlingly unprepossessing by the way of statesmen, but quick as a rat up a drainpipe on the social minutiae that makes glad handing successful.

Our local stall holder handed me the tomatoes and instructed me to deliver them to the PM. I was a little taken aback, then curious about how he would handle it – in his stride. What else should I have expected of a man who had been sensously guided by both hands across a fruit stall and kissed quite deliberately on the face then passed on to the next stall holder who clasped both his hands and brought them to her mouth. Two tomatoes!  A dodder. His hands disappeared into the crowd before I could see what he did with them. What an operator. He acknowledged me, took the tomatoes, thanked the stall holder’s call, “local produce for you”, without missing a beat. 

Too awkward to be gracious, but unnervingly accurate as he directs thanks and small attentions. He is the understatesman for Australia.

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3 Responses to The understatesman

  1. Antigone says:

    light is
    halved
    like
    a
    tomato,
    its juice
    runs
    through the streets.

    Pablo Neruda, Ode to Tomatoes

  2. ‘The understatesman’. I really like that. I hope it achieves wider provenance.

  3. FDB says:

    “I hope it achieves wider provenance.”

    I dunno, I reckon Jen deserves the credit all to herself. ;)

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