As national stories go, it sure beats the hell out of having the world’s worst air quality, an epic natural disaster raging on our doorstep, or even an election.
The ACT’s decision to open our borders to Brisbane residents has made national front-page news … in The Betoota Advocate (still occasionally mistaken for an actual newspaper by overseas bloggers and the mildly out of touch).
Canberra Reopens To Brisbane, In Case Anybody Cares screams the headline, quoting “the ACT’s de facto leader, Andrew Barr” and leading with a photo of the man himself.
“It’s an exciting time. I mean coming to Canberra, not the current situation, which is not that good. But everything in Canberra is open, you can do all the sh*t like go to Questacon and the Portrait Gallery,” the story explained.
“Play golf up at the Fed, good course but not too stuffy. Go watch a show, make a fool of yourself at the casino. Mate, you can even cook your own steak at the Kingo and not feel like you’re going to get flogged by some bikie-looking blokes like you would in Brisbane.”
The story concludes by noting that the rest of the Chief Minister’s press conference would be relayed on ABC2 at 2:00 am AEST. However, sources close to the Chief told Region Media today that would be, in fact, “way more coverage than we usually get”.
But in a finely executed collision between reality and fantasy, the (actual) Chief Minister has chosen to respond by quoting Shakespeare, wondering whether “’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune … or a 2:00 am ABC2 press conference?”
The move was widely applauded on social media as a checkmate.
“Oh you’ve truly made it now, Andrew – featured by the ‘Toot!” said Natalie, while Bryn applauded the “quality banter … Taking a bit of sh*t from Betoota on the chin before smacking them in the face with a Shakespeare quote”.
Mr Barr suggested that despite the circumstances, the Advocate had given him kinder treatment than he often receives at the hands of News Corp mastheads.
Stories about something other than shenanigans on the Hill occasionally turn up in the Advocate. They’ve recently included a September headline about South Australia’s tourism industry being saved by a chartered Cessna full of Canberra tourists and an eerily accurate August story suggesting the ACT economy was on the brink of collapse as COVID-19 cancelled the nation’s Year Six excursions.