Hockey’s advice: Missing a leg? Grow a new one
AS STREET urchins warm themselves by the steam billowing from manholes on the dusty roads of Old Sydneytown, a dashing figure in a bespoke suit opens his roadside magic potion stall.
Dropping great chunks of cigar ash onto the cobbled stones, Joe Hockey transforms into a master spruiker, doling out treasures of wisdom to these hovel-dwelling peasants.
"Step right up folks! Smokin' Joe and his marvellous emporium of patented elixirs have the perfect cure for whatever ails you," he shrieks.
"Can't afford a house, you say? Go get a high-paying job.
"Starving to death? Your old mate Joe has the answer: eat more food.
"What's that - your husband lost a leg in the war? Tell him to grow a new one!
"That will be a shilling, madam - these insights don't come for free. A man has to eat, and I'm helping my chum Tony with his mortgage."
Gracious me. Another job well done.
Joe carefully packs up his wares and has his driver, Bartholomew, trot him back to the manor, satisfied he has just helped dozens of less-fortunates become plump homeowners with two functional legs.
Marjorie Glenelg, the war veteran amputee's malnourished wife, can hardly wait to race home to the mostly disused drainpipe (with harbour views) her family rents to tell her husband the news.
"I've got it, Clarence! The answer to all our woes!" she gushes between nibbles of a dry biscuit.
"I met a wonderful man who told me all our troubles would disappear if we just be rich, eat like kings and learn to sprout new limbs - that's right, like a lizard's tail!
"Oh Clarry, our worries are behind us."
Just then, a knock at the door.
The one-eyed slumlord from the docks is back, and he has two rather large men with him, menacingly swinging stubby lead pipes.
There's no avoiding it this time - Marge and Clarry are already a month late on rent, and the factory has been cutting shifts since those blasted machines came in.
"Calm down, folks. I have a very reasonable payment plan in mind," the gravel-voiced Shylock says, glaring through his one remaining, beady little eye-slit.
"First I'll take those dry biscuits - not another bite, ma'am.
"And I'll be needing your crutches too, Clarence my boy. Stiff upper lip, son. You do know how to hop don't you?
"I'll be back in a week. Have my money, with interest, or we'll have to sell your youngest for medical experiments.
"It's only fair."
Thanks for the advice, Smokin' Joe.
This is a satirical column.