What is your idea of fun on a Tuesday night?
Well we saddled up, drove into town and went to see if we could get into the Gallery to watch the Budget 2016 speech. Yup. we are that kind of crazy, party animals. And yes, we inflicted this upon our kids. In fact, they were kind of interested. we had told them why we were going in.
DH is a political nerd, and I am quite interested in politics, but more than that, this was an opportunity to see Parliamentary process in play, with no great inconvenience.
We lined up with the public, and waited to see if we would get a seat inside the Gallery. Watching the Senators invited persons walk past was interesting and of course all of the security checks were intriguing to the boys. Then, just as it was about to go live, we were let in. We sat just below the press, on the upper rows and got to watch and listen to the activity in the Gallery. And let me tell you, more goes on than what you see on TV!
For instance, there were a group of 5 people who walked in, sat down, removed their coats and had a lime green shirt with ‘…GONSKI…’ written on it. They were discretely asked to leave. There were Ministers checking their phones, Tony Abbot staring into space, Labor ministers scribbling, whispering and heckling.
Then it was all done and we were ushered back out.
Off to the Cloak Room to get our belongings and then of course the boys needed a toilet break. So off down the hallway we start – those hallways are HUGE. Wide and high. Wide and high enough to set up the ABC 730 reports Panel to offer commentary on the Budget.
The ABC’s Barrie Cassidy, Annabel Crabb, Sabra Lane and Greg Jennett will examine the politics. ABC Business Editor Ian Verrender, Alan Kohler, Laura Tingle (political editor ofAustralian Financial Review) and George Megalogenis.
Annabel Crabb!?? Oh I have to get a photo or something! So I did. Well, at least I hung around hoping to get a photo of her, whilst the panel was sitting there, silently, waiting for Leigh Sales to finish interviewing Scott Morrison, then to cross to them.
Whilst we were waiting, Master 7 spots himself in the monitor – and was flapping his arms about and pretending to dance. You know, you have seen kids do it in the security videos as you walk in to Woolies – pulling poses and watching themselves on the ‘TV.”
DH is standing behind him, spots Master 7 being a clown and gives a loving poke in the back, to stop us being kicked out by AFP live on air or something.
So Master 7 is momentarily silenced. Then his irrepressible nature returns in full swing, and he starts pulling faces in the monitor now. Right behind a panellist – Barry Cassidy.
Since it’s silent and seemingly harmless, we let it go.
However, without our awareness, ‘Spongebob Boy’ is being beamed across the nation live on TV. And we were about to enter into a 24 hour period of surreal events. By the time we exited Parliament House and headed to buy gelato, friends had spotted us on TV, and posted it on social media. Then, international news sites were contacting me about my funny boy. Spongebob Budget Pants
Then Nickelodeon Australia were contacting us and so were radio talk back shows.
DH and I had to decide what we were going to do about our sudden, unsought for fame. we were trending on Twitter and it had gone a minor form of viral. We had to decide whether to get on the train or let it ride without us.
The decision was for me to do the interviews, thus having some control over the situation.
So I did. I gave a few photos to the Daily Mail UK, and agreed to be interviewed on live radio. I corresponded with Nickelodeon Australia and answered email enquiries from other outlets.
It was hectic, and a little overwhelming and a tad uncomfortable – obviously there will be no future in us pimping our children out for fame – the situation we found ourselves in was disconcerting and highly amusing!
The furor has died down, as the 24 hour news cycle moved on. I am saving all the fuss though for memories for later. And my boys happily got some Spongebob merchandise from Nickelodeon Australia which was a wonderful and unexpected surprise.
And I still did not get a photo with Annabel Crabb 😦