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September 07th 2009 print

Michael Connor

Tracey and the Fabians

At a weekend seminar Fabians vote to sell ABC. Tenders to be called.

Tracey’s still in the Fabians, and they’ve promoted her to Obersturmführer, second class. I was amazed, I thought that when they heard her idea for selling off the ABC to pay off the Rudd stimulus debt at their seminar in the Civic Centre last weekend they might have had her thrown out but they didn’t. Tracey just seems to go upwards and upwards.

She was at the donut shop yesterday and we had cappuccinos and cinnamon donuts which sort of ruined my appetite for dinner. You get two fresh ones with a cappuccino for $3.20. I asked her how the Fabian seminar had gone and she said it was disastrous. I said that I was sorry but I thought that selling the ABC might have got her into hot water. She gave me one of her looks. It was the low fat vegan salad for sharing she brought that caused the trouble, she said, not the idea for discussion.

Oh, I said.

Actually, said Tracey, they loved the idea for selling off the ABC so much that they unanimously voted that she be promoted to Obersturmführer, second class. She showed me the medal to prove it. I had to check the spelling on the internet to get it right. I never knew they had ranks with German names in the Fabians but Tracey said oh yes it’s an old Fabian tradition – started by the Webbs in the summer of ’28. That’s something not a lot of people know about the Fabians.

They were keen on her idea but slightly misunderstood what she was getting at and they seemed so happy she didn’t bother correcting them. When she said sell the ABC they thought she meant sell the ABC – that brand of children’s crèches or holding pens or whatever they are that have been in the news lately. They thought it was a marvellous idea. Socialism in our time sort of thing.

Anyway, after the Fabian leader of the branch, he works for Dick Smith in the city, gave her her medal they broke for lunch and that’s when the trouble broke out. It was the low fat vegan salad for sharing that did it. Tracey had bought one from work at the supermarket that was just a little past its use by date. Everyone knows that that’s just an indication, said Tracey. But it did look a bit sad so she added a bit of chicken, just the white meat because of the vegetarians, and though she forgot about it and left it in the back of the car for a day or two during those couple of warm days we had last week, it still looked ok. A bit slimy underneath, but fine on top, and the chopped peanuts she added made it look quite appealing.

Some of them were real pigs, said Tracey, and got really stuck into it. Anyway, there were real problems after lunch and with only the two toilets on the ground floor unlocked, because it was the weekend, it wasn’t very pretty. They even had to cancel the climate change discussion that was planned for the afternoon with the Greenpeace experts who had flown in from Copenhagen for the day.

So that’s the end of the Fabians, I said.

No, said Tracey. It’s all worked out, even though one of the ambulance drivers had to be sent for counselling after seeing the sights. One of the really important Fabians is a gynaecologist and she said it was obviously asbestos in the ceilings that had caused the salmonella outbreak and the allergy reactions so now they, the Fabians, are suing the Council and the Civic Centre is closed, pending demolition, so everything worked out well, said Tracey.

I said I thought so too.