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The Therapy Sessions
Friday, December 12, 2003

Hard Boozing Aussies

A leading Australian politician apparently stole a number of bottles of wine, imbibed their contents, and then assailed a fellow senator, calling her a "f--ing bitch" in parliament. Hand-wringing Aussies have subsequently re-examined their country's leaders' fondness for a drink or two. I liked this story:

In a recent book, journalist Mungo MacCallum recounted a trip the then prime minister, [John Gorton] took to Melbourne in a VIP aircraft after a hard day in Parliament.

"He chose to unwind with a few drinks on the plane, some pre-dinner cocktails at the Sheraton, some wines, a port or two and the odd palate cleanser before being wheeled back to Tullamarine for the flight back to Canberra.

"He decided on a little nap, but on waking with the engines thrumming in his ears was so queasy he threw up in the aisle. A stewardess arrived to clean up the mess and Gorton turned on the legendary charm: 'Well, my dear,' he grinned, 'I suppose you're surprised that an old RAAF man like me can still get airsick?' But for once he was out done; the stewardess replied cheerfully: 'I am actually, Prime Minister, because the plane hasn't taken off yet."

(Thanks to Andrew Sullivan)

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