John Key has spoken of the thing he remembers most about Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman:
Key said his enduring memory … was seeing him “just about get shot” by Chinese protection agents after trying to wrap a Tibetan flag around the then Vice-Premier of China.
This reminds me that I have some enduring memories of my own concerning John Key.
The first time I met him was in 2008, just before the election. He was leaning against the bar in a swanky Auckland joint, boasting to his mates about how as a young boy on a school trip to Auckland he’d stolen a car, driven to Pukekawa, and shot Harvey and Jeanette Crewe stone cold dead.
I remember a year later being in a lift in an Auckland CBD tower, when the doors opened and Key and one of his minders squeezed in. As soon as the lift doors closed Key pulled out a knife and threatened to slit my throat unless I gave him my wallet. His minder just stood and watched while I handed over my cash and valuables, as if such hold-ups were a routine occurrence.
I have vivid memories of John Key turning up on my doorstep just before midnight a month later, drunk and weepy. He vomited on my shoes, staggered into my house, and accused me of being Marilyn Monroe. Eventually he passed out, and I dragged him to the couch and threw a blanket on him. When I awoke the next morning he was gone, leaving only a folded note with a large black spot ominously smudged on it.
For about three months afterwards I remember receiving strange phone calls, always at 1:22 am in the morning. The police traced the calls to a number in Wellington, but when I pressed them to pursue the matter further they refused, citing national security considerations.
Things went quiet for a while. Then, out of the blue in February this year, Key rang me and invited me to a barbecue at his house. Curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to go along and check out Key’s place. I turned up to find that the barbecue was in fact an obscene orgy in which unspeakable and shameless acts were being undertaken in full view of everyone, and that I was the only person clothed. I tried to flee, but Key disentangled himself from a grotesque seething mountain of naked surging flesh, grabbed me, and tried to tear my trousers off. I managed to shake him off and get to the door, only to find Bill English in a ball-gown and gumboots standing in my way, wielding a spade, and snorting like an enraged bull. It took a punch to the face before the Finance Minister fell away, and I managed to get to my car, even as gunfire roared behind me and bullets flew past my head.
The entire experience terrified me, which is why the incident remains such an enduring memory.
I often relate these events to people, but nobody ever believes me. Could it be that my memory has failed me? What other explanation suffices? Am I going mad?
I have now checked my diary, and it turns out that John Key wasn’t even the country on the night he supposedly turned up at my house. So it turns out that my enduring memories are about as reliable as John Key’s.
Still, I’ll be better prepared next time he invites me to a barbecue.