"Do you really think it's ok for us to get here so early, John? Doesn't strike you as a little, well, unfair to hold the leadership vote without anyone here but us?"
"Actually Bill, I'm relaxed about it. At the end of the day, you're the best man for the job, I've already been straight about that with the New Zealand public. We need to work on you being relaxed now. Apparently that might be a bit of a problem."
"Oh John," Bill says with admiring awe in his voice, "no one is as relaxed as you."
"Well, the five houses help. And the nice little nest eggs I have in my offshore bank accounts. And of course the Labour Party hasn't exactly been the stuff of nightmares for me, have they?"
The two men, best of friends, chuckle together over their last few years. Relaxing together, again.
Their peace is rudely interrupted by the crash of doors flung open.
"J-j-judith! How l-l-lovely to see you. And what's that you've done to your hair?"
"Hello Bill. It's a new look I'm trying." Minister Collins approaches the outgoing Prime Minister, swishing her shimmering locks, bound into a tight ponytail. "What do you think, John?"
"Smashing Judith. It's a great look for you. Why don't you come and sit over here?"
"So when do we vote on the leadership? You should all know, Cammy will be running some rather interesting stories over the next few days. Investigative stuff. Hard hitting." Minister Collins turns her attention to the other man in the room. "How are you, Bill?"
"I-i-investigative stuff? W-w-what do you mean, Judith? I am a clean slate."
John pats his deputy with his right hand. "Relax, Bill. The public won't care about that silly little housing thing. It's hardly like stealing, is it? At the end of the day, you paid us back. And no one cares about abortion. Besides, we tidied that up ages ago, remember?" Turns to Minister Collins. "Judith, what's that on the table?"
"Oh nothing John, just my Ipod. I'll turn it off now. When are the others getting here?"
"Actually, Judith, we might just hold the vote now, everyone else is late. Oh, who's that?"
Paula Bennett strides into the room, wearing gold leopardskin and sporting a stunning new hairstyle.
"We need to pick someone kiwis want to have a beer with, a few sausages. We all know that's me," she says, flicking her ponytail high. "Bless you Bill, you're looking old, are you feeling ok? I guess those memories from the worst election result ever must feel close now? Poor darling."
"H-h-hello P-p-paula," says Bill, looking from side to side, checking with the Prime Minister how to behave. "Great hairstyle."
John is distracted, looking at Paula, eyes clouded over, his hand reaching towards her. Minister Collins slaps it down. "Good grief man, be serious."
Minister Bennett says sweetly "are you worrying about people thinking you're a dreadful old Tory, Bill? I guess I can see that, too."
"Girls, girls, girls," says John, appearing to have recovered his relaxed poise. "Remember what I always say: the media and public are idiots. They don't even care when our children behave like they hate the gays, remember Bill? And we're the party of family values!!!"
"I do hate the gays, John. All the gays. I mean, think of the children....." For the first time, Bill starts to become animated, puffing out his chest and growing a couple of inches in height.
Minister Bennett pours herself a beer, knocks it back in one. "You've got a problem there, Bill. Might want to deal with that."
"Hello everyone. Prime Minister, so good to see you. Now, shall we get this vote underway?" Steven Joyce enters the room. "I have the proxy votes of everyone else, been carrying them for a while."
Minister Collins looks up from her Ipod with a sneer. "What on earth is going on with your hair, Steven?"
"Transplants, Judith. I'm getting it cut tomorrow, but I've had to tie it up today because they were so successful." Minister Joyce fixes his eyes on the deputy Prime Minister. "Bill, my friend. How on earth are we going to deal with the fact the public sees you as a loser? If you're my deputy, that won't be as much of a problem, of course. Who wants to open all the proxy votes?"
"H-h-hello S-s-steven, I'm n-n-not a loser. John said so. He said no one will remember. And I believe him. Right, John? John?"
"Steven, I've never seen you looking so good. Let's take a look at those proxies shall we? I'm feeling relaxed about this, very, very relaxed. Looking forward to my new job and at the end of the day, that's all that matters."