Adelaide loved a man in an apron. An Australian flag apron, a green and gold apron, an apron with fake breasts. Adelaide loved them all.
On Australia Day, as Adelaide took her family on their annual walk from one end of the sprawling city’s esplanade/boulevard/drive to the other – from North Haven to Christies Beach – Adelaide took a sausage from every sizzling apron-wearing man they met along the way.
She winked at everyone she passed. She liked the sound of her clicking tongue and the way her husband said ‘G’day’. She liked the buzz of the helicopters overhead, the Australian flags fluttering on cars. It was wonderful being Australian and it was Brilliant being Adelaide.
She couldn’t eat all of those sausages of course. She was full by Semaphore, her husband was full by Grange and even the kids had eaten enough by Henley Beach. She started to slip the extra sausages into her bag. It was a trick she had learnt not last year but the year before.
Tonight, she would fragment the sausages and throw them into a stew. Or maybe a curry. Yes, they would havea curry, just for a change.
‘Funny to think we won’t be living in John Howard’s Australia this time next year,’ her husband said. He had that far away look in his eyes as he spoke. After so many years of marriage, Adelaide knew it wasn’t her turn to speak. She waited for him to fill the silence. ‘The way he didn’t choose Tim Costello for Australian of the Year. That’s the biggest sign yet that he’s ready to hand over the reigns to Peter.’ Still Adelaide waited. Her husband’s wisdom would come. It always took him a while to find the words. ‘You know, so Peter’s got a chance to name his own brother Australian of the Year. Next year. Or maybe the year after that.’ Adelaide nodded and smiled at her husband. The man spoke a lot of sense. ‘I thought it was real…well, real Australian the way John Howard did that. You know?’
Adelaide’s husband looked at Adelaide and Adelaide looked at him. ‘Yeah,’ she said. ‘I think I do.’ And they held hands for the rest of the walk.