I was just sitting having breakfast with a friend at a well-known cafe in Glebe when I spotted the infamous education minister Brendan Nelson crossing the street. My first reaction, literally, was to ask “where’s the cream pie?” As I watched him cross the street I expected that he would walk past the cafe, I’d give him the evil eye, and that would be it, when lo-and-behold, he walks straight into the cafe. I was incredulous, not only at the fact he chose a cafe in Glebe to walk into, but at the strong reaction I had to being in the same room as the guy. Weird.
Anyway, the tone of the room dropped suddenly – lively conversations reduced to a murmur and some people chose that moment to leave (whether this was a response to the man, or just coincidence, I do not know).
So, the whole time I was sitting there I couldn’t help but think “what can I do here? What can I get up and say to him that would be witty and make the point that I think his policies and actions are wrong?” Alas, I came up empty. I couldn’t think of how to manufacture a “Michael Moore Moment” or even any course of action, and we ended up leaving without a word said. My friend, who is also politically aware and happens to be a student and therefore feels the brunt of Nelson’s policy, also couldn’t believe that we couldn’t pluck up the courage or wit to actually say or do anything.
I’ll probably spend the rest of the week thinking of witty things that I could have done, but the moment of opportunity has passed. Maybe next time I’ll be able to think quicker…