An elaborate yet ultimately very cruel prank has left Prime Minister Scott Morrison red-faced and disappointed outside a pub in a virtual ghost town in far-outback New South Wales.
Mr Morrison had been invited to be the “celebrity” water boy at the inaugural World Pocket Billiards championships at tiny Silverton, 26 kilometres north-west of Broken Hill yesterday afternoon.
The PM, advisers and his media PR team had hurried from Perth Arena immediately after Australia’s women’s netballers had won the Constellation Cup for the seventh straight time, with a 53-46 win over the Silver Ferns, and had flown to Broken Hill.
They had then sped by car to Silverton, where the PM was expected to watch the pocket billiards heats at various centres around the historic mining town that now has a population of only some 50 hardy souls.
According to the elaborate hoax invitation sent last week to the Prime Minister’s office, heats of the world pocket billiards championships were to be held at the Silverton Hotel, the nearby Mad Max Museum, historic Silverton gaol, several art galleries and the town’s famous cemetery.
The PM’s minders had hoped to take some footage of the PM running water to contestants as they played manfully with their nuts at the various competition venues to be sent to Newscorp outlets and TV stations hungry for content on a quiet Sunday arvo.
“We even had one idea where the PM could have been seen jogging along the red-soiled streets of Silverton with his water bottles, his beer gut obvious under a green and gold t-shirt and pretending to play with his pentecostal plums through the pockets of his urine-stained cream pants (pictured at top).
“Then of course, there would have been the obligatory shots of him chugging schooners of West End beer in the Silverton pub and trying his best not to shake the hand of the competition’s eventual grand champion.
“You should have seen the look on his face when we found nothing happening at any of the supposed venues and when we got to the pub there was only a handful of Japanese tourists still there as the day wore down and the pub was about to shut.
“He so much wanted to get the message out to the Australian electorate once again what a knockabout, bloke-next-door, sort of much-loved national leader he is.”
The Bug understands it’s not the first time such a prank has been played on the PM
Mr Morrison turned up at the Birdsville Pub a few weekends back to do similar water-boy duties at the world marbles championships only to find no such event had ever been planned for the town famous for its annual horse races.
One of the PM’s aide added: “These photo opportunities are really very important for Mr Morrison so you can understand his frustration and disappointment.
“It’s not as if he’s got any third-term agenda or election manifesto worth promoting.”