Fezzik: ‘Why do you wear a mask?’
Westley: ‘Oh they’re very comfortable. In fact, I think someday everyone will be wearing one.’
Count Rugen: ‘If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.’
Vizzini: ‘Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals.’
On Saturday I realised something inconceivable. For the past 18 months, Victoria has been living a real-life version of the Princess Bride.
COVID-19 and the unending, world-record-holding lockdowns swept away all sense of hope, and we reluctantly agreed to a loveless marriage with Prince Humperdanck, in order to get some sense of freedom back. We unwittingly complied our way into tyranny in the hopes of escaping it.
We are at once Buttercup and Westley – dead inside at the loss of our true state of being, while also cannily undercover in search of a better future.
Through the Fire Swamp of the pandemic and its associated strangling rules we toiled. (Buttercup: ‘We’ll never survive.’ Westley: ‘Nonsense, you are only saying that because no one ever has.’) Yet even after emerging wounded and triumphant, we ultimately decided that the only way to save ourselves was to sell out the brave half and submit to the plans of Prince HumperDanck. We didn’t realise then the extent of his nefarious plans… permanent pandemic powers.
Victoria’s Westleys have been stretched out on a torture rack of ‘lockouts’ and false imprisonments for breaches of health orders and are now ‘mostly dead’, while the Buttercup part of us still hopes naively that she will be saved. She trusts Prince HumperDanck’s vague promises and cannot yet see through his thinly veiled sneers.
We are in need of a true miracle. A banding together of the health systems’ Miracle Max’s who have been sidelined and silenced by AHPRA, a cobbling together of the motley ones among us – the friendly rhyming giants and inebriated swordsmen (I’m looking at you, construction workers) who have all but given up on the chance to avenge the evils done to them in the past.
Our marriage day approaches. Prince HumperDanck’s plans to sacrifice his bride in order to gain more power are afoot. He has cleared the thieves forest and banished our allies out of Parliament. He has entrusted the keys of the city to Brett Sutton (‘I have no gate key’…. ‘Fezzik, tear his arms off’, ‘Oh you mean THIS gate key?’) and is scrambling to get through the ceremony in record time before the spectre of Westley returns to save us.
We are hopeless and contemplate plans to end it all. But we need to hear this: there is a shortage of most liveable cities in the world, and it would be a shame to lose ours. Even though it feels as if all is lost, we need reminding of the fact that we never, in fact, said ‘I do’.
Prince HumperDanck flounces in to finish us off. We bluff through the last of our strength and finally stagger to our feet.
‘Drop. Your. Sword.’
Obviously, in no way are we advocating violence against our Premier or the government, but it is time for us to gather together the motley crew and mobilise against this tyranny. Using every legal method available, let’s remember that we fight for a once wonderful state and ultimately, for the future of our children. Let’s rediscover our unity and hope and not let this targeted attempt to destroy us, succeed. We are more than this, Victoria!
Gather your spirits and attack this list today. Phone, email, smoke signal – do whatever you can do to show our politicians that we are not going to take this lying down.