The Honourable Peter Costello
Minister for the Demographic Destiny
of Life Extension Through Toil
Canberra, USA

Dear Peter,

I'm getting on in years, but I've still got a job and, taking your hint, I'm filling in my spare hours in a stone quarry. You know, to keep my mind on work as the highest Tory ideal for those of us who aren't high Tories. I know you value the contribution of the rest of us to your smooth running and very special government.

The trouble is, before you promoted the grand scheme of working for the rest of our lives, I had arranged to have a week of leave. I know it's an un-Australian thing to do, but rest assured I will have to pay my employer for the privilege. I'm just so grateful to be able to chip in a bit more to the costs of a simply brilliant Star Wars project. (Oh, I know that sounds like a pun, but it wasn't meant to be. Please don't send a big black car to take me or my loved ones away!)

You should see the rock I'm working on at the quarry. When I'm on leave I'll bring it home in a barrow and swing away between cat naps just in case you're watching. (Naturally you're too busy to be watching. I meant someone in your department.)

It's my own headstone, of course, because you have finally convinced me that the best thing about a life spent working is blessed death. (I hope that doesn't sound sarcastic; I surely didn't mean it to.) When I finally keel over and my super is gone to fight terrorists from outer space or some other American colony, at least my wife won't have to pay for one. (She won't, will she, Peter? I mean, you won't make a new tax on homemade headstones now that I've given you the idea, will you?)

In the meantime, I have charged my glass with Victory Gin, in appreciation of your benevolent concern for the welfare of we who toil for the Howardland.

Your obedient servant,
Peter Preterite
(Address Withheld)

(Thanks to TK)