In the days when Hansard debates were set in hot metal, the Intertype Operator reigned supreme in arrogance and ability.
They spewed out galley after galley of hot metal type detailing the nonsensical ravings of those who occupied the “castle” on North Terrace.
One of the best was Sleepy. “Mister Sleeps” was a great Intertype Operator, clean, accurate and always willing to take on the difficult stuff!
Along with his lookalike cobber and drinking partner “Grunny” they were a formidable team.
In Parliament at that time there was Robin, an astute politician and semi-naked runner.
We all knew he took hinself very seriously indeed!
But, back to Sleepy at the Guv, on every galley of type we set we would put a Signature line at the top of the galley.
It identified who had set the type matter on the galley, most of us used boring headers like RP.
But not Mister Sleeps his was a simple row of zzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s.
Now when the galley proofs went to the Reader these lines were struck out, but not one night!
Right slap bang in the middle of Robin the Half Naked Runner’s Speech appeared the offending zzzzzzzzs.
What did the very serious Robin think, “Oh, Just an innocent little mistake by one of those hard working, fatigued Old Guv chaps.”
Not on your bloody life, he saw it as a full bore frontal attack on his prowess as a speaker of note in Her Majesty’s Parliament!
“I don’t put people to sleep”, he roared.
His angry and furious reaction in demanding that the poor bastard’s head who had perpetrated such an outrage be impaled on a stick and hung on the gates of Government House said a lot about how dear Robin saw himself!
He definitely wasn’t one of us.
Needless to say an attack on one Intertype Operator becomes an attack on all and they met the Inquisitors in stony silence!
No horrible politician would get hold of a Brother’s head!
Afterwards, we all went back to using two letter bland signature lines.
Or Perhaps Not! Game Over!