IT'S not looking good, Captain. They love the cocky, leather-jacketed blowhard. This tastes glorious though, thank Peta would you?"
The chocolate cake was a culinary triumph, no doubt about it: a tooth-smacking creation that almost cleansed the sour taste in their mouths.
The whole gang of former government heavy-hitters was seated in the Monkey Pod, rallying around their usurped deity, Tony Abbott.
Named after the tropical hardwood table at its centre, the Monkey Pod had become the Tony Abbott Resistance Army's not-so-secret headquarters.
A steady stream of loyalists attended the weekly lunches, dreaming of a Rudd-esque resurrection with a happier ending.
There was Peter Dutton, who had somehow kept his immigration portfolio while still being barred from the national security committee.
Ousted former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews was there too. He had taken to writing spiteful little editorials undermining Malcolm Turnbull's opposition to sending ground troops to Syria, despite never suggesting it when he was minister.
Joe Hockey would have come but he threw in the towel as soon as Scott Morrison nicked his gig as treasurer.
Cake spent and in the initial throes of digestion, the troop huddled over the table to plan this week's pot-shots.
"I could tell everyone I saw Turnbull and Pyne holding hands in parliament," Dutton suggested.
"Maybe an op-ed about the NBN?
"Best you keep quiet though, Captain.
"That 'no wrecking, no undermining and no sniping' comment might come back to bite you."
Kevin Andrews walked to the whiteboard and drew a flowchart heavy with down-facing arrows, Turnbull's name scrawled at the top in red ink.
"Here's what we need to do..."
In the Prime Minister's office across Parliament House, Christopher Pyne begged his blue-eyed leader to take the low-level coup seriously.
"Don't worry about it, mate," Turnbull smiled.
"Have you seen the polls?
"Now let's just relax and hold hands for a few minutes."
Strange Politics is a satirical column. Follow Chris Calcino on Twitter: @ChrisCalcino
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