Day 8: Leah Cim’s Guide to Conducting an Interview (Part 1)

Ever noticed how politicians and football coaches give the same sort of non-answers in interviews? It’s almost as if they have gone off to some school to learn how to say nothing to the media. Fair enough, you might think, but fans of politicians and the public who depend on football coaches for leadership deserve better.

Today, Leah Cim brings us some interviews with a difference in the hope of shedding some real light on stories no parent can afford to miss, as the current affairs shows would say.

Warning: straight talking koala ahead!

Sam the koala

Symbol of hope, deceased

Leah: Thank you for joining us.

Sam: I ain’t going anywhere. Sure. Whatever.

Leah: So, what have you been up to lately?

Sam: Just hanging around.

Leah: So I see. Let’s go back to the beginning, though. Almost a year ago there were some fires.

Sam: Oh yeah, that’s right. Hot they were.

Leah: Of course. And you were caught up in it all.

Sam: I think so, it was all a bit of a blur. First the birds went mental, flying away, and then there was this red thing and the heat, jeez, the heat was intense. I mean, in-frigging-tense. But best you edit that out, don’t write that I said that.

Leah: No, you’re seen as a symbol of hope.

Sam: Yeah, apparently. All I did was survive, you know? And then there was this person wearing yellow. I was thirsty, you see, because of the heat. So hot.

Leah: Yeah. I mean, I wasn’t there, but it must have been, as you say, hot.

Sam: You have no idea. And I was thirsty, and this yellow dude gives me water. I didn’t even see the camera, to be honest. Such a shameful moment, an embarrassment to the family, getting caught on camera dealing nicely with humans, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to survive, right?

Leah: I suppose so. Tell me what happened next.

Sam: Man, it was crazy. Suddenly there’s photos of me in the Herald Sun, for like, days on end. I was a celebrity. There were hundreds of dead people, thousands of dead animals, and all they care about is me, a koala who was thirsty. I mean, it didn’t make any sense at the time, but hey, I wasn’t going to say no to the publicity.

Leah: Why not?

Sam: Well, you never know where it’s going to lead you to. One day in the Herald Sun, the next on Dancing with the Stars or Celebrity Masterchef. Fame, fortune, drinking, parties, drugs, sex, a real rock-’n’-roll lifestyle rather than rolling over rocks and looking for the next tree. Who knew where it was going to lead? I wasn’t going to say no.

Leah: Did you find the attention too much to handle, though?

Sam: To be honest, I probably did. And suddenly, you know, I was getting high quality eucalyptus, I mean, some really good stuff, sleeping around, it was kinda crazy.

Leah: And that led to you contracting Chlamydia?

Sam: Well, yes. I was clapped out, so to speak.

Leah: And despite this, you maintained your image as a symbol of hope?

Sam: What can I say, the people love a flawed hero.

Leah: But you died because of it?

Sam: True, but now I’ve got this sweet gig just hanging around in the Melbourne Museum, where I can be in touch with the people.

Leah: How are you feeling today?

Sam: Actually, I’m pretty stuffed.

Phar Lap

Because he was conveniently standing nearby in Melbourne Museum.

Leah: Good to see you today.

Phar Lap: Really? I thought you were only here to see the koala.

Leah: I’ve come in to see you before, you’re quite the national hero you know.

Phar Lap: Right, sure you have. You’re just saying that. Not many people come just to see me. They’re usually here for something or other and then just pop along. Oh, while we’re here why don’t we see the world’s greatest race horse. As if that’s not motivation enough to come in.

Leah: You seem a little annoyed that Sam the koala is getting all the attention.

Phar Lap: Well, what’s it ever done?

Leah: Symbol of hope in a dark time in our history.

Phar Lap: Boring. Been there, done that 80 years ago. I won races during the Great Depression. People would back me and make money to buy food. I gave them hope. And it was the Great Depression, the Great Depression. Not the Mild Sadness or the Slight Disappointment. It was horrible.

Leah: Indeed. And you ran, and you gave people hope. They must have been some uplifting times.

Phar Lap: Oh, but the pressure. Australia’s greatest racehorse, New Zealand’s greatest racehorse, the hope for all those poor, struggling souls betting on me, I was being pulled in all directions.

Leah: Was it too much to take?

Phar Lap: Well, the body didn’t keep up in the end, did it?

Leah: There has been much discussion about your death, much speculation that has never really been put to rest.

Phar Lap: Well, I’ve said all I’ve got to say about that.

Leah: You don’t want to end speculation about whether you were poisoned, or whether you were taking performance enhancing substances that contributed to your death?

Phar Lap: Look, I never failed a drugs test. And perhaps we best leave it at that.


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