Melbourne’s current Stage 4 lockdown restrictions just seem to go from bad to worse at the moment, with confirmation received today that “Just waiting for a mate” is not classified as one of the four permitted reasons for leaving your house. The Watsonia Bugle can exclusively reveal that waiting patiently in your car for a nondescript friend to materialise is an illegal act in the Melbourne area at the moment, as Victoria continues to grapple with the many consequences of living in a literal state of disaster.

In arguably our newspaper’s most thorough attempt at investigative journalism, we forensically analysed the four reasons for leaving home – shopping for essential items, exercise, permitted work, and caregiving – and established that the proud Australian tradition of “mate waiting” was off limits for the time being. An anonymous government source then also confirmed the matter, telling us, “Yep, absolutely not. I mean, there are a few grey areas, but ‘waiting for a mate’ is not allowed right now. Especially after 8pm.”

The heroic and selfless act of “waiting for a mate” entered the national lexicon back in early 2013 when a Carrum Downs man appeared on Channel 7’s Highway Patrol and attempted to explain his reason for sitting in a heavily damaged car in the middle of an empty car park by claiming that he was simply waiting for a mysterious friend named James. The catchphrase went viral soon after Clinton’s television appearance, eventually being shared all over the world and being memefied.

While the current ban on one of the pillars of Aussie mateship might seem a little harsh right now, we all have to make sacrifices.