Show of hands exhilarates

Some days, just nothing happens.

There are friends darting around the periphery of my circle, dating back to those vivid recreational drug days of 40-50 years ago, for whom nothing happens all the time.

In 1984, in Los Angeles, I met an acid casualty from the 1960s, reputedly a member of a top band, who told me he lived in a small room with no television.

But what do you DO at night, wailed the daughter incredulously. I stare at the wall, he replied. I've never found much happening on walls.

The Friday before last, so much happened in my life I was afraid my brain would pop out of its head and roll away down the hill. It was a day as exciting as tomorrow night's fireworks.

The real zinger was on TV One's News.

Radio's Alternative Cricket Commentary Collective team (Jeremy Wells, Leigh Hart et al) had been making up seditious, imprisonable lies about Weather Man Jim Hickey during that day's NZ-South Africa game, and I was keen to see if there would be a reaction from him that night.

But he wasn't there. Instead, it was a man called Dan.

Dan is the finest Weather Man I have seen in my life.

The best actor, the most consummate meteorologist, and most importantly, the best user of expressive hands in the history of television.

Or cinema.

Or, indeed, life.

I researched him immediately.

Daniel Corbett, a veteran of the BBC and American television, he moved to New Zealand in 2011 to join the MetService and made his first television appearance at the end of September.

So Jim is on the way out.

The man is a legend.

But I have to say it, Dan is a squillion times better.

Earlier in the day, I was in the Kitchen Table next to the Fortune Theatre.

For years, I have struggled to turn pages adroitly in public while waiting, I get my index finger and thumb sort of quanged together, and find unless I moisten the fingers, I can only manage three pages at a time.

I know for a fact everyone watches everyone else in a cafe or waiting room, so this has become something of a bete gigantique for me.

And probably tens of thousands of other people.

But at the Kitchen Table I watched a woman flick her way through an entire magazine at almost blinding speed with as beautiful a physical action as you will see outside an NBA basketball game.

And with NO moistening.

I was spellbound.

She used her right hand - I use my left, which involves having to bring in the shoulder as well, harder - and it was just gorgeous to watch.

Eight schoolgirls joined her shortly after and she stopped.

It was like the projector breaking down at a movie theatre when I was a kid.

An hour later, I was sitting in the George Street Normal School assembly listening to the grandson, Rowan, exhort people to pick up litter.

It was an hour of heart-warming social responsibility, and Glen Campbell's Try A Little Kindness was sung more than once.

Then a boy appeared on the stage with a table and some plastic cups.

Harry Devereux (10).

He was going to do some Stacking.

I had never seen Stacking, or Sport Stacking as I subsequently found it was called on YouTube.

Harry said he practises one to five hours a day, which is astonishing, even Minecraft barely demands that, and his aim is to make the Black Stacks for the World Championships.

Yes, there is a world championships for Stacking.

And so there should be.

This is a truly amazing thing.

Pyramids of 3, 6 and 10 cups are stacked and unstacked at a speed so fast, faster even than turning pages, that slow motion is still a blur.

And scientific studies say stacking is good because it uses both sides of the body and brain, improves hand-eye co-ordination, reaction times and ambidextrousness.

Harry has a busker's licence.

Watch out for him, he was a wonder to behold.

He was the most happening thing on a very happening day.

Roy Colbert is a Dunedin writer.

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