Man alone. While the rest of the family and extended family revel and wallow in the Ida Valley, I remain in Dunedin trying to clear up after the damage wrought by Christmas hordes. I made some calls, got some quotes. Six people spread over two to three weeks, was the typical response, somewhere around $7000. Plus personal liability insurance.
Dazed and Confused
When I was a child, we had no fridge, no telly and no car. This was neither here nor there; we had our health. We were not like the people in Monty Python who lived in a bag on the road.
Christmas Day was yesterday. This was written before Christmas Day. Who knows how that went?Well, I know. Because I am organised, and totally enslaven to ritual.
Down the foggy ruins of time, three things have received universal loathing: phone help desks, war, and John Stape from Coronation Street. We certainly don't need a fourth with a list as damnatory as this. But I would nevertheless like to fiercely, stubbornly, offer one more - the button fly.
Most rational thinkers hurled themselves behind the couch when New Zealand's Got Talent was announced. We do as a nation, after all, maintain a ludicrous dichotomy of believing we are superior to everyone else in the world and our television entertainers are no more worthy than landfill.
The first gift I ever gave my wife was a sewing machine. Used. Thirty dollars. Green. You could buy a car for thirty dollars back then.
The grandchildren are here from Chicago, one at school already, oy vey. And as the wise grandfather who has bobbed and weaved successfully through all of life's arrows and nunchukas, so far, it has naturally behoven me to educate them appropriately.
Wheyou get right down to it, golf is just hitting a stationary ball into a hole with a stick. Nothing more. Yet it is probably the hardest sport of them all. And none suck the obsession tic out of man, that witless stubborn crazy-eyed irrational obsession when trying to play better, more destructively than golf.
Most us carry around stuff in our heads we feel should be kept in there, stuff that needs time to breathe before it is released to the outer world. This, despite our consistent immorality in all other things, is information for which we keep the lips pursed because we don't want to hurt anyone. Or embarrass them. Or have them drag us into court with a phalanx of litigation lawyers primed to bleed every living razoo from our ethically worthless bodies.
Balance. Every journalist has to have balance. When I first entered the venerable Evening Star building and its even more venerable lift - that Dotcom fellow would never fit in this lift - a man with silver hair put his hand on my shoulder and told me about balance.
The Forty Minute Farewell. This topic is such a monstrous cliche, more overdone than a carbonised barbecue sausage, that it is really pointless to add my thoughts.
The grandchildren arrive from Chicago forever in 44 days. I am being slowly crushed from the pressure like a potato chip beneath a big man's boot.
I think it was Oscar Wilde who said Facebook Friends only count as friends if they write back. This is a very sad thing for all those people out there who claim to be friends with Michelle Williams, the Prince of Tonga and Usain Bolt just because a software programme automatically added them to a colossal unfeeling database.
We were sitting in the Tip Top cafe sipping English breakfast tea when this woman materialised almost from nowhere, as if lowered down from the ceiling on strings.
After three significant successes complaining bitterly to Tip Top, Nestle and Whittaker's, mercifully, for the food industry, spread over nearly 40 years, I resolved never to employ caustic wit and legal threats for materialistic gain ever again. After all, in this era of flagrant product placement, such thinly disguised begging for free food is wholly inappropriate.
I doubt if any rational thinker would dispute that the reason many men flinch from housework is because of the design faults in vacuum cleaners and oval-shaped fitted bedsheets.
Whenever French existentialist philosophers gather in Octagon cafes, and July is a particularly luxuriant month for them, you will invariably hear talk of the Cher song If I Could Turn Back Time. The warship setting for the song's video, huge gun barrels thrusting at Cher's supplicatory body, is clearly compelling for existentialists, but if you have been eavesdropping on them, as I have, you will have heard their particular fixation this year has been - CAN we turn back time and SHOULD we turn back time.