That was a close call. I nearly didn’t get around to writing a column this week. I was flat out with responses flooding in* after last week’s yarn. Thanks for the massive feedback.
You all thoroughly enjoyed it (even Murray Guy!) and appreciated someone airing honest home truths about our home city.
Except one. Barbara. Barbara didn’t like it. Barbara said there’s no need to use bad language or be immature by calling places and people names; especially people such as Tony Wall from Awkland who spout Tauranga is a cultural wasteland.
So guess what we’ll be doing now!
We’re going to put feckin Awkland on the map. And my most mature response to Barbara is: HE STARTED IT.
Barbara is from Awkland. She’s been here two years and doesn’t like being called a jafa, either. So, you mean sods out there, be nicer to Barbara and watch your language.
Page of responses
There has been so much feedback, that we’ve a special page of letters inside this edition, with some of the great responses from readers. Check it out on page 34.
Meanwhile, you may have noticed the rest of the news lately is smothered in trivia, gossip and mindless gabble.
We know the news is swamped in puerile pathetic drivel because you people keep telling me. “Roger, the news is swamped in puerile pathetic drivel, you know.”
Yes, thanks, we noticed too (and my name isn’t Roger. But it’s okay. Unlike Barbara, I answer to almost anything).
‘Did the Duchess make childbirth look too easy?’ one inane headline asked.
‘Is Meghan Markle embarrassed?’ whines another. The top-rated ‘Who Friggin Cares?’ story of the week: what happened to Sally Ridge’s 13 bedroom boarding house?
Plus a headline that proves fact is stranger than fiction. We could not have made this up: Wallabies player apologises for urinating on a bar, dressed as a cow. How crass.
Typical poor Aussie sports attitude.
Anyone with any decency knows you should only pee on a bar dressed as a giraffe.
And just when someone sticks their head above the parapets and boldly has a crack at Ms Ardern’s other half, rightly or wrongly, as did Deborah Hill Not Hyphenated Cone, there’s an entirely predictable massive public backlash - mostly from the crowd who think only those with opinions matching theirs should have a say (not like us, we even give Barbara an airing).
Inexplicably, a week later, Ms Hill Not Hyphenated Cone does what seems to be a complete back-down, in a wishy-washy sort of ‘woe-is-me’ self-flagellation.
‘What was I thinking?’ is the headline. Well, Deborah, probably what half the country was thinking. If you’re going to stick your head out, leave it out. Even though the other half of the country is baying for decapitation.
That simply comes with the territory of writing an opinion column. I get it every week. Show some commitment, woman.
One of the more important stories that has been buried is the national shortage of gravel. On the surface, maybe not as interesting as who groped who, but the repercussions are huge.
You might not think we are short of gravel, particularly if you’ve travelled the Coromandel lately, however the building industry is under pressure with gravel supplies at rock bottom.
Apparently we need 40-45 million tonnes a year. That’s a lot of crushed rock for a small country to churn out. One local quarry manager disagrees however, slagging the claims as a load of schist.
Here we go again
Also lost in the smokescreen of senseless gossip is a very important story; the news that ABBA have re-united and completed a couple of new songs.
Now this might not seem important, but the effects on the entertainment business will be enormous. ABBA, like it or not, is a mega industry in itself and this could have huge consequences. Someone is going to get very rich. Again. Can you hear the tills, Fernando? But it’s been three decades and time has taken its toll on the fans.
Nursing homes everywhere will be bracing for the effect. An outbreak of fractures and strains will push medical facilities to the limit as old codgers attempt to regain their dance moves after 35 years.
Beware the fanatical ABBA fans who will crawl out of the woodwork on this (I suspect 95 per cent of them are RR readers and don’t want to pay for a museum).
Here’s some song titles I’ve adjusted for the aging ABBA audience:
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Gaviscon!
The Winner Takes a Fall
Mammia Mia, I’ve Got to Go Again
Waterloo, the hot flush version
Can you Hear the Drums Fernando? Then turn up your hearing aid, love.
Knowing Me, Who Are You?
Slipping Through My Dependables
Head Over Heels (down the stairs)
I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, Eventually