Where do funny old white men come from? Caves? (Sorry, I’m trying to belatedly improve my speed of smart response so I can be as funny as a man). I know where some funny (in the funny peculiar sense) old white men are nestling nowadays – in Granny Herald’s commentary coop, namely Bob Jones and Rodney Hide.
Another nestles in an armchair close to hand and used to enjoy reading out Jones’ comments in the old Dominion. I guess Bob was funny some of the time but one very bad morning he got stuck into the Māori welcome ceremony. So backward. “Huzzah” shouted my mate. That released a torrent of adrenalin into my brain. “Where do you think ceremonies involving gun toting soldiers came from?” I brilliantly responded. “Foreign ambassadors and local bodyguards go hand in hand in history. Popping a large knife under a cloak and into your host could do quite a bit of damage, political and personal. Ambassadors even took along food tasters in case mine host popped poison into them.” Or somesuch.
Later, or maybe earlier, witty Bob accepted a knighthood and overlooked its mediaeval trappings. I presume he knelt, got smitten with a sword in a ceremony straight out of Ivanhoe, a slightly fanciful tale with jousts galore written by Sir Walter Scott in 1820. In the not very good film the knight hero was played by handsomish Robert Taylor who was getting on, had a remarkable widow’s peak and a wooden acting style. Elizabeth Taylor was the lovely persecuted Jewess and second fiddle heroine. The first fiddle didn’t rate but got the man.
Another occasion of brilliance which led my son to christen me Cousin Zelda after I joined the ‘boys’ to watch afternoon sport on TV. (Too old to garden in rain and a penchant for crashing down slimy steps). My first response to the action was “great thighs”. Following the stunned silence I got into the spirit of things and yelled ‘miss the goal, drop the ball, send him off etc’ in support of thighs’ team, and had unexpected success. My powers have weakened and the thighs vanished but my unpatriotic sense of fair play still finds some favour with the gods.
My latest vision came after seeing Laila Harre looking very elegant indeed on television about a week before the announcement of the Internet Mana party. I wondered if she was be thinking of standing as an independent MP in Epsom. I thought that would be fun.
Which brings me back to Hyde and Jones: both succumbed to a lack of originality and no little bile in regard to Internet-Mana in this week’s columns. I rarely read their efforts but something out there said I must. Hyde got stuck into Laila Harre. She had been bought by Dotcom. Keep up old man, Laila told all, detailed her comfortable financial position and said money had not been discussed. It has been decided that candidates would be paid at backbencher rates. Old Bob chose John Minto as his main target. Both men nearly choked on their harrumphs.
Curiously it is the money issue that appears to obsess National devotees. Lefties are more bothered by the political principles involved. I’m delighted with my own swift adaptation (no money involved) to accepting Mana’s strategy. A strategic roadblock has been exploited by National. Internet-Mana decides to try the same ploy and prissy Tories cry foul!! Internet Mana has announced support for abolition of the coat-tail clause as part of its policy. Has anybody heard National hollering with joy and pinching this policy too?
And not quite on the subject did you see the blonde TV1 newsreader turned vampire frenziedly salivating for Cunliffe’s blood last night? What should have been a question – was he advocating for Liu’s citzenship wayback – was put as a fact. Maurice Williamson went down for this. Well, no, he didn’t. He went down for ringing the police on Li’s behalf when he was a Minister not a backbencher. Quite a different constitutional position.
Cunliffe doesn’t learn from his mistakes. Or have Key’s smarts. Hey man, National’s pinched your policies so why not appropriate his brain fades? Many of us need to learn to preface events we rely on memory to describe with the words ‘I think’. Me too, please note.
I had a quick glance at Seven Sharp and was transfixed by Mike Hosking’s messianic injunction to exercise my choice and get rid of Cunliffe. I missed the gloves off stage. Sounds just like the State of Origin league match later where it was all on in the first half but, as the commentators lamented, no football. Do TV1’s front people need to take a lesson from sports commentators in non-partisanship? Oh how the world is changing!