Most of you know that I've got a personalised plate - CMATGO. But as much as people find that one good for a giggle, there are others out there that are just outright hilarious. Well, they are if you've got a mind like mine.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to grab a photo of yesterday's example, due to my phone battery running flat, but it's easily described. Black Subaru Legacy wagon, with the plate "LH RH". Obviously they're concerned about the intelligence of drivers behind them. Or they're being mean to dyslexics who are travelling in the opposite direction...
Now, we've all got small-world stories, where we met someone who knows someone that we haven't seen for years. It's rife, and NZ seems to be a particularly great place for such things. Bump into a fellow Kiwi on the streets of any city in the world and you'll almost certainly be able to find someone who you know in common, particularly if you've both worked in the same industry in NZ.
My world is getting just a little too small comfort, though. Was at a friend's (Rachelle) birthday party last night, at the Corner Bar in town. Happened to look out the window, and spotted a guy (Rob) who I worked with a decade ago, standing chatting to some of the other guests. Bowled on out to say hello, and discovered that he actually owns Corner Bar, and has known Rachelle for years. That's not that small, I know, but the world does get smaller still. One of Rachelle's best friends used to be friends with someone who Rob and I knew when we worked together, independently of this circle of friends.
So stop the world, I want OUT!
Went down to Foodtown Greenlane last night. Happened to glance at a locked cabinet in the wine aisle - the one where they keep the really expensive bottles. Saw a few that were in the $100 range, including one that was $130. Then I saw a sign that completely floored me:
$449. No, that's not missing a decimal point. No, it's not an exaggeration. I should really have taken a photo. A $449 bottle of red. A shiraz I think it was (I was too staggered by the price to pay much attention). An Australian red. So not even French.
And the best bit? You're meant to cellar it for 20 years. It was a 2001 vintage, so it's good for storing for another 15 years before being drunk. Is that the perfect scam or what?! If they drink it now, to see what they spent $449 on, and think it tastes terrible, well, that's the buyer's fault for drinking it too early. If they drink it in 15 years or so, and think it tastes terrible, well, so sorry too bad how sad, it's a bit late to ask for your money back. Absolutely brilliant.
We know that it's possible to produce wine cheaply - look at all the $15 bottles of perfectly adequate plonk - so there's no way that it costs anything like the price of this bottle to make it. That's a lot of profit. I think I'm in the wrong business.
For those of you who gave me best wishes for 2006, they did fuck all. So, for 2007, I will be accepting gifts of money, alcohol, or busty, leggy blondes. Not necessarily in that order.
Simon Power says that the Liam Ashley debacle is the most serious departmental failing since Cave Creek, and Damien O'Connor should resign as Minister of Corrections.
While the observation may indeed have merit, and Liam's case is certainly a fuckup of monumental proportions, National ought to be incredibly careful about drawing comparisons with Cave Creek and then demanding ministerial resignations. After all, despite significant public pressure, Denis Marshall, the National Minister of Conservation at the time, didn't resign for over a year after the Cave Creek disaster. That really set the bar for any demands that National might make for ministers to resign in the face of blunders on the part of ministries for which they are responsible, and that involved 14 fatalities rather than just one - not to minimise Liam's death, but 14 deaths in one incident carries vastly more weight in arguing for a resignation.
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