Monday, August 29, 2011

The expedition to the non-prominent area

'The alcohol display area must not be in a prominent area of the store.'—Parliament's justice and electoral select committee recommending changes to supermarket and grocery stores under the Alcohol Reform Bill, in the hope of making the purchase of alcohol less attractive and more difficult for young people

The first night

We've camped tonight, Jason, Jarod and me, at the southern end of aisle 2. It hasn't been too bad getting this far, but we know that the hard part lies ahead. It's important to get some rest. The old maps have turned out to be useless; familiar landmarks are just gone. The major display of DB that used to be near the entrance is no longer there, and all the way down aisle 1 we saw no sign of the shoulder-high stacks of cask wine that usually dot the landscape. Instead, we had to pick our way through some rough country that took us past the tinned tomatoes and creamed corn, before abseiling safely down to a ledge beyond specialist teas.

The second night

Good progress today—we're camped halfway down aisle 9—but I'm worried about Jarod. He seems listless, pale, and tires easily. Jason and I keep having to wait for him to catch up. He keeps licking his lips; I think he's in Steinie withdrawal mode. Not far to go now, mate, I say, encouraging him. The trouble is (and I don't tell Jarod this), to be quite honest I don't exactly know where the liquor shelves are now. The last guys to make the attempt got as far as aisle 14 and had the delicatessen counter in sight before pulling back out of sheer exhaustion. They told me they reckoned the booze was somewhere beyond the deli but had to admit they hadn't actually seen it.

The third night

It's just Jason and me now. I think Jarod knew he was holding us back. He left the tent last night saying 'I'm just going outside for a while, dude,' and we never saw him again. He was the bravest guy I ever knew. We didn't say much today, Jason and me, just slogged on past cake, buns and confectionery. We left the deli behind us late in the afternoon and since then we've been in no man's land. It's fucking dark, man, and a sort of mist has come down. I thought I heard a wolf howl. But we've got to get through. They're counting on us back at the party.

Editor's footnote: the diary was found in a sleeping bag halfway down a ravine several metres west of organic nut bars. Two bodies lay nearby, dead of dehydration. Unbeknownst to them, the first Tui lagers were just around the corner of the next aisle. The last scrawled lines in the diary read:

'The piss, man, it's out there somewhere. Some day, some way, it will be found. In a non-prominent area. If we have blazed a path to it, if we've done anything at all to make the going easier for those who come after us, then our sacrifice won't have been in vain. Sink one for us when you get there.'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cot case

Police investigating a serious disturbance in Dunedin three days ago say they're making progress with their inquiries and expect to make an arrest soon.

They're releasing few details at this stage but it's understood the incident in question involved toys, and a cot.

Inspector Kevin Plekhanov says he can't comment on speculation but there were several unsavoury aspects to the case.

'The toys were thrown with some force from the cot,' he says.

Police are seeking a middle-aged woman wearing a cloth cap and carrying a hammer and sickle. She has a large chip on her shoulder and a mote in one eye. Other identifying features include an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

A Ms Clare Curran is helping police with their inquiries.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Operational matters

The Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson, said today that she was not responsible for the Minister of Labour, Kate Wilkinson.

Questioned in Parliament, Ms Wilkinson said Ms Wilkinson's actions were not something she could comment on. 'That is an operational matter,' she said.

Ms Wilkinson would neither confirm nor deny that she was a cabinet minister and a member of the current government.

Approached by reporters outside Parliament afterwards, Ms Wilkinson referred all further questions to the Minister of Labour.

The Minister of Labour's office said the minister was unable to comment on matters relating to her portfolio.

Asked when the minister would be back, a spokesperson said that was commercially sensitive information.

Ms Wilkinson later issued a statement saying she was not at any time and never had been, nor could she, and in any case, whatever.

Asked if she actually existed, Ms Wilkinson said that issue was still being worked through by a committee of inquiry and it was not up to her to intervene.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

So young

There's a group called Youth for Act? Holy Christ. Who are these people? Where did their parents go so wrong? What can be done to save them? We need rescue missions, fund-raising campaigns, ways of offering them a better life. There may yet be hope for these unfortunate youths. It breaks my heart to think that they may be growing up regarding Don Brash as an object of veneration. Is there anything at all that we can do to help?