Welcome back to normality, Sunners, at least for those returned to school, work or whatever else fills your day.
For those still on holiday or just about to leave, good on you! You worked hard all year and loyally suffered 52 weeks of RR, through the good, the bad and the cynical.
This week suggests 2018 is full of promise for an entertaining year of news.
Already we’ve discovered: Someone got the Prime Minister pregnant; Kate Hawkesby doesn’t trust Meghan Markle, and neither, it seems, does the Queen who wants her to sign a pre-nup before marrying Harry; a super blue blood moon is rising this week; Jeremy Wells is the new Mike Hosking. An Australian bloke holidaying in Fiji lost his wedding ring in the sea then discovered 10 years later that his work buddy had found it eight years earlier; Donald is still president of the Sad States of America.
There’s been an awful lot of nature happening this week.
Mind you, nature does happen every week. It’s just that in the height of summer, there are more people out there watching it.
I’m sure just as much nature happens during the middle of winter, only most of the easily impressed nature commentators are not amongst the nature, they’re at home with the curtains pulled watching reality television.
Just this week nature has abounded.
That’s a technical term we nature watchers use that means “lots”.
A list of nature things: Super rare blood red moons that are also, oddly, blue moons at the same time. Puffer fish on the beach. King tides. Dotterels. Oyster Catchers. Mount Maulers. Big storms formerly known as cyclones. The BOP Fruitgrower of the Year Competition.
Let’s thank the constabulary.
This week is Rogers Rabbits’ official “Salute a Police Officer” week. There’s an open day at the Tauranga station at 10am Sunday if you’d like to check them out.
It’s a good time of year to acknowledge the excellent work of the cops and give thanks that we live in a fairly safe country with relaxed policing by mostly unarmed officers.
Unlike some countries, when you can’t walk home at night without being stopped and questioned, or be in public after drinking.
An entertaining example this week came via a Kiwi buddy, Cody, who tells the true story of the time he holidayed in California in the summer of 2009, and went out on the town with friends.
After a big night out, he caught a ride with a sober driver to within a few blocks of his Uncle Mike’s place, where he was staying.
Cody reckoned he’d be fine walking the last few streets at 3am.
He was striding along, enjoying the summer night air, when a patrol car cruised along, circled around, and came back for another look.
They pulled alongside and asked him to stop for a chat. “No, I’m fine,” he answered, to be told it wasn’t a request, an instruction.
The officers asked what he was doing and if he’d been drinking. “Yes”, he replied.
They said there had been robberies in the area, eyeing him suspiciously.
“Don’t you know it’s an offence to be drunk in public?”
Cody replied that all the public were asleep in bed, and it was only a few blocks to his uncle’s house.
He assured the police that in New Zealand, it was legal and normal for people to walk home after a night out.
In fact, it was better than driving drunk.
The officers seemed quite amazed at this, and questioned him further. Another patrol car arrived and there were soon four officers questioning Kiwi Cody about his night and the situation was getting tense.
They didn’t seem to believe his story and asked him to put his hands on his head.
It seemed under control... until they asked the name of his uncle, and so he told them. “Michael Jackson.”
That’s when all hell broke loose.
Taking the Mickey
Unfortunately for Cody, another Michael Jackson had recently passed away and the officers thought Cody was taking the Mickey.
He was tackled,handcuffed, bundled into the back seat and told he’d be going to the jail’s drunk tank for the night, an hour-and-a-half away.
Cody kept insisting it wasn’t necessary, as he was only minutes away from Uncle Mike’s place. Eventually he persuaded them to Google search his Uncle’s business, and the officers accepted his story that Uncle Michael Jackson really was Cody’s uncle.
They turned around and delivered Cody to the tonky, gated residence, complete with sirens and lights.
The neighbours all came out to look. Auntie videoed it all from upstairs.
The cops asked Uncle Mike: “Is this yours?”
To which he replied: “Never seen him before.”