Category Archives: Suburban Hell series

The Suburban Shopping Mall

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  There is a place where we all ultimately go, like McDonald’s or BB’s Cafe, and that place is called the local shopping mall. The local malls have been undercut by the Westfields but they stand, steadfast, like a beacon of cheapness, scattered across suburban New Zealand. They’re places to go when the big malls are too scary, and you’re… Read more »

Compliance Hell: Saturday Sport

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Have you been at Saturday sports? Of course, it’s all about the kids. The children are our future. Let them play Saturday sport, and they will become rounded citizens. But what of the parents? What about them? They’ve been at work all week — working for The Man.  What they really want is a Saturday morning lie-in, optional-extra ‘knee trembler’,… Read more »

Suburban Hell: The Stay-at-home mother

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With such defined roles — that we all try to ignore in the belief that this is 2015 and we can make our own new, fresh stereotypes — the role of the stay-at-home mother is perhaps one of the great conundrums of our time. What are you? Are you not a taxpayer? Oh … Ostensibly a role that revolves solely… Read more »

Suburban Hell: The Inorganic Rubbish Collection

In my corner of suburbia, we are having the three-yearly rubbish collection of inorganic things that we collected free from the last curbside dumping and no longer require. It’s actually stressful. Ordinary rubbish day for most white New Zealanders is the apex of the working week.  Everywhere, on every street, there are clacky heels, striding the cold bitumen driveways to… Read more »

The Loudest Male: Suburban Kids’ Birthdays

  Our neighbours are having a birthday function right now for their one-year-old son. This is suburbia.  This could be the first time the back lawn has been used since the house purchase. If that’s the case, this will be the kid’s first experience of the great outdoors. It took them half a day to erect the pretend marquee (cf…. Read more »

School Reports – Compliance Hell

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Compliance is a kind of hell that doesn’t live in the bowels of the earth, it lives on your doorstep, in your letterbox and, at this time of year, in your child’s school bag in the form of a school report. If you have never written a report for a school-age child, you haven’t lived!  I can give you an… Read more »

People Movers : Rectangular Contraceptives

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Here at The Sane Companion, we still startle when we see words (or terms) like ‘Kiwi Saver’, ‘lunch-box fillers’, ‘David Seymour’s massive majority’ or the like. But one of the biggest scares ever, for me, is the horror of The People Mover. I know I should have bought one long ago.  There are times when I need to shift five… Read more »