Rites of Passage: “Mum I’m quite surprised because I got School C!”

Once upon a time, in Fifth Form (Year 11), I took some subjects at school.

I was asked to know my exact career path at age 15, and being from a fairly middle-class and therefore fortunate family, I simply answered with the first thing that came into my head:

Um I’ll take florist please.

With that over and done with I just randomly checked some boxes and ended up in French and Geography thinking they sounded nice.

The qualification was then School Certificate. I remember it being content-driven, meaning I’d be “taught” by my “teacher”. My teacher would do all of the talking, and would stand in front of the blackboard and draw diagrams with chalk.  We’d write down the content in our 1B5 hardcover books.

My geography teacher warned us about our exams from the minute we started class on the first day. We got used to hearing helpful reminders such as:

You think exams are in November, well they’re closer than you think

Oh, how we laughed at this nonsense, and went back to writing notes to our friends and planning what colour taffeta we’d wear for next year’s ball.

Suddenly it was term four and we’d done no work all year nor any study. My florist career was already in tatters and there were no Coles Notes for Geography or French.

There was only one thing for it, and that was to make it all up and hope for the best.

The English exam went ok. On the morning I packed a pretty tight plastic bag with things like protractors and a compass to make myself look more scholarly.

All of my transactional pieces ended with “Thank goodness it was all a dream”, because they were rubbish stories.  Possibly what got me through this exam was the helpful anecdote about Tennessee Williams’ sister being the first person in America to have a frontal lobotomy, the only thing I could remember about A Streetcar Named Desire.

French was tough. We were made to listen to some cassette tapes of scenarios. For example, Thierry getting told off by his mother.  I managed to work out that the whole family were going to the pool though, and that felt good.

On to Mathematics. Not my strength by any stretch but still the compass and protractor finally came into their own.

Geography was easy. I can still describe to you what orographic rain is, and that Auckland is an isthmus, and write a creative paragraph about California’s varied land forms and weather.

Science was ok, apart from the chemistry and physics parts, and by then, it was nearly holiday time and I no longer cared about my future.

In January the results came in. To my surprise, I had passed everything except French, only because everything was scaled up. Because of scaling, so that the education system could attain its all-important “bell curve”, three of my grades were in the late sixties. I passed mathematics. What a shitty cohort we must have been.

The following year, we were thrown into the first experimental year of Sixth Form Certificate and I spent a year mounting things onto thick cardboard for no good reason, and staring into the educational abyss, and wondering if I’d wear leg-of-mutton sleeves with my backless dress, and whether my date would be shorter than me because of the heels.

Great New Zealand Archetypes: Extremely Extreme Sports Dad

The Everyman idea is a fallacy.

The guy who refers to himself as “just a regular dad” is, in fact, Extremely Extreme Sports Dad, oft spotted doing the school run.

He can do it because he’s his own boss. He heads up a consultancy firm that specialises in oblique business messaging. He comes and he goes. You never really know what he actually does, but on pay day, an earth mover arrives and dumps an unfeasible amount of cash into the back pocket of his jean shorts.

To add insult to injury, Extremely Extreme Sports Dad rocks up to the school run in his Extreme Sport clothes. That’s how we know what he’s into.

Clima-dri™weaves cover his body as if he’s about to do the London–Dakar, but Olympic-walking it.

He also runs. How do we know? He’s always got a strapped thigh.  He bikes. He’s got a ten-speed. Or is it a twelve-speed? Old school.

Extremely Extreme Sports Dad’s real name is probably Jonathan or Graham. He went to Auckland Grammar, where he was Extreme Head Boy.

He’s got a soft side. He’s got daughters. He knows all about how long the women take to get ready. And that’s about all he knows.

He’s 6 foot five, taller than anyone else.  The children gather around him after school as he stops to have an Extremely Important chat with another budding alpha male called Lachie. Who will win the conversation is anyone’s guess, but Jonathan is a disrupter in the consultancy world, and Lachie is afraid.

On Saturday, he’s on the football sideline, egging on his sons into a world of Extreme Sporting. Then they’re off, into the ten-seater with someone else’s kids too, for a Big Saturday.

Later that night, Juliette and Rog are coming around for relaxing drinks and nibbles. The group will sprawl out onto the deck while Extremely Extreme Sports dad demonstrates his new drone.

And it’s over, another packed day. Soon it’s Monday again, time to do the school run, this time in a land yacht.

The Sin Eater

A Sin Eater used to

lay out bread on a corpse

and eat the sin-soaked food

and save a soul.


I’m a modern-day Sin Eater.

But still, give me platesful of corpse cake

and take me to your graveside

to dine alone.


The grave is freshly-dug and empty;

so I wait.

Wine (and bread) take away the sting

of your dark crimes


Overhead the seagulls wail and circle

eyeing the cavernous hole and

the unspoiled bread

as we wait to eat secrets.


The sin is coal-dark;

sometimes, lately, murderous,

but always self-righteous

and always fed out in spoonsful


A modern sin-eater swells with

the sins of others, the sins; the “don’t tells,”

and they learn to hide

their own shrinking frame.

A Thousand Yards

A Thousand Yards

Between the blossom trees

and along the straight, gravelled avenue

the tall chimney rises.

The polished steel is hot and deranges

the stark slate of the blue sky beyond.


You took one thousand strokes

on a hired exercise machine in

the cold unlined garage,

while outside your small shrubs grew up around you;

your stare down the drive and into the postcode was infinite.


In Countdown you colour-coded

the vegetables part-time; the produce manager

disputed your work and asked you to focus on specials.

You walked home shamed

age 73 in your Asics.


Over the road at the RSA, the howitzer pointed skyward;

some days you could buy a $12.50 lunch,

silently eat in the blazing afternoon sun

—the work dried up,

“I didn’t need it anyway,” you’d mutter.


You did need it.

Your last time spent creating lattice frames for your

climbers; an archway for the rose

and crazed paving in the driveway

for you to tread in socked feet at dusk.


You twisted and sweated at night—

something wanted to burn you.

You became afraid of the Inland Revenue

and replayed Slavonic Dances over and over,

the music describing a swelling, sea-bound river.


Today, you are just smoke, tarring the sky.

“You’d be surprised how heavy the ashes can be”

says the slicked-haired undertaker,

the plastic composite box too small

for your terror.

Coronation Street’s Deep Thinker: Tim Metcalfe



Tim Metcalfe is a hapless Englishman, stuck in the middle of others’ drama, in a suburb called Weatherfield.

If you thought Steve MacDonald or Peter Barlow had fairly hard existences, think again.


Tim entered the show in 2013 as the birth father of Faye Windass, who is the adoptive daughter of Anna and Eddie Windass.

Yes. Windass.

Initially he bonded with Faye, and became Preferred Parent, mainly because he had no ostensible rules or skills, and Faye could break free from Anna’s earnest, caring and loving parenting style for a bit.

To facilitate this, Faye cooked up a cracker storyline about how Anna was an unfit parent, with a view to going to live with hapless party Tim.

Initially it worked, with Faye happily moving in with Tim, and within two days he’d left her home alone, and by the Friday she’d only eaten toast for three days straight.

Poor Tim, we thought, it was a big step, and good on him for having that frosty pint at the Rovers all day.

It was as if he had loser stamped all over his shaven pate, and then along came …

Web of Doom

Sally Webster.

And if he thought life was a bit confusing and unfair up until that point, he hadn’t seen anything yet.

For Sally breaketh the balls, slowly and surely, and Tim was no Kevin Webster.

He was jobless, and once the bogus allegations about Anna were proven to be fake, and party time had come to a grinding halt, Tim, without even a ladder like Graeme Proctor with which to start a climbing empire, nor a brass razoo to rub against another, craved a powerful career.


But with a bit of gentle fishwifery from Sal, he built a window washing empire from the ground up, and could reach the dizzying heights of success across the many windows of the Street; even Norris might put his hellish judgemental baby-boomer seal of semi-approval on it.

And Tim just sits through it all, eyebrows cocked in bemusement and sometimes bewilderment at the machinations of the partial humans falling apart around him.


He is Everyman, the bystander in his own life, the observer.

Most of the characters need affairs, whiskey, a light murder here and there to distract from the gutter boredom of Weatherfield.

Tim needs only a pint of Double Diamond and a space in which to stare ahead, one thousand yards.

He is the greatest character on the show, of this era.

Wicker Chair

On Monday there was a wicker chair,

its threads woven into the frame in a lacklustre taupe

next to a rusted lamp stand.

The shade askew

and its plastic backing peeling.

On the Wednesday it rained

and the soaked carpets spored black.

The vans stooped and floated

past the busted plastic chairs

towards the power drill

with its cut cord.

Friday the men in trucks came

loading great armfuls of wet curtains,

carpets, a wedding gown and lovers’ beds

into the crusher

angrily staring at the vans who raced ahead

to get the last peeling wooden drawers.

The New Zealand Buffet


Last Sunday, we hit the smorgasbord sensation called Valentines.

It was my daughter’s 7th birthday and I wanted her to have the experience of plenty.

We arrived at 12pm.

A cursory look around the joint revealed they’d removed the giant margarine sculptures of yore. Nothing neo-Platonic about those structures, although some of the subjects were often classical; a Poseidon, a centaur. Sadly, no Zeus though.

Once the dinner horn had sounded (actually a small waiter, summonsing patrons to attend to the stainless-steel tureens) we took the children up one by one, to sample the wares of the dessert trolley.

And then it was my turn, and I was struck by the colours and the lights. Bright heat lamps bore down on glistening meats and salamis; salads came slathered with what looked like peach-coloured dressing, and there were metal jugs of the same sauce with mini-ladles everywhere.

The Mexican section was just bad chilli con carne and nacho chips. Garlic bread lay in lazy strips next to every hot tureen and small bowls of sprinkles with a teaspoon scoop offered crushed nuts, bacon bits or dried pumpkin seeds. For what reason, I wasn’t really sure, and I was not about to ask Chef, because I’d heard a rumour that the food was prepared in Palmerston North and then trucked to the various franchises, and that would make the people in white hats ‘reheaters’ rather than actual cooks. And at the end of the day, I really liked this urban myth about the food being cooked at a distance; it had a scary and repellant edge to it.

I heaped my plate with anything I could find, even butter chicken, which in reality was chicken in a an orange-coloured sauce. 

I knew I was risking my life eating some of this stuff and I didn’t care. I could have sat there until 7pm just grazing, assessing the condition of the rubber plants that were still there from 1987, the leaves nibbled by god-knows what, and a glance over to the games room which doubled as a place to store baby high chairs, and the drinks station, which served Pepsi (unthinkable), red and white wine and Steinlager.

If that wasn’t enough for you, you could hit the dessert area hard-out, and smash a few New Zealand favourites onto your refreshed plate; a chocolate log absolutely addled in strong liqueur essence, some kind of trifle or a mousse of chocolate and by this stage I’d started to break out into a sweat until I saw the coffee percolator (the glass fish-bowl type) and all was well again in my world.

We left, filled with proteins not normally sampled in our day-to-day life, nicely ‘full’ and the children happily skipping to the car feeling they’d attended a mythical feast.

A lone pink balloon floated onto the highway as we pulled out into the Autumn afternoon.


I’m white and 45.

When I was 25, I used to look at those birthday cards in the supermarket. The ones with ‘Naughty 40’ and ‘Nifty 50’. The card-makers would run out of ideas for the 60 year olds and just put on a gran-type figure on a walker, hastily making her way toward a Speedoed lifeguard.

Naughty 40 (to me) looked like a shocker of a place to be. It looked desperate. It was as if the brainstorming team at Hallmark were trying to make something good of it.

So, you’re 40. Boom, boom. Woof. You sexy old thing. Cor. I bet you’re a dirty, sexed up old 40 year old aren’t you. You can’t get enough.

And then you get to 40 yourself, and then to 45—which is nearly 50—and you are there. You are the person they refer to on the cards.

But what are you?

You are a lot of things. You are the same annoying Smiths-loving, wine-drinking lush you were in your 20s. Except you are now even more insufferable.

You now know every Smiths and Radiohead lyric. You argue on Twitter daily. You post your herb garden on Facebook and over on instagram, images of your prune tea beverage.

However, you notice that the only things that have really changed are that you do most of your Smiths-drinking at home because invariably, you have children or needy dogs or cats, or a full Netflix watchlist, and there’s really very few chances to get out and anyway, half the time you just can’t be fucked.

How do you spend your time? Here’s a short list:

1. You start to talk about politics, almost daily


A typical group of women talking about politics

Your brain is less addled with cheap Rheinecks, so you can think deeper, and your arts degree has made you a critical thinker.

2. You try to avoid looking old

Twitter handle: @kstew70

How many sad, 45-year-old women are there walking around with Hollister hoodies on, trying to be funny on Twitter. Be warned.

3. You are curious


Curious at its absolute worst

You really want to know everything and you find that the more you know, the less you know. You want to do everything, which is why every single night class and university is crammed with 40-somethings learning Dutch and trying to make polenta smoothies, blindfolded. In the dark.

4. SoHo

Neither of these two guys should drink beer.

Neither of these two guys should drink

You are not 45 unless you are glued to SoHo, living out your last days vicariously watching bad, violent medieval scenarios and then stroking your talking fridge—or your FitBit—and sipping your Sam Neill Pinot Noir and thinking, “I wonder if I should @ Sam Neill right now with an image of my own hand cradling Sam Neill’s wine?”

5.  You actually made a comment about Richie and Gemma’s baby

Be it “leave them alone” or “haha anyone can procreate”, you still went there.


What are your thoughts on being in your mid-to-late 40s? Are you listening to more Anderson Paak than ever? Do you try to hide your age by calling everyone bae?

Mothers without mothers


My mother’s mother died when mum was 15.

Mum cannot remember a time when her own mother wasn’t sick. Back in the 50s, people who needed long-term care were shunted from place to place. At one stage her mother was cared for in a geriatric hospital even though she was only in her late 40s.

She had hypertensive issues and became bedridden. My mother recalls a time when they needed to care for her at home. Mum was in the forth form then, at Hutt Valley High School. She loved basketball and had taught herself how to flick-flack, and to do the splits. She was probably quite a confident girl. School was everything for mum; she wanted to become either a pharmacist or a concert pianist.

All of the money and effort was, however, put into her brother, who was lined up for medical school.

Once her own mother came home to die, mum was taken out of school to look after her. The other sisters were much older, with young children and those sorts of serious commitments.

Mum was 15. She recalls standing on a chair to look out a high window with a view towards the school field, filled with uniformed and hormonal teenagers, getting on with their lives, unaware of the girl left behind to be at her mother’s bedside.

No teenager wants this, no matter how much they love a parent. Kids are kids—they are supposed to be selfish. It doesn’t last anyway; pretty soon the world has you in the grip of compliance.

It was much sooner for mum. Once her mother died, my own went out into the workforce to earn. She became a proficient typist and shorthand-taker in Wellington at a shipping company.

That was that. There was no ‘discussion circle’ or ‘family group conference’ about what should happen to my mother.

Mum’s life of ‘have to’ must have been overwhelming, but the other thing here—the intangible—is that she never knew what it was to be mothered. Fathered, certainly. But mothering?

She had to imagine and invent; and when she became a mother herself, she had no context from which to draw inspiration or just plain practical common sense.

I know of many motherless mums, and on this year’s Mother’s Day, I am thinking about them, and hope that the dead piece of heart can radiate, even just a little.

The Lazy Susan: Sex on a Plate


On The Chase a while back, there was a question:

The decorative circular item that sits in the middle of a table and can be spun around is called a Lazy what?

Is it a) Sarah b) Stella or c) Susan?

Of course there was much pretending not to know, but eventually all agreed on c).

It reminded me of times in the past, long summers and somewhat unkempt nights at Chinese restaurants in Half Moon Bay …

Ostensibly a way of avoiding eye and body contact rather than a social lubricant, the Lazy Susan was almost like an early app for getting salt and pepper in front of you without the messy discourse of having to ‘ask’ beforehand.

It was usually glass, because green frosty glass is so chic and sexy.

My most enduring memory, though, is hand-tapping the rotating platter in order to get the Coruba rum in front of me or to get durries from one side of the table to the other lightning fast.

There was something about this device that fostered romance, too.

It was all too easy to get someone hot on the other side of you to get things around to you, like Coruba, durries, and a few grains of rice to line your stomach, and he could show off his sexual prowess by making the spin action go ‘just a bit too fast’, attracting the Confucian wise-eye of the nearby waiter. Eyes that said:

Silly fuckwit.  I hate you. Get out my restaurant.

But you didn’t get out, because the rotating device was hilarious and you were on your seventh Coruba ‘n’ Juice, since you’d run out of mixer earlier on.  Small pieces of fried rice peppered your handbag, and the walls of the restaurant, and you were an oblivious moron, all because of the Lazy Susan.


Lazy Susans aren’t just for meaningless dinner cavorting or a sexual hook-up tool!  You can get them to spin your spices as well as your cold cuts.  Only the best from the Briscoes Lady, here.


School Reports – Compliance Hell


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 idea of what it’s like though …

Something nice to start with:

“Tarquin has excelled in paper dragon crafts.”

and then quickly, quietly, softly…

“…however, he has had issues with homicide and narcotics at school…”

and then lightning fast…

“He did get one point for the house, once, by picking up his own chewing gum. Well done, Tarquin!!”

It’s the same situation for school awards or certificates.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s November and your child (let’s call him Tarquin) has yet to receive an award.

All the other kids have had them.  Even the Charles Manson one, who sits in a cage to the side of the mat has had one for Excellence in Computing.

You don’t know whether to politely email the teacher and ask leading questions…

“Hi Mrs Brownlie. 🙂 🙂

I was just casually not thinking about how my son hasn’t won an award at all, and strangely suddenly wanted to know what the criteria is for attaining a Principal’s Award?  It’s nothing to do with the fact that Tarquin hasn’t won one.  In fact, we tend to shun the extrinsic award model in our family. We try to implore our children to strive for intrinsic rewards, much like what happens when you give blood.

BUT what is the criteria for winning one of these awards, and what does Tarquin need to do to win one?”

Finally, you crack, and have a casual, quiet word to Mrs Brownlie.  She pulls you aside and lets you in on a secret.

Little Tarquin has bigger things awaiting him.  Perhaps, she suggests, he is in line for the Class Prize, at the formal prize giving at year end?

You run off home, a spring in your step. How you love Tarquin just that bit extra tonight!

And then, the prize giving day arrives.  You seat yourself, smiling the smile of secrecy, of knowing great things will unfold. Hopefully these great things will happen just after the choir sing a version of Lean on Me, but before the Principal’s speech, predicted to go on for 32 minutes.

It turns out the speech itself is a culmination of some pretty shonky Year 11 History where “I have a dream”-meets Rosa Parks-meets Angels and Demons by Dan Brown.

And then, the names are drawn.  Like rifle shots you hear each one.  Tristram Fate, for Services to Service.  Lyle Wagonner, for Excellence in Sociopathy.  And …

“Replica Charles Manson, for Excellence in Computer Hacking.”

Dang it, Tarquin did not make the cut.  You walk back to the car slightly ahead of him, slowly calculating the embarrassment but you decide to take him to Subway for a commiseration foot-long.

He silently munches, looks at you and says “Thank GOD that’s over mum.  I’m looking forward to spending the holidays with you. What are we doing?”

God love you, Tarquin.

And all is well in compliance world, after all.

When Trades go bad

We’ve all had a bad experience or three on Trade Me.

It’s not the company per se, it’s the people who use it.  A bit like hand guns.

You’ve wrapped the six sets of Merino wool, never-worn socks.  The money has just gone in your account.  You decide to post the item right away, because you are magnanimous.  Your Trade Me handle is turntheothercheek2001, and you have one thousand successful trades to your name, all with positive feedback.

You post the item, and wait for weeks to receive the positive feedback you crave.

It never comes.

On another occasion, you are attempting to sell a car.  It’s straight as a die, and your thesis-length description covers the condition of every bolt, washer and that you have recently replaced every single car part.  As soon as you click the ‘Start Listing’ button, a barrage of questions ping into your inbox like bullets being fired into a tin bucket.

When does the WoF expire?

Has the cambelt been done?

I’ll give you $500 for it.

What’s wrong with it?

And, quiet as a mouse, you duly answer:

Thanks for the questions.  They are really well thought out, and I love the way they probe me.  As mentioned in the very first sentence of the description, the WoF has just been issued.  This car does not have a cambelt to begin with, so we’re alright there.  As specified in the description, I have requested no low-ball offers, or actually any offers, because it is an auction.  There is nothing wrong with it, I just want to upgrade to something a bit gruntier.  Thanks!  🙂 🙂 🙂  A+++++++ questions.

and soon after …

Can I pay you for it in a series of installments, of $20 a month?

and then the unthinkable …

$350.00      22 Nov      2:05 am       uselesslifeform(0)

Yes, despite your best efforts to shy the above-mentioned bidder away from your completely transparent trade, he’s put a drunken bid on it.

Hi again Mate.  I’ve put a bid on, not sure if I’m near the reserve?  What’s the reserve?

and …

Thanks for your ever-poignant line of questioning.  I don’t wish to reveal the reserve.  If I am honest, I’d like to get as much for the car as I can, not just reserve.  Thanks, happy bidding.

Then …

There’s heaps of these up at the moment, all going for $1500 or less, it’s not the only one, so you might find you are the one who looses (sic) out.

so …

Thanks for that.  A cursory look at your feedback shows a person who has never actually completed a trade, although there’s been many attempts by people to get you to.  Are you sure you want to be bidding on this item?

resulting in …

So you a stalker now too Mate?  Bad look, remove my bid loser, there’s heaps of Toyota Corolla GLs on, gonna go get a really good one, not this piece of crap.

Think once, think twice, think “why the fuck am I doing this?”

Surreal landscapes: The Act Party Opening Address

Teletubbies 4

It screened last night.

In a Dali-esque landscape, Jamie Whyte and his wife Zainab stroll and muse.  Giraffes graze in the background.  A red trumpet nestles into the nearby hillock.  I’ve got one of those in my hillock.  Haven’t you?

No, you are not on bad acid.  This is the opening address for the 2014 General Election for the Act Party.

“We met in Belgium”, says Zainab, passing the camera.

We cut away to some musty Polaroids of Jamie’s illustrious past.  Cambridge (England, not Hamilton), philosophy, Doctorates, gowns and the world of ideas fill our screens, as do images of a hirsute Sting-like Whyte back in his heyday of mentoring; young minds being filled with ideas and notions about personal responsibility and a dream of a Utopia without state intervention and without burglaries.

At once we are in Whyte’s lair.  Several key tomes populate the book shelves.  Is that The Secret there?

Then the mean streets of Epsom.  Whyte introduces his candidate there, David Seymour.  In a split screen reminiscent of a Year 9 Social Studies project, a talking Whyte and a not-talking Seymour show us in one shot why we should vote for ACT:



And then the words come.

In a non-threatening font, the ACT design team execute a very powerful version of what is called ‘animated text’.

Words come and go.  Some of them are in fushia pink, to show Whyte’s sensitive, freaky and wacky side.  It reminds me of a three-idea word cloud.

Then to a pond.  The pond of truth.  The pond of the Yellow Tick for political reform.

Fullscreen capture 24082014 111733 a.m.

That is all.  Thank you ACT party for your opening address.

The Worst Ad In New Zealand History


Look into my eyes, not around the eyes; into the eyes.


And the gong goes to…the Chanui ad.

I know I am about 6 months to a year behind here, but I was just sitting there tonight, watching the farce that is House Rules — you know, the one where the millionaire gentry are posing as first homeowners (cough) — and up it came.

The guy from the Chanui ad.

I’m immediately thinking “raised on a fundamentalist Christian commune for sure”, and all the people who jump in to support the brand look like colluders in a great mind-bending tea scandal.

But of course, it’s just tea.  Tea for the workman.  Tea for the housewife.  Tea for the lonely housewife.  Tea for the fucking business analyst.  A tea for each and every demographic and type of New Zealander.

If you hate the tea, you’ll get your money back.  But, who in their right mind would want to deal with these people to get $3.36 back?  You might never get your mind back, let alone your money.

Your money back and (or) be drawn into the dark recesses of the proprietor’s madness.

Those eyes.  He searches your every mental crevice for weakness.  You know you want the tea.  You’re thirsty.  You need a good strong breakfast tea before hitting the building sites of the infill housing boom.  He knows, and you know.

From the company website, people are SAYING THINGS about the tea.

Jason, from Palmerston North, doesn’t usually like the sharpness of green tea.  But Chanui is different.  It treats his palate gently.  Gently stroking it, with overtones of honey and eroticism.

Even Kerry from Auckland — who was a dyed-in-the-wool Dilmah girl — has made the switch.  The switch of her life.  To Chanui, with a 100% money back guarantee.

Listening to this advertisement, and the selection of words in the script, makes me feel like I don’t need a cup of tea — I need a prescription for booze to ease my unease after seeing these unhinged people talk about tea as if it’s some kind of holy grail — of tea.

This advertisement is only rivaled by one other:  for wool insulation under the guise of a company called Earth Wool.

Earth Wool?   That sounds strangely similar to ‘toe jam.’

A man and wife duo shift large phallic objects around and into a very plain dwelling, while a rock tune that’s somewhere between Keith Urban and John ‘Man in Motion’ Parr drowns out any dialogue.  It doesn’t matter anyway because there’s subtitles.  Misspelled subtitles.


I love recylced things. Recylcing. The way of the futrue.

And most perplexing of all — the product is pixelated, making it one of the most unintentionally funny advertisements in the history of humanity.

There is nothing more comic than a dude walking toward a woman, with a bit fat pixelated cylinder.


A pixelated cylinder.

These two advertisements have one thing in common: the man who runs the store has made the ad; and it shows.

Congratulations on winning the Golden Chanui, for Worst Possible Advertising, and the Earth Wool Chalice for labyrinthine weirdness.