Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Whitebait...It's that time of the year

It’s that time of year again. Drive down the Wainui Road around the Cheddar Valley and you will see them. They remind me of herons, sitting motionless along the river bank. Talk to them in whispered tones, do not expect eye contact. Unblinking, they study the mood of the river. Sometimes they are in pairs. In town they would be called Darby and Joan, but here in the country they are Eb and Flo, the river folk. Precariously balanced on tiny fold up chairs, the male of the species scans the murky water for a tell tale ripple. Eb has been sitting at this spot every August for the last ten years, this is his secret posi’. Flo is happy with her book until her partner lets out a triumphant whisper and is galvanized into action. She knows the routine, the Mills and Boon is quickly discarded, she grabs the specially designed bucket (there is a small hole in it). Eb is alert, his senses are reeling, his mouth is watering. He moves faster than a speeding sloth, skillfully scooping the huge net through the water. There is a flash of silver as not one, but two, unsuspecting whitebait (smaller than the last joint on Eb's little finger and thinner than a turkey quil) are lured into the mouth of the net.
‘One each’, exclaims Flo, as her hero wrestles the catch to the shore.

Some years ago we lived in the small village of Edgecumbe, adjacent to the Rangitaiki River. Now I had heard about the whitebait delicacy and I was keen to try my luck. I acquired the obligatory net and made my way to the river bank. Imagine my excitement when by lunch time I had scooped two large buckets full.
‘How’d you get on this morning?’ Enquires Alf, my neighbour.
‘I got two,’ I reply, ‘what about yourself?’
‘Better than you,’ says Alf, ‘I got five, almost enough for a fritter.’
Now I am thinking, (quite wrongly) I got two buckets, Alf got five, his one fritter will not only feed the whole population of Edgecumbe, when he tosses it out of the pan there is likely to be a total eclipse.

Maureen and I had whitebait fritters for breakfast, lunch and tea (the kids would not touch them) In fact we devoured enough to sink an aircraft carrier. Number two’s was off the agenda for a week and a half. My wife thought the best part of the fritter was the egg it was cooked in. Truth be known, I was catching the wrong species, they were bigger than the elusive sylph like delicacy and I was puzzled by the fact that a not so small, gray and somewhat gritty fish was called white. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard that whitebait was fetching up to $150 per kg in local shops. Goodbye mortgage thinks I, as the little critters are placed in snap up bags ready to hit the local consumer.
Experienced white-baiters reckon they know their piece of river so well that they can almost smell them coming. The point to ponder is this, whitebait is great for eating, but when they are ‘Smelt’ they are only good for fertilizer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I haven't run out of ideas, I'm just busy with http://boptown.blogspot.com

While searching through the old glassie archives, I found this bit of nonsense

Well, our national newspapers have done it again. They have reached into the archives of the mid 1970’s to pull out the letter ‘O’.
Years ago there appeared to exist a kind of alphabetical terror code that filled folk with fear and trepidation. The second world war started the whole process with the ‘A’ bomb. Followed by the evacuation of troops on ‘D’ day. The ‘H’ bomb soon reared its ugly head. Thankfully there was a light hearted and refreshing interlude, when, courtesy of the James Bond movies we became acquainted with ‘M’ and ‘Q‘.
This was the start of the A to Z phenomena becoming completely out of sync. We’ve had ‘X’ men movies, Mr.’T’, the ‘A’ Team. ’C’ Change and more recently, the scourge of our country, ‘P’. There has been an attempt by true Kiwis to start at the beginning again by finishing every sentence with ‘A’, ‘A’. This attempt failed miserably when the powers that ‘B’ decided to christen the youth of today, The ‘Y’ generation. (‘Y’ ? )
Before I reveal the significance of the letter ‘O’ try this small exercise, it will help you with texting & yor skul wrk wil gt tp mrks b coz no 1 wnt 2 no ow 2 spel ne mor.
“A, B, C D goldfish?”
“M N O goldfish”
“S A R, C D B D eyes”
Now, if you successfully deciphered this cryptic message you have joined the ‘Y’ generation, and I can now warn you of the media plot to re-visit the letter ‘O’.
I refer, of course to the ‘O’ Zone. Yes, it’s back! That hole in the sky where ultra violet rays are tumbling through, en masse to attack unsuspecting Kiwis.
I find it more than a little coincidental that at this time of year the letter ‘O’ drifts menacingly across the pages of our national newspapers. Note the following from NZ Herald…1/10/04 ‘Ozone hole over Antarctica poses risk for New Zealanders this summer’…..17/11/05 ‘NIWA research said that the Ozone hole over the Antarctic was relatively large and it’s intensity nearly as high as it’s ever been’…..24/9/06 ‘Record Ozone event’.
Have you noticed that this naughty Ozone hole favours the Antarctic region and actually has done since the beginning of time.
Now, my theory is this. When Emperor Penguins get in huddles, up close and personal, they have a huge problem with body odour. To counteract this annual event they are using copious amounts of spray deodorant. Polar bears are not blameless in the matter of releasing harmful CFC’s into the atmosphere. Flies, yes, nasty blow flies invading snow caves. Polar bears think it is really cool to grab the Mortein and zap the buzzy things.
We must protect ourselves from the burning summer sunshine, that’s for sure, but do we need all the fear mongering? The so called Ozone hole, we are told, is 3000km. Long and 200km wide, give me a break!
When I was a young fellow, our local village ran a ‘Country Fayre’, a wonderful English tradition and a chance to make a few shillings from a cake stall or coconut shy. We came up with a wheeze that for very little outlay would make us rich. We put a sign outside a small tent, inside the tent we placed a chair. People paid us half a crown to walk through the tent, look at the empty chair, then exit at the other end. We had them queuing all day to ‘Come And See The Invisible Man’. What has this got to do with the so called Ozone hole? We are all being taken for a ride, ‘A’.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The black and white

Driving home the other day (I admit to driving fast)
My mind a hundred miles away, as other cars I passed.
An oncoming truck sounded his horn and also flashed his light,
I treated all of this with scorn then saw the black and white!
With heart in mouth, I had the shakes, I really don’t know how,
I slowed the car with squeal of brakes and missed that silly cow.

Friday, August 6, 2010

computer illiteracy

“Hi, how can I help?”
‘I can’t open my mail box’
“Have you got a virus?”
‘No, I always talk like this,’
“Is there a virus attached to your mail box?”
‘Snails and a few leaves,’
“As a screen saver?”
“What’s on your desk top,”
‘Papers, an empty tea cup, a couple of pens and right at the back, Uncle Gerald’s ashes.’
“What icons on your desk top?”
‘Photo of Maureen and I on our wedding day, it’s the one where I’ve got my foot up on the back of the chair, looks like she married a guy with one leg.’
“The problem could be your hard drive”
‘It looks more like rust. Shall I move the mail box then?’
“What do you mean?”
‘Shall I take my mail box off my hard drive?’
“If you do that you will not get mail.”
‘Don’t be stupid, I can use the neighbours while mine is fixed’
“Has he got an apple?”
‘For all I know he could have a juicy pair, What have apples got to do with mail boxes.’
“I can help you if I have the right information! Have you got an apple or Hewlet Packard?”
‘I used to own a Harley.’
“For Heavens sake.. What kind of computer do you own?”
‘I don’t… Couldn’t understand the lingo if I had one.’
“Why the hell did you ring Mr Computer?”
‘I thought I’d dialed, Hire a Hubby’.

To the kind people who I have never had the pleasure of getting to know and yet feel a certain animosity toward. To you of the technological age, who have nothing better to do with your time than send me ridiculous email messages, I say thank you, thank you, Why? I hear you typing.
My answer, not through your preferred media but through this column, is because while you are bothering me you are leaving everyone else alone. I do not care that by confirming receipt of your intrusion into my personnel computer and sending said rubbish on to fifty five of my best friends, I will have good fortune for the rest of the month. My good fortune will be when you leave off sending me emails. The horror of it all is that what you are doing is tantamount to witchcraft…yes.. witchcraft. The threats outlining the ghastly things liable to happen to me if I do break the chain are evil and most probably illegal.
Many thanks to the long lost member of my family who actually spells their name quite differently to mine, many thanks for dieing in Nairobi and leaving me $300 million dollars. I am so grateful to the Solicitor, Mr Snackletoss who took the time to track me down after discovering that I am the last living relative of the deceased. I am touched that you are willing to take a mere 5% of the inheritance. As requested I am forwarding my bank details, Jelly Bean Trust, Bank of Toyland, Notonyornellie, New Zealand.
While I am on the subject, let me take this opportunity to tell the medical organization who have an insatiable desire to see me growing my unmentionables, ‘Mr Rudey is quite happy the way he is!!’ So put that in your floppy disk.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vote Glassie for council...

This should do the trick (see my profile notes)
Who could resist this honest, friendly persona?
No answers required!!