KAPAI: Colgate smile, shiny shoes can't buy my soul

By Tommy Kapai

There was no way I was going to give out a bag of lollies for a bag of beliefs.WHEN I went to answer the door late on Saturday night I was preparing myself for a couple of the local kids to be asking for soul cakes. Well that's what they asked for back in the old days in Ireland when trick or treating was known as All Souls Day.

Back then the poor would go begging and the housewives would give them special treats called soul cakes and the "soulers" would promise to say a prayer for the dead.

So when I opened our door to find not two tamariki but two shadowy characters, I couldn't quite work out if they were All Souls standing at my door looking for soul cakes, or a couple of R Souls selling snake oil.

At first I thought I made out the taller of the two to be Winston, all slicked up and suave. And holding his hand was the dancing Dwarf Rodney. So straight away I figured they were Halloween costumes representing Jekyll and Hyde, and they were asking for soul cakes to seek penance for all the perks they had been both been busted with.

Then as the marama (moon) shifted closer behind the two silhouettes I was sure I could see Pita and Tariana holding hands - as they will be on Wednesday when they trade soul cakes for the seabed and foreshore act.

And by kori Hori we could just see a few fiery haka by our Caucasian cousins in Parliament later this week, when this deal is done.

But no, these two standing in front of me were way too suave for members of any political party. And when I focused with a full beam of floodlights, I was convinced there standing in front of me was John Rowles and Cheryl Moana Maree who happened to look like a modern day Hannah Montana.

 It had to be. They both had staged smiles and the camera confidence of a full set of expensive denture work that nobody I knew could afford.

I was just about to hold out my hand and hongi the kid from Kawerau when standing in the shadows behind him were men in black wearing more ear pieces than a fundraising day for the deaf.

Holy underpants I shouted to myself, it wasn't John looking for a couple of soul cakes to take to the green green grass of home.

There standing in front of me was a downsized version of John Rowles and next to him was his fellow flock fleecer Hannah.

It was the new Bishop Tamaking and his wife Hannah Montana. Man does this fulla look like John Rowles or what? From his well oiled dial with a bit of Botox on board, right down to the shining shoes.

And they both have that same Colgate car salesman smile.

It's not hard to see why the Bish is the Dish for many of his doting dollies in Destiny. And now he is the self claimed "King of Bling for his believers who want to fork out a few hundy for a $10 ring. But before he could ask for a couple of soul cakes I was quicker than a two dollar tithe and asked him what's up with you being called the king Bro?

Sure you have saved souls and put many lost families back on the right track, and for my two bobs' worth of belief, that will save our government a lot more than your million-buck fleece from your flock. And sure, you make better neighbours than the Mongrel Mob who will take a lot of heat off your mob when it comes to dodgy dealings, now that they are about to have the blowtorch of search and surveillance tattooed on their faithful followers.

But come on Bro, you can't place yourself up on a pedestal alongside the big fulla. And when you start that sort of carry on you're going to piss people off - especially the big fulla. It just doesn't work that way for us mere mortals.

Now I don't mind a prayer for the dead when a couple of soulers come calling for soul cakes on all souls day - or Halloween as it is now known. But there was no way I was going to give out a bag of lollies for a bag of beliefs.

We all have to carry our own crosses in life and lord knows the big bugger I am carrying sure could do with a ride on the back of a flash new Harley now and then.
But not at the expense of selling my soul to a pair of shining shoes and a self claimed king who wears them.

Pai marire


- Bay of Plenty Times

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