STRAIGHT TALK: Column

By Richard Moore

Don't try splitting infinitives with me
OI! You over there. Oi, John Key, yeah you ...
Where is my Order of NZ, bucko?
No I haven't led a boy scout troop for 40 years, nor have I been a JP, but let me tell you that English would be far worse in the world without my editing skills.
I know my thats from my whichs, know how to not split infinitives, can spell (and use spell check), am right on top of grammar and can write a blinking good headline.
So where is my award for services to journalism?
I see that fab photographer Peter Bush got one. Mind you he is a heck of a lot older than me and his rugby photographic senses are inspired. And Garth George got honoured as well, fair enough too.
Oh, I see, I'm not old enough, nor have I terrorised reporters enough ... well that can change.
I could be like the old tyrants from when I was a cadet. Terrifying was not the word for them. Bowel loosening is more like it.
Crikey, they made me quake more than a jelly in Christchurch.
I will never forget the time as a 17-year-old newbie taking a small and utterly uninteresting story to the chief reporter at the Herald. It had taken a couple of painful hours to create but he thumbed through it, muttered something rude, looked up at me, said "This is s***!", screwed it up, threw it in the bin and said "Do it again."
Nowadays you can't terrify cadets or junior reporters.
Firstly, there's probably a law against the bastardisation we copped. Secondly, they think they know it all anyway.
And PM Johnno, why do people get awards for doing their jobs anyway?
Like the guy who's chief executive of a Government department.


He gets paid blinking well, can sit around in the public service yakking all day, and he gets an award as well.
Or Michael Hill ... what'd he get it for? Services to making squillions for himself, or being a golfer?
Among those who shine in the honours list is Sir Ray Avery, who has helped improve the lives of the world's poorest people through his Medicine Mondiale organisation.
And let's spare an award or 300 for the helpers in our society who provide care for those who cannot help themselves.
And also foster parents and charity workers.
Next to them, I can live without my award for another year or two.
***
Recently we had the release of a pile of secret Government papers on the subject of UFOs and little green men.
Actually, they didn't mention little green creatures but one of the reported sightings did catch my eye.
It was from a chap in Dannevirke and came from 1962.
Here is what the chap wrote of his sighting a "great saucer, coming down vertically, oscillating slightly while I kept contact telepathically and through the antennae of my finger tips".
The only time I can send a message through the antennae of my fingertips is when making rude gestures at idiots on the road.
***
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
This is really embarrassing for a neo-Nazi Polish couple who have just discovered ... they are Jewish.
Now considering what the Nazis did to the Jews, Poles and other people they rated "sub-human" during World War II, I'd have thought being a leather-loving, jackbooted goon would be bottom of the Polish popularity list.
But Pawel and Ola loved being part of a white-power gang in Warsaw and no doubt scribbled swastikas and racial hate slogans on Jewish buildings, synagogues or cemeteries.
After discovering their little skeletons in the closet they have given up being good little Nazis and now celebrate Hannukah.
Oi vey.
***
My goodness, a study in Australia points to the fact that more and more married couples are renewing their marital vows.
Oh, that's just so sweet. Makes my heart warm. I go all fuzzy feeling.
I guess they realise it's cheaper than splitting up.
Now if you think that's cynical what about how they rate marriage in Iran.
Under Iranian law, guys and gals can commit themselves to a "temporary marriage" where, for spending an agreed period of time with a chap, a woman gets paid a certain amount of money.
Heck, temporary marriage is a much nicer way of putting what we in the Western world call prostitution.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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