Deborah Hill Cone

Deborah Hill Cone is a Herald columnist

Deborah Hill Cone: Not rich, not poor, just nowhere

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SkyCity runs a bus terminal under sufferance... Photo / Dean Purcell
SkyCity runs a bus terminal under sufferance... Photo / Dean Purcell

I wanted to write about heavy stuff this week, I really did. I wanted to impress Steve, who wrote to me saying I was a dismal thicko disgrace. Sorry, look away now Steve. The last week has been such a shambles that I haven't had time to focus on anything other than my own dopey suburban matron problems.

I've been on to the insurers about my recent burglary and have had no car as it has been getting a dent taken out after some random bint backed into me. When I was poor I didn't have insurance and another dent in the car went unnoticed. Come to think of it, I didn't have a car. Yes, I know being poor would be stink but at least you would have important problems to deal with, like sleeping in a garage.

And at the other end of the pecking order, if you were on the Rich List which came out last week you could worry about whether your superyacht got coined. Both sound more satisfying than my embarrassing bourgeois concerns.

Yesterday my credit card got declined at the Skin Institute. Turned out my 6-year-old daughter had run up a $1500 bill on an iPad game called Pet Hotel. The app itself was free but she didn't realise the coins she was using were real money.

I also had a scrap with SkyCity, the sort of futile fight that indigent battlers and rich pricks would be too sensible to bother about. I almost got my 80-year-old mother run over while trying to pick her up at the bus terminal in SkyCity in Auckland.

This is an absurd place where there is absolutely nowhere to drop off and pick up anyone. SkyCity runs this gig under sufferance - providing space for a bus terminal helped win permission for the casino to be set up where it is. This is why most people are sceptical about corporations which promise to do good. As soon as no one is looking, they drop the pretence of philanthropy.

Why do we have a bus station in a casino, anyway? The unfortunate huddled masses using the bus station just looked wearily resigned to the fact that they have to hobble across four lanes of highway to get to their bus, or spend a fortune parking in SkyCity's exorbitant carpark building that you can't find how to get into anyway.

Unlike middle-class me, with my sense of entitlement, they don't get angry about it.

I think I need to be rich or poor. Being in between is just shame-making.

Last week I went to an exhibition opening for artist Anna Crichton. I was wearing a purple velvet Dolce and Gabbana men's jacket. It was only after I was chatting to glamorous Auckland MP Nikki Kaye that I realised it still had its large Savemart label, sticking out on its sleeve. (Hey, Rich Listers, Savemart is a second-hand emporium intended for solo mums - your old clothes probably end up there.)

But I'm not the only one caught betwixt and between. In the global scheme of things New Zealand is in no man's land, too. Developing countries like Brazil and India are going gangbusters. Old-school loaded countries are swanning along: check out the Swiss franc. Which camp are we going to end up in, brainy Steve? Tell you one thing: if I give my daughter my iTunes password it shouldn't take long to sort out that question once and for all.

dhc@deborahhillcone.com

- NZ Herald

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