Rhys Darby

Comedian Rhys Darby on life in New Zealand

Rhys Darby: Real men don't need directions

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Man up if you want to get your hands on some big boys' toys.

Grant Lobban (left) and Rhys Darby man up. Picture / APN
Grant Lobban (left) and Rhys Darby man up. Picture / APN

A VIP invitation arrived in the mail for Big Boys Toys, an extravaganza of all things masculine and cool. How could I deny myself entry to that, I thought as I sipped on my happy hour Malibu and pineapple. I'm a big boy and I love toys. Plus, I took one look at the brochure and noticed a water-powered jet pack. Right, that's it, I'm going.

I called my old buddy Lobbs and asked him if he'd like to go with me.

"Is the Pope Catholic?" he asked. But before I could answer he said, "... no seriously, I'm doing a study on religion and I need to know."

I told him he was and then he got all excited about the manly extravaganza I'd invited him along to.

"I'm off to buy a Metallica T-shirt right now!"

I told him to make sure he wore a leather jacket as well. These things are expected at events like this. Then I started to think about my own fashion. What would I wear? I mean we can't both wear leather jackets, that would be weird. I settled for a Def Leppard T-shirt and a denim jacket with cut-off sleeves.

At 6pm sharp Lobbs turned up at my house raring to go. So I quickly finished my spaghetti bolognese, gave my family a squeeze and took off with him. It's rare that I get a night out with a close friend so this was quite a treat. Our first step was to find the place. I knew where the ASB Showgrounds were but Lobbs was dead keen to use the mapping device on his new phone. By the time he finally got that working we were there. We drove into Carpark B as specified on the invitation. This, however, was the carpark for the horse raceway next door and there were no Big Boys Toys in sight. Confused, we parked the car anyway and decided to walk in the general direction of the showgrounds. Twenty minutes later we were still walking around a horse track looking for a gate that wasn't locked, or a even a sign. The only sign we got was the confused look on another chap's face who was in the same predicament.

"Are you looking for Big Boys Toys?"

Yes, I said. At least Lobbs and I weren't the only ones that were lost. This new member of our team said what we were all thinking: "I bet this is part of the test. If you're not man enough to even find the entrance you don't deserve the big boys' toys!"

Suddenly all three of us manned up, jogged out on to the main road and found an exhibitors' driveway. We walked in backwards so that if anyone saw us it would look like we were in the process of leaving. We made it! Five minutes later we were all having a well deserved beer.

And yes, the water-powered jet pack was amazing.

- NZ Herald

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