Rhys Darby

Comedian Rhys Darby on life in New Zealand

Rhys Darby: I hereby declare summer open

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Keep alert on the water - you never know what's behind you.

Cloudless days and scorching sun are enough to make you want to head to the beach. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Cloudless days and scorching sun are enough to make you want to head to the beach. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Summer is here, everyone. I'm officially making the call. In fact, I decided to make the call last week. I'm just putting it in writing for you now.

You probably didn't even know that I'm "New Zealand's official season caller".

Well, I am. We've already had some smashing days with cloudless skies and scorching sun. Some folk are out there right now braving the ocean seas with their swimming trunkeries.

Recently, I took to the water myself, but fully clothed and on a boat. What started off as a bit of innocent fun in the sun soon turned into a scary nightmare ... so I'd like to share that story with you now, if you dare.

I was out on the ocean zipping about in my motor boat when I saw something floating in the water.

I couldn't tell what it was straight away; it just seemed like something black floating in the water. I did notice, however, that it was directly in the path of my wake. That's when a sudden feeling of horror crossed my mind.

Had I just hit someone? A passing swimmer? Oh please God, no. Surely not? I normally keep such a good eye out for that sort of thing and besides, I was out fairly deep. But maybe it was a diver?

As I brought my boat closer to the object, it became more and more person-shaped. Soon I could see it had a human sized back to it ... and arms. I could make out a jacket. A black body-filled jacket. I pulled up right beside it, my rapidly pumping heart causing a blood rush that spread feelings of doom and gloom throughout my body. What have I done? Who have I hit?

I immediately had the urge to call my wife. She'd know what to do. Wait ... no, I should call emergency services first. Yes, that's what she'd do. Quick, let's do that!

I reached for my phone but it was nowhere in sight. Then I remembered ... I had placed it in the pocket of my jacket. But where is my jacket? I looked towards the stern of the boat. That's where I had thrown it at the start of my journey. Only now it was gone!

Gone? ... Gone? (insert your own realisation here.) I had a closer look at the jacket in the water. It was black ... like my one.

"Wow ... that's weird!"

Now any normal person would've put two and two together at this stage and made four. But not me. I only made three and a half. My first thought was how strange it was that this person in the sea had the exact same jacket as me.

Not too strange, of course; after all, it was a pretty common jacket. One of those outdoor store puffy ones. You know the sort of thing. The sort of jacket that if left floating in the water will fill up with air, thus resembling a lifeless body.

Stay alert on the water.

- NZ Herald

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