Jim Hopkins on current issues
Jim Hopkins is a Herald columnist

Jim Hopkins: Mayoral runner's pure poetry in motion

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Jam Hipkins didn't forget his pills, he's just fired up about pursuing a super-sized chain of office. Photo / Dean Purcell
Jam Hipkins didn't forget his pills, he's just fired up about pursuing a super-sized chain of office. Photo / Dean Purcell

Remember, everybody, as you clamber out of bed, though you're shivering and shuddering at least you're still not dead.

So count your breath-borne blessings and share a tender word, for eternity's long silence is a void best left unheard. And should your dear companion ...

We interrupt this column to bring you a major News Flash.

A Flash so cataclysmic it makes the Big Bang look like a damp squib; news so great it makes the Queens Wharf sheds look like Port-a-Loos at an ARC picnic.

Yes, this is big with a capital HUGE.

This is the headbutt cNomplacency needed - and not a Springbok in sight. Just an old spring chicken with a gleam in his heart and a dream in his eye.

So whatever spectres stalk your sleepless nights, bid them "adieu". It's time to remove your burkahs, boys and girls, and get an Eiffel of the future.

Or, more precisely, the future of Auckland. (Drum roll, maestro, if you please) Ladies and gentlemen, hope is at hand.

The laureate, bless him, is going to stand! Let woofters and wafflers alike now be cursed. The laureate's running. You heard it here first!!!"

It's true.

That's the News Flash, folks. The extinguished poet laureate, Sir Jam Hipkins (honour pending), has thrown his ring into the mayoral hat. He made the announcement exclusively to this column just minutes ago at a hastily called press conference in his (newly redecorated) Ponsonby garret.

Beginning with a speech described by his muse, Ms Epiphany Throbbe, as "Obama-esque in its grandeur", the laureate promised "Change you might fall for if you're really silly, which is basically what every politician offers, except I really mean it."

The laureate said he'd decided to contest the mayoralty because he had firm views on the vital matter of the hysterical sheds on Queens Wharf.

"There's a lot of very good firewood there," Mr Hipkins said, "which I will personally deliver to anyone who votes for me. (Three cheers from Ms Throbbe.)

"Alternatively, if the ARC believes it's fine to renege on a deal, they should dismantle the b****y things, number all the planks, stick 'em in a warehouse, then, when the World Cup's over, the Lions can have a working bee and put them back up. Stick that in your cruise ship and smoke it!!"

Asked by his anger- management counsellor if he'd forgotten to take his medication, Mr Hipkins said: "Tomorrow is a promise, a vast, uncharted land. Let's go there, Super Citizens. Salvation is at hand."

(Tearful applause from Ms Throbbe.)

But it wasn't all beer and couplets later when a packed throng of three journalists (and a lost child) questioned the laureate about his campaign.

Here's an edited transcript of that encounter:

What will you do about Party Central? "Go there as often as possible, wherever they put it. I figure, if the Mayor takes flowers, he'll get a free beer."

Why are you standing? "My haemorrhoids get sore if I sit down for too long."

Where's mummy? "I don't know, darling, but if you see her, tell her I posted a cheque yesterday."

(Shocked gasp from Ms Throbbe.)

Do you think voters will take you seriously? "Well, they're taking the others seriously, so it shouldn't be hard. A bit of thoughtful chin-stroking, the odd choked sob, a call to bury Moko on Rangitoto because he's too super to go anywhere else and Grey Lynn is mine!!!"

How do you rate your rivals? ' "I have enormous respect for all of them, and I mean that sincerely, but let's be honest, you wouldn't put Osama bin Laden in charge of the SAS, and I think the same goes for this lot, whom I greatly admire.

"But voters should ask one simple question: What do the (un)magnificent seven chasing Auckland's top job really offer?

"One keeps having a P, one wants to legalise it, one's got a credit card bigger than the national debt, one's the Patron Saint of florists.

"There's Prasts and prats aplenty, some are Bright and some are Brown, but these Banks lend no credit to our Super City's mayoral gown. Sorry, there's one word too many in that last line."

Have you got any policies? "Yes." (A long pause from Ms Throbbe.)

"Will you tell us what are they? "Yes. As soon as they've been formulated. It's not easy formulating meaningless policies that sound meaningful. I prefer snappy slogans like, 'Halve the services. Double the rates'." (A deep sigh from Ms Throbbe.)

Shouldn't that be the other way round? "Of course, but it never is. At least, with me as Mayor, people will know what they're in for."

Do you think many people will vote for you? "Absolutely! If they don't, they'll have to vote for someone else. Put a poet on the council.

"Get the laureate there, quick. If you're after rhyme and reason, give the rest of them the flick!!" (An orgasmic cheer from Ms Throbbe.)

- NZ Herald

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