One irrefutable fact of life in New Zealand is our propensity to celebrate everything with booze. Christenings, birthdays, funerals, sporting events, anniversaries, getting/losing a job - you name it - we pour grog down the throat of any occasion where a sense of ceremony is even slightly apparent.
The double whammy of Christmas and New Year is fast approaching, which is naturally preceded by work functions and festive catch-up drinks with acquaintances who are swiftly elevated to 'friends' or 'mates' simply because of the inherent promise of alcohol entering the mix. It ain't called the 'silly season' for nothing.
This year's Farming Show shindig was a real doozy. It wasn't confined to FS employees as that would be a bit awkward and boring given our slim ranks, but rather open to the entire office of 20-plus at FS HQ in Dunedin.
In a dashing stroke of managerial logic, the venue was changed from Otago Cricket's Long Room where the 2013 and 2014 events were held, gazing out over a vacant University Oval, to a venue by the beach, far away from the oval where a test match was being played ... um ...
Anyway, the aim was to milk the company credit card for all it was worth. Surprisingly, the charge was led by the landed gentry of Roslyn Heights, namely Farming Show host Jamie Mackay. Coming off a minor accident where he tripped over a gold bar in his living room, the thirsty Mackay attacked the free beer with a passion usually reserved for golf and dull travel stories. But it wasn't standard, common fare that we were drinking. No, Mackay instantly turned up his nose and went for the expensive bottles of boutique beer.
Naturally, we followed suit and got down to business. The conversation and beer flowed in the midst of that sunlit afternoon by the beach, until Mackay suddenly up and left as if stung by a bee. Alas, no bee was present; no, it was a Rugby Celebrity. Highlander and Farming Show footy correspondent Joe Wheeler had arrived to say hello, prompting Mackay to drop the rest of us like bad habits.
In a remarkable display of shallowness, he attached himself to the poor old affable Joey and continued to consume the pricey ales until it was time to leave. Yes, the Prime Minister was in town and the exulted few in positions of importance promptly left the plebs to their own devices and made their way to the 'secret' venue. This prime ministerial visit was kept under wraps by the invited dignitaries, lest we see a repeat of the protests that interrupted the Nats West Auckland tug-fest the previous week.
No matter. We continued to quaff that sweet, inebriating nectar until the funds were exhausted. A colleague kindly, yet regrettably, invited the horde back to his family home, which is apparently still showing signs of our presence. Out came the top shelf and the merriment continued into the wee smalls, replete with a smattering of cliched office staff party incidents that are always great fun to rehash on a Monday morning. These can include fatal attractions, unwise comments and a few home-truths for management. But the Farming Show plebs went one better this year - instead of the bosses, we went right to the top - the PM. In between 'selfies', John Key was talked into recording a video for the proletariat which we viewed with great excitement. There was only one thing to do - reciprocate!
If any of these videos see the light of day it won't only be jobs lost, but perhaps the odd head as well for committing acts of treason. Ahhh ... Christmas drinks, gotta love 'em!
So it's back to business for the last week of the Farming Show and Farming First until we resume in mid-January. Good job too, as I've been rogered this year, not only by Mackay but also some texting troll. This illiterate miscreant has taken a literal interpretation of Jamie's "communist" taunts towards me and my online colleague Hanoi Jane and unleashed a barrage of incoherent babble. Therefore my present to you all this Christmas is a sample of my daily working life, verbatim from the text line:
Dom, read my Txts! Or r u Chicken S***, unable to read it, and then argue the opposite? But read it first! OR R U CHICKEN S***! RED!
I truely believe Dom-inatrix & Jamie are fake liers, who ignore the real truth! That they, as intelligent humans understand! But still they lie agains
I won't win your prize, but look in the nearest mirror! Evil you! You must realize! Evil is, Evil does! Yes you! Dominic! Red
yes Dom, you could not say my txts as sent! Because it tells the truth! You know & I Know! BOO! RED!
Dominatrix, I will not forget your words! I may live 50 more years, and I will remember what you just said! Do you believe yourself? Stand by your wor
You're welcome ... see you all next year.