Once again, I'm demanding answers from my PR team.

"How many years have I slaved in the print industry?" I ask tersely.

"A decade?" responds a minion, still damp behind the ears in the publicity business.

"Wrong!" I snarl. "How about 50 years?" I suggest, thumping the table.


Clearly, this is incomprehensible to the wets gathered in my boardroom, because they were still unborn when I commenced scribbling cartoons.

"So," I continue wearily, "how many more years do I have to toil in the public arena to become a celebrity?"

"Well, you are a sort of a celebrity ... er ... in a historic context ... only last week I had to supply some bumph on your cartoon work from the 1960s," responds a senior publicist.

I ignore this revelation. Anything that remotely connects me to dinosaurs or fossils is taboo.

"Have you read last week's papers?" I ask casually, flicking the pages of the Herald on Sunday.

Suddenly, I read out the headline: "Celebs strike it big at SkyCity."

"Do I have everybody's full attention?" I murmur dryly, glaring again at my overpaid consultants, pensively sucking their Mont Blanc pens.

"It states here," I continue, "that a number of the country's media celebrities have a long-standing association with the casino and are provided with a 'chairman's card' allowing them free five-star hotel rooms, meals and drinks whenever they care to visit.


The newspaper suggests some of these so-called celebrities are receiving $2000 monthly retainers, just to put in the odd appearance and publish vacuous tweets on how awesome the casino's food and service is."

Putting down the newspaper, I slowly fold my arms and fix my advisers with a withering stare. "So, as I appear to have been a public figure - for at least a thousand years longer than the upstarts named in the article - where, might I ask, is my personal SkyCity 'chairman's card' and when do I become a casino ambassador?"

The silence that followed suggested I might have removed all the oxygen from the room.

Finally, somebody bravely mumbled, "What about personal conflicts of interest and losing your long-standing reputation for editorial integrity - just to become another fatuous, exhibitionistic celebrity puppet, forced to regularly wine and dine in the casino's 25 bars and restaurants - in the company of beautiful women?"

"When can I start?" I responded eagerly.