When I casually mentioned that I might trade in my old truck for a later model, my children immediately said, "Get a matt-black Hilux, Dad!"
"Why that particular model, boys?" I weakly responded.
"It's what Willie Apiata drives, haven't you seen the computer video clip yet?" retorted my 9-year-old, with that slightly pitying look reserved for those who aren't living in the same era.
Later, I asked the caregiver what the Toyota thing was all about.
"It's on the iPad," she explained. "Apiata is promoting a Hilux, especially kitted out with lots of macho bling for his serious hunting expeditions. The children are very keen for you to enter a competition to win a few days going bush with him, but you'd need a gun licence."
I immediately turned pale at the very idea of being in the wilderness with an ex-SAS warrior, whose idea of getting a good night's rest is probably sleeping on river stones with gorse as a pillow.
A quick look at the video confirmed my worst fears. Our VC hero has taken delivery of a new matt-black Toyota ute, armed with roof-mounted swivel gun holders and searchlights, plus an exhaust system for wading through very deep water and the sort of tyres you'd expect on an oversized tractor.
I'd be apprehensive driving down to the local dairy with this particular gentleman, never mind going pig-sticking with him in some remote part of New Zealand. "Please, please, forget the competition," I whispered nervously.
"So, what sort of truck are you thinking of purchasing?" asked the caregiver curiously. "Well, I've had a good run out of my existing Mitsubishi, so I was thinking of replacing it with the updated model," I murmured.
"That's a bit of a girlie-looking ute, isn't it?" she smirked. "What colour are you thinking - pink or cream?"
"It hasn't occurred to me that my manhood is measured by the colour or brand of truck I'm driving," I murmured gruffly.
"After all, I only need a light truck for garden stuff. I hardly need a roof-mounted gun turret or searchlights for picking up punnets of parsley and lettuces."
"Well, I won't say anything to the children about your diminishing testosterone levels preventing you from entering the competition, but I will check if the number plate 'Wimp' is available for your proposed new purchase," she gleefully suggested, putting on the kettle for my afternoon cup of very weak lemon tea.