Important announcement: to keep pace with the rise of sea levels, all prices – of everything – will rise more or less immediately. For your convenience.
Rest assured that these unprecedented price rises are done for good reasons: the Russians; climate change; ozone layer; coffee prices; endangered species; pastel kitchens; Crocs footwear; caries; warts.
This, of course, means that anyone who was planning a mid-life crisis will now need to postpone it until age 80 or, possibly, after death (though have you seen the price of funerals lately?). Keep in mind that 70 is the new 50 but you can breathe a sigh of relief that the new black is still black.
Even the cost of the best medicine, laughter, has risen so that old standards like whoopie cushions, rubber chickens and Groucho Marx glasses are now beyond the reach of many ordinary people in search of a giggle. Many of those affected are becoming quite grim.
Petrol is, of course, a biggie and it affects everything. Even my choice of vocabulary was affected last month when the petrol for my medium-sized car came to $184!
"Joke" sign outside a petrol station:
Diesel – Expensive
Regular – An arm
Super – An arm and a leg
This price hike also means that a courier delivering you a package will sometimes try to make arrangements to meet you halfway.
Perhaps airlines will soon start landing their flights early and asking us if you wouldn't mind walking the last 100km.
But it's at the supermarket that skyrocketing prices have hit hardest. If you believe that money doesn't grow on trees, try buying some fruit from the produce department. And the price of meat has caused many people to turn to … I find this hard to write … vegetarianism!
If you're an old timer, reminiscing will get you nowhere. Yes, the all-day sucker you bought as a child cost you thruppence but now it might cost $57! You will just need to suck it up (though I should admit that I made up the $57).
We interrupt this column to bring you an important announcement: as from midnight tomorrow tonight, the price of everything will rise by a further 5 per cent with further increases planned over the coming weeks. This is for your convenience.
Stats NZ report that the average price of a shampoo, cut and blow wave has risen from $70.68 to $78.39 over the past three years. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has responded to this by deciding to take the bull by the horns and do my own hair-styling (also my own facials).
The same organisation reported that the average price of a packet of 25 cigarettes rose from $37.48 to $44.66 over the same period. I simply do not comprehend how anyone can afford to smoke.
If you're a DIY enthusiast, you might be shocked to know that your costs have risen by 25 per cent in just the last year. This won't affect me as I steer clear of anything bearing the words, "Some assembly required".
Down at the footwear end of things, certain popular brands have positively sky-rocketed in price. PriceSpy says that Chuck Taylors have risen from $48 in 2019 to $163 today. At that price one assumes they are fitted with some sort of hovercraft-style engines.
Nike Tanjun women's trainers rose from $69 to $163 but I'm sure you get a free shampoo, cut and set with those.
If you are a person who budgets carefully, you are clearly going to have to strike a number of items from your shopping list.
Oops! Please excuse me for being so thoughtless. I've overlooked the fact that you can no longer afford a pencil.
• Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.