Friends sometimes ask for advice about talking to people who are vaccine-hesitant. I wish I had better answers in this area.
Most of my best points materialise two hours after a conversation, when I reflect and think, I 'wish I would have said …'
Not that it matters.
You are not going to sway someone who is deeply entrenched in the anti-vax campaign.
You may, however, be able to persuade someone who is truly questioning whether to get the Covid-19 vaccine to talk to a trusted healthcare provider.
Hopefully that provider is not someone who has jumped on the anti-vax bus.
I plan to offer wisdom and debating points another time. This week, I'll stick with a blue-ribbon strategy of the conflict-averse, which is deflection.
Change the subject.
When someone tells you the Prime Minister is an evil witch for mandating vaccinations for key workers, offer them:
The best-ever toasted cheese sandwich recipe
Use your favourite bread.
No bargain loaf for this toastie. I recommend Flaveur Bread's black gold sourdough.*
It's made with stout beer from Mount Brewing Company and activated charcoal.
It has a mild malt flavour and even my teenagers love it.
I've adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit: spread mayonnaise over the top side of two slices of bread. Heat a small skillet and slide in a knob of butter.
When it melts, place one slice of bread, mayo side down in the skillet; top with cheese (I like Red Leicester, which is tangy and nutty, but use whatever you fancy).
Season with pepper and top with a second slice of bread, mayo side up. When the underside is golden brown (about four minutes), turn the sandwich and add more butter to the skillet.
Press down on the sandwich to encourage even browning and help melt the cheese. Don't smash it. Cook until the second side is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
When the day is beautiful and warm, wrap the sandwich in foil and take it to the park or the beach.
Do not feed crusts to seagulls, as they are horrible flying rats with scary, head-swooping abilities.
Let's be anti-fax
Can we all get behind being anti-fax?
Nineteen eighty-five called, and it wants its facsimile machine back.
I remember waiting next to the fax machine early in my journalism career, listening to it whir as it spent minutes spitting out messages.
These days, I'm annoyed during the rare occasions some bureaucratic entity requires a fax, rather than an email or document sent as a pdf file.
Thankfully, internet fax services exist, but they're still a hassle to use.
There's nothing that brings families and friends together like tater talk. Maybe that's just my circle.
Still, you've got to love a spud that takes its owner by surprise.
Colin and Donna Craig-Brown were cleaning up their vege patch for spring planting a couple months ago when they struck something huge beneath the soil's surface. It was a potato the size of a small dog.
At 7.9 kilograms, it may be a world record. The current potato title rests with a 4.9kg spud. The Craig-Browns, who live in the Waikato, named their tuber Doug after the way it was unearthed.
They're awaiting confirmation from the Guinness Book of World Records that Doug is the biggest potato ever.
The beast, in all its gnarled, ugly glory, quickly started growing mould and smelled bad. It will not become mashed potatoes or fries, even after a hose and a wash.
RNZ reported once "the kerfuffle" is over, Colin plans to turn the tater into vodka.
"We'll have a wake for him and we'll all toast Doug with the vodka that I'm going to make out of him.
"I think the only thing he might be good for is brewing, rather than chewing."
Food for thought this weekend. Ka kite anō.
*The writer received no compensation from Flaveur Breads - not even a crust - for writing this piece.