A weekly ode to the joys of moaning about your holidays.
I've never been much of a placenta guy. Some people get confused into thinking that because some animals eat their babies' placentas, we should too. The thinking is that there must be some great residual health benefits in a placenta if the animals are so keen on them.
This overlooks two things: one, we're not animals, and two, the animals are more likely to be chowing down on placentas in order to remove the scent of blood from the scene so as to avoid a smell that may attract predators.
Then there's the small matter that extensive research into human placentas has shown they're of next to no nutritional value to us after childbirth, but hey, each to their own.
Not to mention that some people just like having the placenta around, as a kind of revolting keepsake. Good on them and how boring the world would be if we were all the same, but again, I'm just not really a placenta guy.
Which brings to me to a bizarre encounter friends of mine recently had at a bach they rented. Having booked the house online, they did what we all do upon checking in: they snooped around the property. Not in a criminal sense, just in an inquisitive one. They looked through the books, artwork, photos on the wall and DVDs and made judgments about what sort of people the owners were.
Then they got to the fridge. Less for nosiness and more for the storing of their own food and drinks, they opened it up. No surprises there, but wine glasses may have dropped from hands — the sounds of smashing glass muffling human cries — when the freezer door was pulled open. There lay a lunchbox with the handy label, "Jamie's Placenta". Or Gareth's or Brucie's or Sarah's or whatever the actual name was, but the point being, these people keep their kid's placenta in the freezer! And they rent their house out!
The old adage applies, if you're renting your home out to travellers, hide your jewellery and your placentas.
Pilot announcements interrupting the inflight entertainment
It's a race against the clock. Whenever I'm flying long haul I seem to have this daredevil-like urge to start watching a film that's timed to finish pretty much on touchdown. I'll have scanned through the potential movies, paying as much interest to the running times as to the plot summaries. Two hours and seven minutes until hitting the tarmac? Let's watch a film that's two hours and 10-minutes long and hope those extra three minutes are all the closing credits!
I could just choose one of the shorter films, but then there's the fear of the film ending and there being a needless half hour of thumb-twiddling. Better to take a chance you'll miss a film's climax than risk boredom on a flight.
It's because of this strange habit that I've grown increasingly grumpy about the pilot interrupting my inflight entertainment to make announcements of precisely zero interest to me. Things like, "Flight attendants, prepare for landing please". I have no problem with the attendants being told to get ready, but why does that announcement need to be broadcast into every pair of headphones and briefly pause every screen on the back of every seat?
Then five minutes later, just as the film is reaching its finale with the fate of humanity on a knife-edge, "Cabin crew, please take your seats for landing". Aghhhhhh! Are the cabin crew watching the inflight entertainment too? Surely that announcement can just go over the intercom, not into the headphones of the passengers.
All that pausing and the odds of not finishing the film keep on jumping. The adrenaline is immense.
Much like seeing how far you can drive your car with the petrol light on, this is a helluva game and one I can highly recommend.
Tim Roxborogh hosts Newstalk ZB's Weekend Collective Saturdays and Sundays 3pm-6pm and blogs at RoxboroghReport.com