Cracker by Damian Christie

Swap Meet

You wanna know what I think is great? I love the fact that I can write about the most salient issues facing us; wars, the geopolitical crisis, the race relations gulch and people read it. But the one time I decide to tell you about boy sparrows and girl sparrows, the feedback starts flowing. The lesson? Sex sells.

The same happened on my radio show last week. I thought I’d pass on the sparrow message (I’m a one-trick pony) and ended up learning all about sexing goldfish. Apparently with practice you can tell the difference by looking at their anal openings. I’m a grown up (almost) so that doesn’t disturb me particularly. It’s the practice bit that makes me nervous.

I have a confession I’ve been meaning to make, and it has nothing to do with goldfish. The other week I posted about my generally unsatisfactory dealings with the New Zealand Police Force. The next day I was on my way to do a voice job for an ad. It was raining and I was running late. I drove through a light that could optimistically be described as amber. The policeman who happened to be two cars behind me noticed, and began tailing me. Some minutes later after a quick game of “try to lose the tail without breaking any more laws or looking dodgy as all hell” he switched on his lights and pulled me over.

I got out and put my umbrella up, offering him some respite from the now pelting rain. I held my breath. He was the nicest policeman I’ve ever met in my life. Polite Mr Plod, with an accent similar to Jamie Oliver, but not as annoying. He’s obviously one of the new English imports, and if the rest are anything like him, they’re a welcome addition.

“Uh hi, noticed you going through a red light there, yeah?… Yeah, raining pretty hard today, roads a bit slippery, easy to have an accident, yeah, knowhatimean? Now, normally that’s a $150 fine, but today I just want you to take a Bit More Care, awright? Thanks for your time, me ol’ sparrow.” Or words that effect.

Sooooo nice. Why must you mock me, oh Lord?

Anyway, I thanked him, and drove off safely and carefully to the voice job. ‘He’s new’, I thought, ‘It’s not his fault he didn’t know that in Auckland orange means green.’ I turned up a few minutes late for my voice job. It was for the Ministry of Justice, “pay your traffic fines.” Alanis Morrisette would’ve had a field day.

I’ve started reading the Central Leader. Well it’s free and they stuff it in my box twice a week, it seems rude not to. A lot of stuff is kicking off for the year this week, so why not get out there and get involved . My pick of the Community notices this week:


Joyologist Pat Armistead will talk about ways to bring yourself joy at the Avondale Library, 93 Roseband Rd, on Wednesday February 25, from 11am to noon. For more information, phone…

[A friend informs me he received quite a telling off for bringing himself joy at the Avondale Library, so make sure if you do so, it only happens between the hours designated above.]


Visitors are invited to the New Zealand Computer Club’s first evening meeting of 2004 at 7.30, Thursday, February 19, at the Presbyterian Church community centre, 10 Gardner Rd, Epsom. The latest in laptop computers will be discussed.

Love in

The first Meeting of the Minds for 2004 is at the Mt Albert Community Library on Thursday, February 19, from 10am to 11am. Author and founder of the Romance Writers of New Zealand, Jean Drew, will speak. For more details, call...