Hard News by Russell Brown

School Holidays

The younger boy was waiting for me to finish up so he could get on the G5 yesterday evening when he unexpectedly let rip a series of farts. Farts being intrinsically and immutably funny, we both fell about laughing. The older boy came in to see what the fuss was about.

"Your brother just did a series of farts," I explained. "An animated series …"

"Unfortunately," said the nipper,"the series only lasted 30 seconds."

"But," I chirped,"you can still get it on BitTorrent!"

At which point we all laughed until there were tears in our eyes. We had visited the mythical place where fart jokes and geek humour meet. Perhaps you had to be there.

Earlier in the day, on an expedition out West, I felt obliged to conduct one of my periodical pep talks about there being a difference between disliking Americans (kids really do pick anti-Americanism in the playground these days) and not approving of their government.

While it was perfectly reasonable to regard George W. Bush as a dangerous incompetent, there were, I pointed out many millions of Americans who did not feel themselves represented by him and his cronies. Apart from people who voted for the other guy, there were a lot of people who didn't vote or weren't even registered to vote, and people who did vote for him but were pretty disappointed now. This seemed to sink in.

"I saw a picture of a guy with a placard," the younger one ventured. "And it said 'somebody give George Bush a blow job so we can impeach him'."

Ahem. I thought I should explain that this was a reference to the previous president, who had had sexual relations with a member of his staff and this had caused a great deal of trouble for him.

It occurred to me that the phrase "blow job", having entered the juvenile vocab with the help of the Interweb, might now pop out into conversation at some inopportune time. Did they, I gently inquired, know what "blow job" meant? Well, no …

"It's when somebody kisses someone's penis," I said, carefully. "In the act of making love."

"Ewww!" shrieked the younger one.

"Can we stop talking about this now?" asked his brother.


PS: The Herald site was brought down this morning by Drudge Report traffic. Drudge posted a link to the Herald story about NZ peace activist Christiaan Briggs, who handed himself into police in London after he discovered that a man he had punched had fallen, hit his head and lapsed into a coma (the news angle is that the man is a rock band singer). I gather that only one, unflattering account of events is in circulation at the moment, and that Christiaan's side of the story will be heard in court later this month. Obviously, punching someone is stupid, but this is a terrible thing to happen to anyone.