Island Life by David Slack

Outside, It's Auckland

If you were one of the few hundred people who queued up outside Real Groovy overnight for U2 tickets, I have good news. In fact even better news than the astonishing revelation that within minutes of selling out the first show, the promoters had managed to arrange a second one. The wonderful news is that U2 is not, in fact, the only band in the world. And as if that revelation isn't exciting enough, some of them will be coming to New Zealand! This summer!

Exciting details here, here, here and here

No sneer intended in any of this, really. They're a fine band, and a line like Outside it's America still does it for me. It's just that I got a little closer to the frenzy this morning than I might otherwise have expected, and I was shocked-I-tell-you-shocked. Our neighbour asked if she could come over and use the broadband connection to improve her chances of logging on to Ticketmaster to buy a couple of tickets.

By all means, I said. She and her partner were last over here to enjoy our broadband a couple of weeks ago on the occasion of his brother's online wedding in Las Vegas, and let me tell, you that truly was fun. They brought over some bubbly and we raised our glasses to the happy gathering in the Little Chapel, Las Vegas, Nevada, as they raised theirs to everyone back in New Zelland.

This morning, I watched in less then total surprise as the Ticketmaster website groaned under the strain and failed to let Vicky log on. Continuing the sneering, I notice they use an ASP platform to run their web site. Did the ASP.Net revolution pass you by guys, or has someone taken your server hostage? Perhaps the commission on the U2 tickets might be enough to fund an overhaul.

I doubt we'll be hearing any expression of remorse from anyone about this. They'll be too busy getting the punters to jump in grateful appreciation at the second offering next Monday.

In any case, expressions of contrition really are becoming a devalued currency.

David Benson-Pope doesn't appear to feel inclined to offer anything of the sort, nor even anything more gracious than the word "bozo" to characterise the conclusions of the police who chose not to send him to the principal's office.

And Allan Peachey has cribbed from page one of the PR practitioners' manual and turned in a performance that wouldn't get you an 'Achieved" on NCEA standards.

"I made a mistake and I've said I'm sorry" is thin enough, but delivered with the bad grace that this one was, it becomes risible.

I'm just trying to think of the various things I did at school that got me into trouble and how well that strategy would have served me.

"Well yes sir, I was smoking under the bridge and it was a mistake but I said I'm sorry, now put that cane down and let's move on."

"Well yes sir, we snuck into town and had lunch at the Empire Tavern and it was a mistake, but I said I'm sorry, now let's move on."

"Well yes sir, we carved up the playing fields with a "borrowed car" and it was a mistake, but for heaven's sake I said I'm sorry, now let's move on."

There used to be a cartoon on the noticeboard of the law library when I was a student. It had the picture of an exasperated lawyer sitting across the desk from his client saying, "For pity's sake man, you need to understand: you can't shoot 37 people and expect to settle out of court."

Allan has made an interesting start and shows promise, but he must try harder.