Busytown by Jolisa Gracewood

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Busytown: Oh, Gee

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  • Jolisa,

    No crabs caught, David. Bloody tippy boat though, albeit gorgeous in an antique sort of way - were you hiding behind a willow, waiting for us to fall in?

    Really spectacular day for it, too. You call this winter?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    As a footnote, we were with Daphne in a pub in Weston-Super-Mare one day when she and Mr Daleaway decided to try out the quiz machine together.

    Oh, the happy memories of biking around Chch with the University Challenge gang, looking to rob those no-armed bandits, then going home with pockets heavy with $20 in 20c pieces. Which was a lot of money in those days.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    It would have been a lot of money indeed - easier than the UK machines I fear.

    There is a thriving though underground (as far as one can be, on the web) community discussing how to rip off UK pub quiz machines. I stumbled across it by accident when writing a quiz game for a UK electronic games manufacturer a couple of years ago ( a career direction I could not have envisaged!).

    There are travelling game banditos and hit squads that pub landlords are advised of and encouraged to watch out for, tricks of the trade such as obtaining question lists from second hand machines, and all sorts of shenanigans. One of the ex-quiz machine raiders has written his colourful memories online.

    The manufacturers are busy trying to keep a step ahead - I have been asked to update my game in a year or two.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Oh, the happy memories of biking around Chch with the University Challenge gang, looking to rob those no-armed bandits, then going home with pockets heavy with $20 in 20c pieces. Which was a lot of money in those days.

    There was one in a gaming arcade about halfway down Riccarton Road. An acquaintance used to regularly get his drinking money there. He was on the University Challenge team that gave Peter Sinclair obvious joy every time he got to say "Spong, Canterbury".

    I believe I'm doing a quiz night with him next Friday...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Not the case in the UK, where our friend Daphne Fowler (you can see her on Eggheads on UKTV) has over the years won cars, trips to the Olympics, staggering amounts of cash and jewellery, paid off her house etc

    I love Eggheads, dale. Much impressed I am. And as for big bazonkas, Jolisa, I too have an amplitude of b breast, and find hoodies no problem. But then I have a big tummy as well, so it's all very well proportioned.

    Good old cherry red or shiny black Doc Martens, imported at enormous expense from the UK.

    Indeed, that was my younger brother's thing. I had to buy him some from Camden Town when I was living in the UK. Very red, very large DM. I have no idea where they ended up, though. I wonder if you and Emma went to UC with him?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Indeed, that was my younger brother's thing. I had to buy him some from Camden Town when I was living in the UK. Very red, very large DM. I have no idea where they ended up, though. I wonder if you and Emma went to UC with him?

    I can remember friends ordering Docs through a shop in town in my first year, and the joy of having those long-awaited boots finally arrive.

    But if it sounds like your brother was at UC with Jolisa, that's probably before my time. So I won't know him, unless he was in KAOS. I was after the University Challenge period. About the same time as Drs Hay and Heywood, I think.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • richard,

    Speaking of the Quiz Machines, there was one shining period of a couple of months where several people in Christchurch paid most of their living expenses out of them. One of them turned up in the video game room of the students association. I was walking past, and saw it, and arrived 5 minutes late for a lecture with something like $10 worth of 20 cent pieces in my pocket (this in a year when rent was something like $50 a week).

    Fairly soon a group of university challenge alums would spend a couple of lunchtimes a week driving round the city to known locations of the machines (and I seem to remember buying jugs of beer for people who tipped us off about new ones). There was one at the airport, and several in bars in town -- and I remember occasions when we had well over a $100 to divvy up, all in coin (and that is after buying a few jugs, and giving the driver a few dollars for petrol).

    The machines had two dispensers in them, and would make an enormously satisfying "chunka-chunka-chunka" sound as they paid out -- you could hear a gap as it switched to the second cylinder, after which you knew it was on its last $20, and a big win would then cause it to "green screen".

    They fairly quickly reprogrammed them, but it was good while it lasted :-)

    Not looking for New Engla… • Since Nov 2006 • 268 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    daleaway wrote :

    (As a footnote, we were with Daphne in a pub in Weston-Super-Mare one day when she and Mr Daleaway decided to try out the quiz machine together. Even with those two superquizzies collaborating on the answers and working the buttons together, they could not win a quid out of it. Those machines are rigged!)

    Weston-Super-Mare !?! That huge pub out in the middle of nowhere ? With 40 to 50 different meals on the menu ? That was a great pub.

    We got one of our best ever wins on a trivia machine there. 12 quid I think it was (way back in '88 when $40 was a goodly sum of money). I don't think anybody had won much from it for quite awhile because all of the payouts were at their maximums of 1 quid.

    Cheers,
    Brent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 620 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    And as for Ron Mark; funnily enough I hadn't even heard of him until Russell's post. It took me a while to put two and two together when I saw the name on the office next to the loo upstairs from the bookshop, until I realised he was the hoodie hater!

    You shoulda popped a cap in his ass.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Nonplussed, that's what I aim for (rather than outraged). Which I think answer's Craig's objection to the apparent inconsistency in my stance.

    Jolisa: I spend my life in fizzy broth of indifference -- the nice thing about being (slightly) misanthropic is that everything is vaguely irritating, but little really makes you angry.

    But we are in perfect harmony on one thing: Pull up your damn pants, kids. If you really want to wear pants with a low crotch, how about a revival of the zoot suit?

    While I'm at it - Rachel's, Craig's and Danielle's posts had me wondering what, if anything, the deregulation of clothing imports has done to street fashion.

    Now, that's a question. Not being much of a cool kid myself, I imagine that as I drool over a Ben Sherman blue velvet blazer in Smith and Caughey's, there's a whole new underground of uber-hip labels I don't know anything about. Vivienne Westwood becomes a mainstream fashion figure; underground becomes overground; a few cult figures become major religions and the world spins on.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Nat Torkington,

    Now I regret chopping out the paragraph where I mused on the link between the psychic appeal of hoodies and the phenomenon of (male) circumcision. (I don't think it works in NZ, anyway?)

    Don't forget to make the inevitable "dickhead" joke.

    Ti Point • Since Nov 2006 • 100 posts Report Reply

  • Quardle Oodle,

    If someone's got the time, dig through the TVNZ site to find the clip from One News the night they were speculating that NZ First was about to oppose the Free Trade Agreement.

    If I recall correctly, there's a shot of wee Ron sporting headwear reminiscent of the original 'gangsta'.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    On hoods.

    Apart from anything else, I struggle to see how wearing a KKK outfit draws attention to bore water.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Mmm, now I want a cheese-and-pineapple hedgehog. And maybe a cheese+marmite mousetrap. And a wedge of jelly-set-in-orange-peel.

    Anzac biscuits seem to occupy the sweet spot of the effort vs expected enjoyment graph for Americans eating Kiwi food. You may, however, be subjected to the accusation that they are "just oatmeal cookies". (A prepared history lecture will not only answer these accusations but discourage future ones ;)

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 471 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Anzac biscuits seem to occupy the sweet spot of the effort vs expected enjoyment graph for Americans eating Kiwi food.

    I made some for peeps in a grad school class in Houston which fell on Anzac Day. They went down rather well, as I recall.

    (Vegemite, not so much. But it was fun to look at the expressions on their faces after they tried it...)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    (Vegemite, not so much. But it was fun to look at the expressions on their faces after they tried it...)

    It's increasingly difficult to get vegemite in the states I understand. Something in it - B12 maybe? - is a restricted import substance or some such silly thing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Not difficult. Impossible. One has to accidentally drop a jar in ones bag before leaving New Zealand, and forget all about it until clearing customs.

    Marmite is available at places like Whole Foods, but it's the tacky English version.

    On the subject of hoodies, I note that if they are signifiers of the less wholesome aspects of Hip Hop culture, no one told the students at the University of Pittsburgh, who seem to wear them as if they were warm clothing with space to emblazon the name of their university, high school or home state.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    until *after* clearing customs. If you remember it while clearing customs the men with the guns act very disapproving.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    However, speaking of New Zealand foodstuffs, I discovered Vogel's bread at the supermarket in Pittsburgh the other day. It's made in Ohio, and not the same, but you take what you can get in these parts.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Not difficult. Impossible.

    My ex was able to find a couple of jars at a store near LA end of last year. Not sure if they had snuck them into the country, or if it was old stock however.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    When I lived there, lo these many years ago, it was freely available at Fiesta supermarkets (a Texas chain with many exciting foods from across the border, including Milo in the same packaging, but all in Spanish. That blew my tiny mind) in the international foods aisle.

    It was $4US for a wee jar, but it was there!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    It's increasingly difficult to get vegemite in the states I understand. Something in it - B12 maybe? - is a restricted import substance or some such silly thing.

    I recall a funny story a while back about US Customs agents raiding a marine vessel with NZers aboard. They totally freaked out when they found the jar of dark brown sticky stuff, which quite clearly could not be food ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    When I saw impossible, I guess I mean nigh impossible. I once asked a guy who runs a British food store in Manhattan, and he was pretty emphatic, despite there being a big, faded Vegemite poster in the window. They banned its import two years ago. Those jars might have been hanging around from before then, Kyle.

    Doesn't really bother me, as I'm a Marmite kind of guy.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Wahey! Looks like it's OK if you import the sticky brown stuff in small quantities, as long as it's for "personal use"!

    Just discovered another use for my hoodie today: excellent antidote to bad hair after swimming at the Centennial Pool. And the dry Canterbury air had been doing such great things for my coiffure.

    No luck on the jeans front, either. Emma, I weep with you! Who is designing these things and on whom are they modelling them? There's enough space at the back to stuff a toddler down, very handy if you're out with a toddler and without a pushchair, but deeply unflattering if you're not. (The bright young thing in the jeans shop referred me to a seamstress who apparently specializes in adding darts for a small fee. It's a conspiracy!)

    And the ones that do cling to your hips do so at such a low tide that I wouldn't pass my own decency test. Although I did notice that the very wide legged trou come pretty close to being the bottom half of a zoot suit. Bring on the riots!

    Sigh. I think the universe is just telling me to wear skirts for a while.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    Holy crap. I just followed your link,Kyle. Where to even start with that one?

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1472 posts Report Reply

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