Kiwis love reading about ourselves. Like smelling our own farts, we find it indulgent and strangely reassuring. So whether it's last night's nachos or an update on what Judy Bailey is up to these days, let's dip our noses under the sheets and see what Aotearoa has expelled.
The biggest news in the country right now is the absconding of the pedo-murderous escaped prisoner Phillip Smith. He was eventually captured en-route to South America and returned to NZ, and the best comment on the fiasco came from an Auckland Police spokesman who said, "We don't send our officers willy nilly off to Chile."
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As New Zealand's news generally runs for a full hour, small local stations often run out of cat stories. Therefore it's a bit of a relief when an actual news item comes along, like this one about a garbage collector who wears a monkey mask. This story on TV3 ran for nearly two whole minutes, which might not sound long, but is a long time to explain that the country's childcare centres rely on garbage collection for entertainment. Everyone also seems really happy that an unknown masked man is hanging around kindergartens.
Moving on to Hamilton, corpse-hungry bunnies have been making headlines. This is not the start of the zombie apocalypse, it just seems that there are so many rabbits that they're encroaching on civilisation. Many of the animals have also made themselves at homes in the town's cemetery, desecrating graves as they go. Because you know what they say about rabbits: Sure they're cute, but they have no respect for deceased war heroes.
Coverage of the grave-digging bunnies also gave air to an equally important issue: the toilets near the world-famous Hamilton Gardens are totally rank. As one local mechanic puts it, "I've put up with some bad stinks that smell but nothing like this."
Further down the road in Te Awamutu, police are hunting for a man who robbed a dairy wearing a pillow case.
The greatest delight in the heart of every New Zealander is to see one of our own make it big on a world stage. That joy grows exponentially greater if the successful Kiwi has made it big without going via Australia, and they're from a rural background—particularly if there was close interaction with farm animals. It is then, with utter ecstasy, that the latest season of Project Runway has been won by Sean Kelly, a kid hailing from Hawera who used to milk cows. Kiwis who have never even heard of Zac Posen will henceforth be boring their seatmates on international flights with this information when asked any question about their home country.
Two brothers in Palmerston North created a viral sensation with a faked video of a human sized eel. The video was made with the help of two of the nation's favourite student foodstuffs: luncheon sausage and pizza bases. Attracting over 50,000 YouTube hits from around the world, the clip also garnered interest from the Palmerston North City Council who became worried that the water quality in the Manawatu River could have created a monster.
Meanwhile in music news, Shihad, The Exponents, The Feelers, and Katchafire will take their annual month off the dole to play at the Coroglen Tavern and similar venues over the Christmas period. This can be confirmed without any need of research as the line-up is as predictable as teenagers pashing and puking at Whanga over the New Year holiday, and it will be the bands' only chance to earn some cash until O Week kicks off.
Finally in livestock news, a man in Opotiki was attacked by a cow and had be airlifted to Whakatane hospital; sheep carcasses are being dumped on the streets of Hastings as a by-product of a black market trade in lamb; and a former Golden Shears winner made a comeback. In the best day of the rural school year, Pet Day, Pepsi the lamb won the Mace Trophy for senior lamb at at Egmont Village School. It's safe to assume the "mutton prize" was deemed not a catchy enough name.
The All Blacks also won on the weekend, but that's not really news because we always do.
Follow Carolyn on Twitter: @wowcat9