Eastern Courier : December 22nd 2010
4 EASTERN COURIER, DECEMBER 22, 2010 NEWS Best of Fresh for Less Dannemora 345 Chapel Road Pakuranga 290 Ti Rakau Dr Botany 280 Botany Rd Howick 219 Moore St Normal trading hours Mon - Sun 7.30am - 6.30pm. EC22/12 CRISPY LETTUCE CRUNCHY CARROTS SUNRIPENED TOMATOES JUICY BEETROOT FRESH SNOW PEAS SPRING ONIONS CELERY FRESH CUCUMBER AVOCADOS MANGOS BERRY & STONE FRUIT We wish all our customers A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year ! We will be open for you every day through the holiday period except for Christmas Day and New Year's day Twenty20 International Eden Park -- Boxing Day 2pm NZC/SNL/211210 THE ONLY INTERNATIONAL CRICKET TOUR FOR A VERY, VERY LONG TIME V PAKISTAN THE NATIONAL BANK SERIES It's true -- I mean would I lie? HOW TO MAKE CONTACT To contact Pat Booth email firstname.lastname@example.org or write care of this newspaper. All replies are open for publication unless marked Not For Publication. He was sitting gloomily in his vehicle in the crowded carpark, dressed pretty strangely for the weather and looking as if he wanted to talk. He looked so familiar I thought I knew him from way back. He gave every impression of recognising me. My heart sank when he spoke. Gotta bit of a problem. Not another plea for help. I knew then I d made a mistake with my cheery Merry Christmas . But there was no way out. He snorted and went on. How was I to know what the funny lettering meant so I parked here because I had a gig inside. It s one of my regulars for this time of the year. Another snort, louder and more emphatic than the last. Knew when I got up this morning that it wasn t going to be one of my good days. The wife started straight away about being left with all the little ones. Same as last year she said. And all the ones before. It s all very well for you, she said. And she raved on about how the lawn always looked shaggy at this time of the year because I was never around and how I seemed to thrive on all the attention and how she had to stay home and take all the calls and sort through the mail. I said it went with the job. And that just started her off again, how thoughtless I d become and how I just didn t seem to understand or take into account all the extra things she had to do. Then it got really rough. She said I was so unthink- ing that the box of chocolates I d brought back on my last run had a best before Decem- ber 2008 on it and was that all I thought of her? I couldn t even remember her at this time of the year she said and she d noticed that an old box left over from some time or other had disap- peared from the back of the cupboard. And didn t I realise she noticed little things like that. And while she was at it, hadn t I noticed how abso- lutely filthy the hand basin was after me trimming my beard. All because I d forgotten to make an appointment at the barber and that I seemed to think I was someone who could just walk in like some A-lister -- whatever that is -- and crash the queue. She said it was ironic that of all people I didn t realise Christmas was a special time and busy with it. And then there was the mess I d left in the shed when I mended the vehicle last night and seemed to have wiped my dirty hands on the special tablecloth she d got out for Christmas dinner. He snorted yet again and paused -- but not for long. Christmas dinner! she said. I suppose it s going to be like last year when you fell asleep over the lovely meal I d cooked. And that reminded her -- as if she d ever forgotten -- about my promise to get her a decent stove before the next time. And this was the next time and where was it? Said I had this reputation of being so good at getting things for other people just because they asked for it. What about her? That was the stage I offered to take some of the little people with me for the day and give her a break. She came over all sweet at that and kissed me, wished me a real happy Christmas and I promised I d get them back early. Then what? When I fin- ished my shift, the little ones are all in the two dollar shop buying me things I ll never use and don t want. I came out here and look what I found. He pointed with a podgy hand at something below him. It was a sort of locked thingee, like the wheel clamp you ve got when you haven t got a wheel. The parking people said they d been waiting for me since the last time and won t unlock it until I pay 100 or something in cash. Really big snort this time, like an explosion that would have gone down well on Guy Fawkes Day. Cash? How much cash would I be carrying the way she s been spending these last weeks? I was bending over the device, rattling the chain, when a sweet voice came over my shoulder Merry Christmas, can I help? She was a sweetie who must have been going to or coming from a party wearing lots of sparkling bling and even had a wand thing with a star on it. As I stepped back she tapped the device with her wand and, Christmas mir- acle, it fell off. That was great, I said. You should be a Christmas Fairy. That soft voice again from over my shoulder. But I am -- hadn t you realised? When I straightened up, she d gone. I walked down past a few cars to see if I could see her but she d disappeared. When I looked back so had the bearded old guy in the strange red gear and the weird vehicle. And the two dollar shop was empty. All that was left was a strange-looking open clamp, a screwed-up parking ticket and what I assume were rein- deer droppings. I mean, I wouldn t have dreamed it, would I? Letters to the editor We welcome your letters to the editor. Letters should not exceed 250 words and must have full name, residential address and phone number. Hard-copy letters must have a legible signature. Only your name and suburb are published. Initials, pen names or email attachments are not accepted. We prefer letters about local issues. Open letters and poetry are seldom used. We discourage personal attacks. Try to advance the debate. All correspondence to the editor is assumed to be for publication unless marked otherwise. The editor reserves the right to abridge or withhold any corre- spondence without explanation. Letters may be edited for sense, paper's style, brevity, good taste and to protect the rights of others. Letters may be referred to others for right of reply. Mail: Eastern Courier, PO Box 76-400, Manukau 2013 Email: ecletters@ snl.co.nz.
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December 29th 2010