Political hoardings. They're popping up all over the country in the lead up to this year's election. And what an unlovely addition to the roadside they are. Isn't it bad enough that politicians exist in the first place? Must we be reminded of this via their grinning visages on corflute hoardings on every street corner? And is it me, or do their cold, dead eyes seem to follow you? And do you quicken your pace just a little bit so as to be past all the more quickly?
Which is why I was rather thrilled to see this example while I was out running an errand yesterday.
Yes, that would be John Key as Fozzie Bear and Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner as Miss Piggy, emblazoned with the word "Muppets".
I'm forced to reflect that vandalism is wrong but some vandalism is less wrong than other kinds.
Especially if it makes me laugh out loud.
But anyway, this image prompted a lot of discussion in our house. Because if Fozzie and Piggy's political affiliations have been decided then it really begs the question, what about the other Muppets?
If our parliament were to be entirely filled with Muppets (and who's to say that it's not?), then which Muppets would align themselves with which parties?
Yes, New Zealand, this is the pre-election political commentary you have been breathlessly waiting for.
Possible Muppet Parliamentarians
National - They hold the balance of power and according the above image have Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy within their ranks. Certainly when I was growing up the word "Piggy" could refer to either a Muppet or the leader of the National Party so that certainly makes sense. As for Fozzie, well you'll have to decide for yourself whether the poor comic delivery and terrible choice of comedy subject matter means Fozzie is a ringer for Dear Leader.
Greens - It's not easy being green and nobody knows that better than Kermit the Frog. Also throw in all those chickens that were always running around backstage since they are clearly freerange.
NZ First & United Future - Waldorf and Statler are a couple of grumpy old men who are largely irrelevant but occasionally yell things at the main players and stir the pot. That doesn't sound like anyone we know, does it?
The Māori Party - Sweetums. Just because all that hair reminds me a bit of Pita Sharples.
Act - Uncle Deadly is a phantom that haunts The Muppet Show. Nobody really wants him there, but what can you do? As a kid he always filled me with a sense of dread... which is exactly how the Act party makes me feel now.
Internet Mana - Gonzo. He's purple and nobody really knows what he is. He could be a cross between a turkey and a beach towel for all we know. Prone to rather elaborate, grandiose set pieces.
Conservative - Sam the Eagle. Obsessed with propriety and with a rather restrictive sense of morality, Sam the Eagle was a massive buzzkill. The Conservative Party is pretty much the only kind of party that Colin Craig* Sam the Eagle would be involved with since he would probably consider socialising at night as a sign of the moral decay of the nation.
The real power behind the throne - Scooter. The guy who makes scandals go away. A fixer. The guy who knows where all the bodies are buried.
So honestly, would you rather just vote for Muppets in the upcoming election? Any other politicians that you think bear a striking resemblance to the creations of Jim Henson?
*Please don't sue me.