Junk - it's in the mail

22:45, Jan 15 2014
Pat Veltkamp Smith
Columnist Pat Veltkamp Smith was Southland Times women's editor until 1997 and is a former president of the Southland Justices of the Peace Association.

No, I can't claim to be the victim of a computer scam.

But I do feel we are maybe targeted in the soft touch, soft in the head category when I look at offers coming our way.

How would you feel about a pull- up Christmas tree?

Is it the last thing in festive indolence, a pool of green stuff at your feet? Give it a tug and it shakes itself into a 5ft Christmas tree, baubles not included but you can see where they'd go.

And in something of a liturgical mix up, in the same package (only one set of pack and post fees see?) a plastic Last Supper line up "in Old Testament colours".

Seems best to do nothing - don't engage, don't respond - but don't you wonder where all this junk mail starts?

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And as always it is as silly to ask why me, as why not me: Has to be someone you see.

In a another catalogue, pet plates not only personalised with the pet name but customised in glitzy bling like no other dog on the block.

I think I need to get out more, like stop reading this stuff, go to town.

What a hazard that is, country roads once edged with accommodating gravel, now bordered by great ditches into which the uncool might tumble.

Once, cars came off the road to wander onto gravel, go through fences, cross grassy pastures to rest among puzzled stock.

Today what is not on the road will crash into a ditch, a dangerous dirty option giving a Third World look to our highways.

Enough brickbats: here's a bouquet, maybe lots, for the recipients of the Domestic Purposes Benefit, surely the most maligned beneficiaries ever.

The DPB came into existence 40 years ago this month, a lifeline for thousands of women whose grown children are the nurses, teachers, bus drivers and bakers on whom the rest of us rely.

Few would choose a path of such hardship and criticism.

For all the vocal Paula Bennetts and Christine Rankins who say they were "on the benefit and look at me now", there are thousands of mothers left, carefully balancing budgets and time.

We'd have to treble our immigrant uptake were it not for them.

Let's not forget it, or them.

The Southland Times