Encouragement might be missing formula

20:04, Aug 20 2012

I haven't been unlucky enough to run into the Red Peril on New Plymouth streets.

After spending a couple of hours cleaning and polishing the car I don't need to have some layabout slap a dirty worn-out windscreen washing brush across my gleaming glass and spill some hand-cleaner mix down the paintwork.

But I live in hope.

I live in hope that somehow that young guy and a few of his mates can pull themselves together enough to get a business going maybe, or a meaningful job out of it. After all, and despite the best efforts of successive governments, councils and corporatism, the New Zealand economy is still largely fuelled by small businesses, though well down on the 87 per cent of GDP they produced in 1999.

Could that be our advantage as a country? Who knows, but getting back to the ginger brush swinger, he hasn't done himself any favours, even though it's clearly getting harder and harder to become established in a start-up business.

Probably this is a terrible thing, but wouldn't it be nice if you could discover you have a particular talent like, say, car-window washing, and start washing car windows right away?


Wouldn't it be nice if you'd be smart enough to keep your rabble mates away from annoying rectors and putting on public displays of bare bums and drunken idleness in their workplace?

It seems our Red Devil is far too nice a guy and he believes in live and let live. Maybe with those social attributes he should be a real estate agent, mortgage broker, car salesman or election candidate, but there I go drifting off topic again.

Wouldn't it be nice if an enterprising entrepreneur could come along and, instead of dissing him majorly, maybe give him a few pointers? Like pointing out to Red Adair he should lose the hangers-on and clean up his act, as well as his washing water and choice of glass cleaner, but keep the red Mohawk intact? Maybe the youngster would listen and build a steadily growing and loyal clientele, plus get back onside with the authorities and vicars.

Maybe that entrepreneur might have a petrol station or a car sales yard? After watching his apprentice's success he'd then be back to see the Scarlet pimp from Hell because he knew he could profit from getting together with his redness and his customers, and he might offer the fledgling business somewhere to operate from that was legitimate.

Wouldn't it be nice if the new business could start saving for and paying tax like we do?

He could call it "The Moulin Rouge".

But, no, we'll curse and threaten and start a Facebook page to bully this upstart with foul language, diabolical grammar, spelling and abomination aplenty. We'll pass some new laws so water on the streets is banned and street performers will be accidentally banned, too, because this city is in danger of becoming much too colourful, isn't it?

You get back to your digs, Red Boy, and you pull your head in - steal a Playstation and take up smoking, huffing, and generally doing nuffing, like a proper disadvantaged bloke.

It never ceases to amaze me how we, especially of the older generation, grizzle about the youth of today and how they behave. Does anyone ever stop to think who made these kids and who gives them the examples to follow? If they're rude, ill-mannered, directionless, drugged, ADHD, spoiled and deprived while wearing their hats backwards and showing their arses they are only reflecting the environment they come from, surely?

Speaking of where they come from, I saw an old photo held in the Caleb Wyatt Puke Ariki collection (and they allow sharing of their photos). I saw it on an interweb and it's entitled "Tram turning corner of Egmont and Devon Streets, July, 1954".

This is way older than me, but the full bicycle stand on the street where that empty section is now does bring to mind a fascinating New Plymouth Friday night ritual of later in the 1960s and 70s. It was a bit scary as a kid, but all the "Rockers" would park their big Triumph, BSA, AJS, Norton, Velocette, Matchless, Vincent and other motorbikes along the street and hang about.

I guess most of those old boys who survived the times would have traded their bikes for Zimmer frames by now, but I'm going to park the Fatboy there this Friday night anyway. Don't want to be lonely there, boys?

Any thoughts? Have a chat with Gordon on www.facebook.com/ Burnside.of.Life

Taranaki Daily News