Crowd at Mike's surfing on a natural drug
The Burnside of LifeGORDON BURNSIDE
OPINION: There are so many very interesting things going on at the moment to write about that I'm spoilt for choice and so are you, dear reader.
Myself and many others could think the salacious details of the Len Brown affair good fodder, especially for we here in Taranaki who have been feeling a little Len deprivation since our other Len is a Dunne deal now.
I imagine I could moralise very heavily on either side of the Len/ Bevan sordidry (a new word there folks), but I'm stuck on her complaint that he only bought her cheap lingerie and not really expensive stuff.
Everyone knows that when the sexual allure of political power wanes for the acolyte, it must be replaced with expensive lingerie. Fancy not knowing that Len? I mean, it's not like you're inexperienced in these things, is it?
By all accounts, should public hysteria and thirst for knowledge rise to fever pitch, the bloggist (another new word, riches your way) has a couple more female reputations to throw to the wind.
But not for me today, I'll move away from that tragedy to celebrate our own home-grown Taranaki triumph.
This triumph we can all share in was near Urenui and for one who grew up at a time when young blokes were too scared to talk to young women, boy have things changed for the better. In my day we'd go to a country dance at any one of the local halls to look at girls, with only a vague hope we'd actually somehow pluck up the courage to engage one in conversation.
Having a fight was much easier and less stressful so that's what we'd do, thinking mass displays of testosterone and fighting prowess would do the trick where dumb luck and a red face wouldn't.
For anyone who can't remember these forays into the countryside I can name nearly all the leading troublemakers if you like, but it seemed impossible to organise a dance in the province because it would be trashed.
Fast forward to 2013 and the Oktoberfest at Mike's brewery. Thanks to Ron and his tireless staff we witnessed and participated in an event which was unbelievable and unforgettable, except for the second half.
Considering it is based on the premise of showcasing Mike's beer, the triumph was surprisingly not about the beer, except that the beer certainly impressed for its great taste and lack of hangover. It was about the 1200 people there and their fantastic attitude and willingness to party.
The security people were there certainly but more as spectators enjoying the revelry than in anyone's face. The place was pumping - everyone, and I mean everyone, was dancing on the tables or on the dance floor, singing at the top or their voices, awhoopin' and a hollerin' and this was after the dinner provided.
The band, armed with big brass horns, sax, clarinet and bass drum, circulated through the crowd, among the tables, and brought everyone into the action.
It was not alcohol fuelled because it was quite hard to actually get a beer with long queues and the rationing Mike's brought in after dinner and then after 7 o'clock; it was simply fuelled by people wanting to have a good time. The beer and cider might have flicked the switch but that crowd was surfing on a natural drug and was it ever good!
No beer monsters, no fights, no attitude, no sweet smelling haze, little preloading, just pure and natural fun of the good new days.
All this and hardly one person I recognised. The predominant age group of between 25 and 45 unknowns to me must have bussed in from other places and that brings to mind something Len Houwers (was it you Len?) said in the run-up to our local election: "Council has no place in activities where others can provide that service."
With the greatest respect for VTT, Taft and the major events department, how ever did you allow Mike's to do this all on their own, bring in all those visitors who will leave us with a lasting glow and forever thinking this is the greatest place on this earth?
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