OPINION: MEMO: From Christchurch City Council Crisis Avoidance Team.
TO: Mayor of Christchurch.
As Your Worship knows, Christchurch is on the itinerary of HRH Prince William and Kate Middleton's visit to New Zealand later this year, which will include a tour of the CBD and an opportunity to inspect the rebuild.
We have, however, today been contacted by one Nigel Fowkes- Flunkey, a member of the Kensington Palace advance reconnaissance party who, it is fair to say, is in something of a flap. He has pointed out the presence, in full view on the wall of the Calendar Girls building, of a planned three-storey-high mural of a naked woman in a pose that could tastefully described as pneumatic.
Mr Fowkes-Flunkey is particularly agitated at how the British tabloid media pack accompanying the royal couple could make use of this. These people, after all, revel in the salacious. They could make a small mince pie look unsavoury.
In particular, they have a weakness for the innuendo-laden headline. Only last week (and we are not making this up) one of them reported on Shane Warne's alleged relationship with the head of an underwear manufacturing company as "Over The Shoulder Bowler Bowls Over An Over The Shoulder Boulder Holder Moulder".
We baulk at imagining the headlines that would accompany a photo of Prince William standing in front of a three-storey-high painting of a naked woman. But off the top of our heads, "Wills' Saucy Extra-Mural Activities", "HRH Puts Stripper Frolics Behind Him", and "Second-In-Line First In Line To Check Out Exotic Dancer Down Under" spring to mind.
Obviously it would be best if Wills and Kate were kept well away. However, royal walkabouts have a habit of veering off track. If this occurs it may unavoidably be advisable for you to orchestrate some sort of distraction to draw the media's attention away from the unseemly juxtaposition of our future king and a hot babe who likes it all night long.
We have taken the liberty of drawing up some suggestions.
Tie Bishop Matthews' left wrist to Jim Anderton's left wrist, give them each a rolled-up set of legal pleadings in their free hand and stand nearby yelling "Fight! Fight! Fight!"
Recall Bob Parker to reprise his acclaimed demonstration of how to use a chemical toilet. And bring back Hot Jeremy the sign-language guy too. Everyone likes looking at Hot Jeremy.
Get someone from Wilsons Parking to wheel-clamp the royal limousine. (On second thoughts don't bother - they'll probably do it anyway).
Point to the Spires sculpture in Latimer Square and ask: "Have you seen Neil Dawson's latest erection? (Ooh-er missus!)"
In a demonstration of the robust yet constructive relationship between local and central government, challenge Rt Hon Gerry Brownlee to a best-of-three leg wrestle.
We are conscious of your desire to attend to more pressing concerns but would be grateful if you could sign off on this so that we can placate Mr Fowkes- Flunkey. He is already fretting that, on their return to Wellington, the prince and Kate may become embroiled in a three-way handshake with the prime minister. We have advised him that, while we here in Christchurch are used to dealing with several types of disaster, that is not one of them.
- The Press
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