Awards for the unheralded
Good day to you and welcome to the year's wholly unofficial awards.
Michael Flatley Riverdance Award
I hate leaving anywhere without recognition so, first, I'd like to award myself for acts of bravery in the face of grave danger resulting in stageworthy dancing.
Having left a large hirsute spider under a cup for eight hours to think about its actions, which, to be fair, were nothing more than simply being a spider, I attempted to set it free.
Despite flicking the cup towards the hydrangeas, I thought I saw it drop near my feet, inspiring an award- winning Cossack-style performance which did not cease until I had made it back to lovely cold, safe concrete.
Sir Peter Blake Award for Deadly Adventures
It was not even a close competition. This award can only go to the eel that died after being inserted in the rear passage of an Auckland man. The fearless yet unwitting adventurer had to be surgically removed after its carrier sought emergency hospital treatment.
Slippery-Like-That- Bum-Eel Award
This is to be shared equally between insurance claims managers and EQC inspectors.
Best Local Branding Award
This goes to a woman at the Christchurch democracy rally for giving away fresh baking under the name "Gerry Brownies". I'm taking an honourable mention here for dreaming up a line of Christchurch-based lollies which will be called "Curiously Strong Munts" and "After Dinner Munts".
Pamplona Memorial Running of the Bulls Award
This is a resounding win for Prince Charles and Camilla for their services to handshaking amid the swarm of crowds at the A & P show, where what little planning had gone into the royal walkabout came undone within seconds. Things were so unorganised that the police were literally unwinding "caution tape" and asking the crowds to hold it. The lines of confused human boundaries created a living cordon funnelling the clearly hot and sweaty couple away from the crowds and into the food and wine tent, before their visit was cut short by officials wondering if it could become shaped even more like a pear.
"Probably Taking It a Bit Too Far" Award
This goes to Britain's Daily Mail news organisation for launching an appeal to find the owner of a black-and- white cat. The reason this cat made headlines? They said the cat's markings resembled black-and-white film star Charlie Chaplin.
"The lovable seven-year- old . . . is the spitting image of the silent-film star," wrote Emma Reynolds. "She sports a tiny black moustache, sticking-up hair and a comedic, pigeon-toed stance, just like the slapstick actor."
I think "spitting image" is an adjective too far.
Most Leapt-To Conclusion Trophy
This will be sent to "Brad" for reading a story about a dog killing blue penguins at Cape Foulwind on the West Coast and writing a comment suggesting that if we tolerate this, our children will be next.
It read: "The dog, when found, must be destroyed. What would happen if it attacked a young child dressed as a penguin?"
Most Surprising Sponsorship Fund
MP Paula Bennett is to be developed into the star of advertisements for the Hoyts chain of cinemas.
The silver-screen-with- matching-tongue minister will be directed by Sir Peter Jackson using the same motion-capture technology pioneered by his Gollum character.
The advertisement will feature people sitting in the audience rustling chip packets and talking on their mobile phones during a film, when Bennett looms large above them, presses her index finger to her lips in a "shhh!" gesture and breathily says: "Zip it, sweetie".