Earmuffs and the mall maul

20:03, Aug 26 2012

At the risk of sounding like a latter day biblical rapper, the happy news is that the peace that passes all understanding will be with the street within a week.

Getting fed up with the dual cacophonies of the street works and the pile-driving, I downed tools and stomped off to find the pile-drivers to inquire how long it would take to get their sticks into the ground.

With the liquefaction and the state of the soil the poles have to be impaled, three metres, almost China deep, into the earth. If this is the sound of the rebuild for years to come then earmuffs should be dished out to all remaining residents who haven't quit the city for fear of industrial deafness.

Midweek I got so fed up with the hellish din I grumped off to find the culprits and was amazed to discover that the enormous amount of noise had been emanating from just two guys who, on approach, were enjoying a peaceful smoko parked up in a truck in a back section of the Avon Loop. It gave me some idea of how Dorothy and her chums must have felt on finally meeting the terrifying Wizard of Oz, only to discover a timid one-man operation.

Roll on the introduction of water-powered, soundless pile-driving, I say, which according to recent newspaper reports, is more cost-effective and quite possibly on its way here.

If not, lock up your china and crystal come the rebuild of the covered stadium on Madras and Barbadoes streets. Why do all the projects have to be so grandiose - a huge convention centre, a massive indoor sports centre and Olympic- sized swimming pool? We all know that since the invention of wide-screen HD TVs that most people, including the burglars, have them now (hence the drop in burglary rates) much preferring to stay at home to watch in the depths of winter.


The makeshift, but perfectly decent stadium at Addington, is wonderful because you get to see the tin gods up close and really personal. The future John Key-approved covered stadium will become a white elephant in no time as the cameras flick over to sad empty-seated stands. Perhaps by that time, post-2017 when the stadium is due for completion, it can double as a venue for mass legalised euthanasia to cope with the aged population.

While on the topic of location, great was the cultural uplift thereof at the news that an art house cinema may be up and screening in the Colombo Shopping Mall in Sydenham by Christmas. Just what the cultural doctor ordered after having to schlep over to the hideous Northlands Mall and wait in line at the bottleneck of Papanui Rd to find a park and get a ticket to attend the film festival, which ended yesterday.

I'm allergic to malls at the best of times, but at least the Colombo Mall, where the cinema is to reside, is small in comparison to the elongated hells of Northlands, Westfield Plaza and "The Sweaty", as in Palms.

If you want to put yourself in a bad emotional way, if you want to seriously doubt the future of the human race and all who presently sail in her, then visit one of the bigger malls with its sunless, caged hen lighting and bland generic stores, all fueled by a misery of Last Supper food halls.

Whoever allowed proper coffee to be on offer at cinemas ought to be shot. How many times have you waited in long queues nervously looking at your watch to see the film has already started when four ahead you can hear some selfish, impolite bugger issuing a caffeine order that will take over 10 minutes to complete.

Art house cinemas should be just that, standalone houses of art beauty and light from which you can emerge post foreign muck (as elderly relatives referred to them as) or very good quality Anglais- speaking flicks, into an aesthetically pleasing vestibule that leads quickly out into the real world.

No matter how harsh and inclement the weatheris, in that real world it will always be better than the maul of the mall.

The Press