Time to climb the cliffs of insanity

22:27, Dec 30 2012

Procrastination, apparently it is the thief of time and never is one more aware of the dreaded burglar than during the doldrums - those days that fall between Christmas and New Year's Day when the mind keeps turning accusatorily to the unperformed tasks of the year, not to mention a lifetime.

It's all very well to keep assuring yourself that not everyone can be an astronaut or a brain surgeon, or even a drain surgeon, an occupation I recently read on the side of a work van parked a street away.

But if you get to the end of the year and come to the conclusion that really, you have been merely treading water, or have in my mother's words "slipped back" - an expression she gleefully employed to describe shabby provincial towns - then you can't wait for the new year to kick in to right the wrongs and start climbing out of the hole, ascending the cliffs of insanity.

Somehow in my long life I had missed out on seeing The Princess Bride, a witty and whimsical film I happily bumped into before Christmas, which is where I encountered the towering "cliffs of insanity", a term that seems to psychologically say it all.

Now in the absence of news, except for how much filthy lucre Kiwis have blown on Boxing Day sales, and the pending fiscal cliff America (and the world) will fall into if a bunch of Republicans have their dumb way, it is referred to in this house as "the fiscal cliff of insanity".

And you just know that the same people who don't want to tax the rich are gun lobbyists who want to deport Piers Morgan for supposedly launching a hostile attack on the United States constitution and the wretched second amendment, after calling the aptly named Larry "Pratt", the executive director of Gun Owners of America, an "unbelievably stupid man".


When I want cheering up, I Google said interview, and read online that offers have poured in from as far away as Australia welcoming a dearly deported Morgan with open arms, as opposed to alms. With his double-breasted navy blue jacket and plooty voice, I am sure Piers would be welcome here too, would fit right in, in the suburbs of Merivale or Fendalton should the US fail to understand that America's Got Talent.

Thank God we don't have guns here, just cruise missiles as in cruise liners docked in Lyttelton and perched out in the harbour at Akaroa like convict ships.

I cruised over there for Boxing Day and the streets were teeming with tourists speaking in a variety of foreign tongues and all sporting that deep orange luxury-liner tan that makes them look as if they're made of wood.

We went to a newly opened fush'n'chup shop and stood behind a pleasant American man whose vast entourage kept entering the shop as he added to his order, which eventually came to a whopping total of $80, as we, the poor mouths waited patiently to order just the one humble scoop. They don't do things by halves do they?

How nice to be too old to have to stress about finding a raging party for New Year's Eve. Already the letterbox has harvested three half-drunk bottles of beer and I hope to re-encounter the lad who was still peacefully flaked out in the flowerbed outside the hairdresser's at 11am last New Year's Day.

I, of course, will spend the last night of 2012 virtuously doing the Ds - as in defragging, defrosting and defleaing the cat, bracing myself for the Year of the Snake. Happy New Year, snake hips.

The Press