News from the Near Future
Joshua Drummond gazes into the black eyes of his Horrible Painting of Michael Laws and receives terrifying portents and oracles of Hamilton's future.
Let's do the fluoride again!
The news that fluoride was to be introduced back into the city's water supply was greeted with horror by a few Hamilton residents, prompting several people to mutter vaguely about leaving the city.
"Enough is enough!" chanted Fluoride Free Hamilton uncoordinator, Pat McNair. She was standing on the corner of an intersection, surrounded by tens of followers with signs, protesting variously about fluoride, chemtrails, and objective reality. "We're leaving. We should have left a long time ago. The city won't survive without us. Economic collapse will follow swiftly. Without us to protect you from imaginary danger, what will you do?"
She thought about this for a while.
"But we're not going anywhere," she clarified, "until fluoride is out of the water."
After the Council's decision, the number of letters to the Waikato Times from the same ten people increased slightly, suggesting that it is an issue that everybody really cares about and no-one is even slightly sick of.
Problem swept under rug virtually overnight
Social problems have virtually disappeared from sight after the Hamilton City Council issued blanket prohibition on legal high "puff shops" operating in the central city.
"It's lovely," said a Victoria Street shopper, who had previously been perturbed by people who she saw as evidence of social problems. "It's much nicer being able to think about social problems in an abstract, not-really-my-problem kind of way. We're not being confronted with evidence of the near-absence of any meaningful effort to care for and rehabilitate vulnerable people, which is just... lovely."
A Grey Street shop owner was ecstatic that the number of unsightly but not actually illegal people near his business had dropped. "It's great to not have creepy people lurking around smoking, spitting and asking people for money. I mean, I suppose they're still poisoning themselves with horrible substances, but so long as no-one can see it, it doesn't really matter, does it?"
In unrelated events, internet sales of legal highs are continuing unimpeded, tinny houses run by gangs are experiencing a boom in business, and local hardware retailers are reporting skyrocketing sales of glue and paint.
Flag debate flagged for flag look over here flag
Plans for a referendum on the New Zealand flag are being described as "shiny" and "ooh!" by voters struggling to make up their mind on the crucial issues facing the country going into the September 20 General Election.
"A pollster called me the other night, asking what I cared about the most, and I was a bit worried about that business with National's continuing suspension of democracy in Canterbury and cosying up to megacorporations and not declaring conflicts of interest and all that, but then nice Mr Key started waving the flag issue around, and I just kind of spaced out and drooled," said one person, who described himself as "a voter."
He thought about this for a while.
"You see, I just think this is a discussion we really need to have. Because of National identity. National. They want to change the flag! Let's have the discussion. With National. Vote National."
"The best thing about National is that they care about the majority view as expressed through a referendum!" enthused another, who described herself as a voter for "the big blue wavy thing that goes flappy flap flap flag."
Hamilton City Council is boring on purpose
As part of an internal competition to formulate the most boring sentence ever, Hamilton City Council's strategy and policy committee this week elected councillors to sit on a working party tasked with developing a draft libraries strategic plan.
"Yawn" said one councillor. "Snore," said another. One, Councillor Gallagher, said "Oi, don't stuff this up, or make any stupid suggestions, or people will get annoyed."
To this, Mayor Julie Hardaker said, "What I'm disappointed by is that already there are comments pre-empting what that discussion might be."
To the crashing sounds of bodies hitting the floor in sudden fits of narcolepsy, she added, "I'm disappointed we've started a discussion that might colour our objectivity in that process."
It turns out that a council staff report warns the review would cover topics that may be controversial and attract media attention.
To counter this, the Council is approaching the strategic review strategically. Their strategy is to speak in dull corporate gibberish so no one can be bothered listening, much less understanding.
They're probably planning to get rid of all the books or something.