Happy Easter! By Trevor Plumbly

Chocolate bunny on white backgroundNo it’s not! I’m not a fan of Easter or heavy rain, but I’m in Auckland and its piddling down with racehorse ferocity, assisted by gale force winds and the thought has just struck me that if this Easter bash is such a joyous occasion, why doesn’t the Old Boy upstairs come to the party and chuck a bit of sunshine around this fair land? I’d like to add (somewhat hastily) that I’m not questioning his judgement, more sort of seeking clarification; I tend to get introspective when the family are away so please bear with me. First, let me say I am not anti-Christian or even anti-chocolate bunny, I simply dislike sectarian celebrations being forced on me in the guise of ‘public holidays’. As an adult living in a free country, I should have the right to eat, drink and shop where and when I wish; and those who cater for that should be allowed the same latitude. It’s amazing really that no-one has ever put up much of a fight on this, surely Hindus, Muslims, Jews etc would have a case before the Human Rights Commission about being denied the right to carry out trade on other people’s ‘Holy Days’?

Thank God it’s Friday

Why? It’s still bloody raining, but a stroll is necessary to get things mental and physical kick-started. The main street looks about as welcoming as Death Valley, the odd pedestrian mooches past, some obviously making their way home from the house of the Lord, others en route home presumably anxious to put their hangovers to bed. Few, if any, look uplifted or joyful and it occurs to me that the Holy Spirit of Easter might evaporate a little more quickly than the bottled stuff. After about twenty minutes of watching the funereal parade, I decided that introspective wallpaper gazing was more exciting and went home. Home proved to be a problem: normally I like the place, but when it’s Easter and the streets seem bereft of all human life, it gets a bit claustrophobic. Boredom was obviously going to be the problem: no newspaper and daytime TV was clearly aimed at viewing audiences resident in homes for the bewildered, whilst radio had plugged itself into monotony mode. It was as if the Great One had decreed that this was a momentous day and Handel’s Messiah was just about your only option for entertainment.

A Flood of Emotion

Yep! It’s Saturday and heavy rain has been replaced by occasional showers so maybe the Old Boy has taken pity on us or it’s the polling season up there. It’s not raining all the time now, just most of it; if it keeps up, Noah’s going to look more like returning than the Great One’s son. The bubbly little weatherperson traces the deep depression and positively chortles that, ‘The farmers will be relieved.’ Who bloody cares! I’ve met a few farmers along the way and good blokes one and all they are, but when it comes to the weather it’s either ‘too bloody wet’ or ‘too bloody dry’: put simply they lack consistency and anyway there aren’t any farms in Ponsonby. Up here we’ve got families, and families don’t flourish entrapped by outdated trading laws and torrential downpours. Fathers eye the redundant golf clubs, then the booze cupboard, mothers, ever anxious to convert imprisonment into ‘quality time’, break out the old Scrabble set for a ‘family game’. ‘Much healthier than all that video stuff’ they trill to a dead audience before thinking of the first glass of Sauvignon Blanc. No folks, it’s not a happy Easter, the rain has swapped places with stormy showers, farmers are moaning about flooding, family members are musing on the inequality of ‘quality time’ and the streets are still deserted.

The End is Nigh!

Mark my words, if continual rain keeps coming with this Easter thingy, bad stuff could happen. I could be forced to look on the bright side, fathers could be found in a drunken stupor cuddling 9 irons, mothers sharing ‘quality family time’ with the Sauvignon Blanc, running the risk of being beaten to death with a Scrabble board by their own kids. It’s all too sad to contemplate. Climate change, it seems, has joined the Great One because the rain’s got heavier and to assuage my melancholy I have decided to pull the plug on The Hallelujah Chorus, have a second glass of Merlot and another chocolate bunny… Cheers!

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