Be a Sport! By Trevor Plumbly

Most countries seem to have an unhealthy obsession with breeding world champions at some sport or other. It’s probably inherited from the Stone Age ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ contest, with the winner claiming the prize of the maiden. I have reached that august age where prowess of any sort is not of great import, thus I can look at the fleeting fancies of conquest with a jaundiced eye. Ordinarily, embryonic world champs (if there are such creatures) have some sort of sporting implement or ball practically glued to their hands or feet… Read More

Long Distance Information by Trevor Plumbly

When my particular piece of modern communication conked out, the manual told me that all I had to do was dial the Freephone number and all would be well. So I did, and discovered the joys of trying to communicate with an international communications company. Unlike the electronic castrati of the domestic answerphone voice, this clockwork secretary offered no apologies for the absence of real people. She opened by announcing that my call was important, and then promptly destroyed that dream by rattling off the numerical options available in zombie-like tones. I… Read More

Unaccustomed as I am…By Trevor Plumbly

We’ve all suffered it: the wedding reception when the rumble of small-talk has replaced the clatter of crockery being cleared away. The glass pings, almost politely, and he rises to his feet surveying the seated guests in much the same way as Christopher Lee eyed the maiden’s neck in the old Dracula movies. This is the best man and it’s time for his shot at glory: the speech! He looks confidently at his wife, but rather than smile encouragement, she decides that the tablecloth needs her undivided attention. It’s not a good… Read More

Trevor Tells It Like It Is

If It Bleeds It Leads I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but all the improvements in modern communication haven’t been reflected in the standard of journalism. Whilst I admit that the public attention span has shortened along with the advent of instant access, I still wonder why those of us who prefer a bit of depth in our news are force-fed facile sensationalism with our morning tea. Most of the current crop seems to have graduated from the 19th century ‘penny dreadful’ school of journalism. The front page is strictly reserved for… Read More

I’d Be Honoured! By Trevor Plumbly

It’s that time again: Queen’s Birthday Honours! And I’m eyeing the postman with all the expectancy of Hyacinth Bucket waiting for the mayoral invitation. Surely Her Majesty won’t overlook me again? I know I’m tucked away a bit down here, but that shouldn’t be a problem with communication the way it is these days. Unless some bugger in Wellington is putting the diplomatic boot in, it must be my year. A knighthood? Thank you, but no, perhaps later when she’s run out of pop stars. In the meantime, something a bit more… Read More