Every morning when I open the curtains, she is there.
Ogling me. Mocking me. Cheesily orthodontic. Ludicrously inauthentic. My stationary stalker.
She’s been grinning up at me from the wall of Downstage Theatre for weeks now. She’s still there as I write this.
[Go away or I’ll call Rodney!!!]
A parody of herself. On a parody of a design in which I have an emotional investment – and possibly the copyright.
We pay a high price for living in the centre of town.
Our living quarters are more like eighths. The world’s loudest musician practices his drum solos all Sunday in a nearby loft. The local supermarket has been judged the most expensive in Christendom.
But these are crosses we are happy to bear.
Because within 100 yards, we can tuck into every imaginable cuisine, from Italian, Turkish and Taiwanese to Indian, Mongolian and Welsh.
Since Roger Douglas brought capitalism to the capital, restaurants have sprouted in old toilet blocks, in funeral parlours, and in tugboats.
There are pubs and cafes for Africa – and probably from Africa. There are first class second-hand book shops that let you browse till late.
There are movie theatres and live theatres and live women swimming naked in fish tanks and wharves where you can buy recently-live snapper straight off the boat.
There’s the wonderful Sunday morning market and the beautiful Oriental Bay and Te Papa and Te Basin and Te Blanketman and Queen Victoria and Tony’s Tyre Service.
And something called the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes, who share their home with BATS.
So there’s plenty of good to take with the bad.
But nowhere in the lease did it specify that the bad included a view that included Dear Leader.
And so, along with an immediate rent holiday from now until the election, what I want is this.
I want to know:
1. Has Downstage Theatre registered as a third party under the Electoral Finance Act for the purposes of erecting this bogus image of their revered culture minister?
2. Will Labour be counting the very considerable value of this free advertising towards its election expenses?
If not, a crime will have been committed. And we all know what will happen then, don’t we boys and girls?
One of us plebs will report it to the Electoral Commissioner.
And the Electoral Commissioner will report it to the Police Commissioner.
And the Police Commissioner will sit on it for so long that we start to wonder whether he honestly believes it’s going to hatch.
Then, after a patient wait, the media will rise as one and cry, “Enough incubation already! Tell us, your Broadness, who is for the high jump?”
At which point, the Police Commissioner will get off the report and report to the reporters that, on this occasion only, (as on all other occasions only when supporters of the EFA have broken their own law), he has decided to give the offenders the benefit of the doubt.
Even though there isn’t any.