Not always a good fit

Shopping for clothes is right up there with prostate examinations on most bloke’s personal hate list.

Reading that back, perhaps should have used a term other than ‘right up there’ and ‘prostate examination’ in the same sentence, but I think the damage has now been done.

Anyway, popped into Farmers yesterday arvo. Need some new grunds. It’s been a while.

Well. The grund section looked something like the flags of all nations at the Olympics, although worse: the Olympics if all the competitors were from the cast of Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

Can’t help but wonder what the hell happened to blokes grunds. This one sort of sneaked up on us.

I know that in New Zealand we often don’t get such a good deal with clothing, especially now so much is imported. I learned just how bad we are served a few years ago, when I went and got some shoes made tailored for my feet.

I learned a few things. One was that, as I had always suspected, I’ve got feet that are different sizes. Apparently most people have this, but the discrepancy on my feet is bigger than usual – a size and a half difference.

The other thing I learned is that overseas, in the US anyway, you can get shoes for wide feet and narrow feet, but NZ doesn’t have that: we’re just too small a market.

So some years back the shoe people just made a decision, all NZ shoes would be for wide feet. Which means that if, like me, you’ve got narrow feet, you are never going to get shoes that are very comfortable.

I suspect something similar has happened with men’s grunds. My theory is that overseas you can get them for blokes who ‘dress’ to the right or the left, but in NZ we’ve just been lumbered with grunds designed for guys who only ‘dress’ to one side. And it’s not my side.

This would explain why I’ve never had a comfortable pair.

I Can’t Believe It Was A Big Hit! – Second in an occasional series

The Sweet: Wig Wam Bam.

Conventional wisdom has it musical protest died in the 1970s. People who say that forget this band.

At a time when songs like ‘Spiders and Snakes’ ‘Convoy’ and ‘The Streak’ only really hinted at the growing social conscience of a generation, Sweet went all the way.

Sweet awoke the world’s sleeping youth with savage indictments of the phallocentric nature of much rock music ( Little Willy) and damning critiques of the bombing campaigns of the Second World War – Blockbuster and Ballroom Blitz.

Fox On The Run, meanwhile, seared the airwaves with a hard hitting protest against hunting.

To crown it all was this, Wig Wam Bam, a two-fisted, straight-from-the-gut rocking protest against the politics of colonialism and its impact on indigenous peoples.

To a generation made complacent by Kojak, Ape Hanger Bikes, Ali-Foreman fights and price freezes, Sweet led the way.

About time

NZ has joined the space race, we learned this week.

This is long overdue. It is a wonder, in fact that the US hasn’t previously decided to site its entire NASA programme here. Politics, I assume. The space programme sites were put where it was politically expeditious, and there aren’t many votes for Congress in the South Island of New Zealand.

Yet it is the obvious place for a space programme. As is well known, you can see the stars from this country better than almost anywhere else in the world. Not many people, not much night lights etc etc.

The Yanks could have saved a bundle if they’re put the space programme down here. All that expensive equipment needed to see where they’re going would not have been necessary. It would have been less costly, and the space ships would have been lighter. They’d have been able to go much faster.

I wrote about this to President Carter at the time but he never replied. I suppose he was too busy, what with the oil crisis and being attacked by that rabbit and everything.

But if they’d paid attention they’d have made it to the next solar system by now, no worries.

More public sector strike action – please

I don’t think there’s enough of this.

For too long there’s been a tendency for this goverment to take its public sector client base for granted.

In particular, I feel, the work of those downtrodden souls in the Inland Revenue Department has never been properly acknowledged.

It is clear what needs to be done. There must be IMMEDIATE strike action from all IRD employees. It may be a long, hard and bitter fight, but their cause is just.

They must down tools IMMEDIATELY and walk off the job RIGHT NOW.

And even if it takes years, they must hold out for their rights.