Politics on Main Street

Posted on Dec 14, 2016 | Comments Off on Politics on Main Street

‘That’ll be ten dollars and twenty cents, Sir.’

‘But they’re on special.’

‘Only if you have your card, Sir.’

‘I don’t believe in cards.’

The checkout operator and I look at each other.  She’s about a hundred years younger than me but we are as one in our opinion of this comment.

‘Use mine,’ I pushed my card along the counter.

He frowned.  ‘Isn’t that cheating?’

I took my card back.  We waited. Then he sighed deeply..’Okay thanks.’

I was very tempted but in the interests of the queue I pushed the card back.  He said, ‘John Key’s not the first you know..since Gareth threw his hat in the ring they’re scattering like flies…Cunliffe, Shearer… and I hear McCully’s on the way.  There’ll be others.’

‘Who’s Gareth?’ said the checkout operator.

The guy frowned, shook his head, and walked off.

‘Don’t get mixed up with the Gareth who’s a greenie,’ I said, ‘or the Gareth who composes music, this is the one who’s got lots of money and rides a motor-bike.’

‘So like Key but rides a motor-bike?’

‘Well this Gareth thinks cats should be allowed to die out – I don’t know how John feels about them.’

‘So does he ride a Harley?  Which gang does he ride for? That’ll be forty-two dollars, sixty cents thanks. I’ll look him up. Have a nice day.’

‘Yes but Phil Goff rides a motor-bike,’ someone on the path leading to the library said as I came along.  ‘And he’s one of the ones that left,’ someone else pointed out.  Then she said, ‘Hey, what do you reckon?  Will he hold a referendum on legalising cannabis?’

“if he’s got any sense,’ someone else said.  ‘I’m told he’s into the environment, leafy green things, all that stuff.’

‘Yeah but motor-bikes and cannabis,’ said someone doubtfully.

There was a knot of people on the footpath outside the Post Office.  ‘Did you hear?’ A guy sitting on a mobility scooter said, ‘this chap called Gareth and Phil Goff are going to have a race and whoever wins gets to be PM.’

‘Really?’ said a woman buying a raffle ticket for a trailer-load of groceries, ‘I thought Gareth was against using petrol-driven vehicles?’

‘That’s a different Gareth,’ said the man on the mobility scooter, ‘this is the one who writes music.’

‘Nah,’ said a passing college kid, ‘it’s the one who wants to get rid of cats.’

‘Jesus,’ said the man on the mobility scooter, ‘he needn’t think he’s getting his hands on my Ginger.’

Down by the pub a man was writing on the notice board.  ‘Meeting here tonight to discuss this rooster called Gareth,’ he said to me.  ‘Apparently he’s going to legalise cannabis and feed it to cats.  Bit of a waste I reckon. You coming?’

‘Sorry,’ I said, ‘previous engagement.’

As I turned into my drive I heard someone over the fence at Nga PuraPura, ‘All I’m saying,’ he said, ‘is it’s beyond a coincidence.  That’s all.’  He waited a bit and as I disappeared round the corner of my house I heard him say, ‘Sam Lotu-Liga?  Has he?  Really?  One of my kids wants to learn to ride a motor-bike.  Maybe I better let him.’