Stories, thoughts, observations, rants and dribble. Just another of my attempts to keep the interested people informed ...

Friday, April 17, 2009

I would like a title, but only if people continued to say my name right

So I got up ridiculously early this morning to attend this Prime Minister talky breakfast thing. All in all, it was pretty good. My part of the whole affair was to present people with their predominantly correctly-spelled name tags, even though I didn't warrant one myself. Mine was written on a piece of paper in black Sharpie, and put into a name tag sleeve. Extra classy (although I do love black Sharpies).

Before the talky part, I got to chat with a policewoman (is that even a correct term anymore? Female community security person?) who was on the PM's security staff, and she gave me the lowdown on how easy the Thailand situation was for them. It was also kind of nice to chat with a few Kiwis for a change. I kind of hope that there are a few more social (rather than networking) events by KEA (the NZ expat association) in the future.

Mr Key, or "JK"* (as he was introduced, complete with air quotes), came across as personable, knowledgeable, and optimistic. He even played down the incident where he told the Aussies to keep their hands off certain controversially Kiwi exports (but they could have Russell Crowe on a bad day). This is such an old joke that I found reading this article (even though it's written from an Australian point of view) quite embarrassing, so I'm glad he made it seem like it was blown out of proportion.

Generally, he handled the speech and Q&A session really well, so I don't actually have anything more to say about his part, except that he really wants to get everyone in New Zealand fibre-based internet, which can't be a bad thing. He just really wants it. Disappointingly, he neither drove a bus through New Zealand town, nor sang a song** about it.

The most notable part of the morning for me was the mortifying moment where the MC was thanking the delegates who came along with the PM. He announced the Honourable Patsy Wong, whose name is actually Hon. Pansy Wong. He didn't skip a beat, either, so it's possible he's never met the woman, or read her name. He also mispronounced the name of one of the organisers (who's also my friend's dad), but I suppose at least he got the PM's name right. He also did a notable amount of public sucking up ("I'm really proud to be a New Zealander at a time where our country would elect such a great man" [paraphrase!], etc.), so I bet he'd be an amazing personal assistant or PR rep, as long as he managed to memorise the correct pronunciation of his boss's name.

*This should really be reserved for the great John Kirwan, in my opinion, or, at a push, Jay Kay from Jamiroquai.
**YouTube is still blocked in China, so I can't tell quite how awful this video will be. I trust it's still the same song, though. It's a great day for dogs, not just here, but everywhere in the North Island.

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