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Liberty Belle - Lunacy Sightings Vol. One

Liberty Belle - Lunacy Sightings Vol. One

Thankyou for the fantastic response to last week's Liberty Belle. I hadn't realised how much the column was missed – gosh it's nice to be missed. I was overwhelmed with the lunacy sightings sent in. Good work, and keep them coming. Before I begin, however, two bouquets. I must confess that though I write Libelle, I don't physically send it. That incredibly complicated task is undertaken by my surrogate mum, my minder, she-who-makes-me-eat, Janice Lopez, whose name appears in your 'Inbox'. Also, you may have noticed this year Libelle has had cosmetic surgery. Thanks for that go to Gavin Middleton, IT expert extraordinaire, who navigates the networks to get Libelle onto the Net. Cheers, guys.

Undoubtedly one of the best lunacy sightings was from Lindsay Mitchell, and was about egg and spoon races. A Wellington City Council holiday programme coordinator was asked not to use real eggs for egg and spoon races. Wooden eggs must be used, not just because they're cheaper but because, yes you guessed it, "there is an element of cultural sensitivity in [real eggs'] use because some cultures are offended by the use of food as a plaything".

There go the lolly scrambles. Apple bobbing's a thing of the past. Just about all children's party games will have to be banned – my kids loved the competition where teams had to dress up then run and eat a chocolate fish with a knife and fork. Come to think of it, aren't chocolate fish an insult to our marine creatures? And why do we only have brown chocolate fish? In the interests of diversity, tolerance and multiculturalism, shouldn't the manufacturers be forced to produce white chocolate fish? It could be deemed insensitive to some cultures that only brown fish are put into our mouths for pleasure.

Playdough made with flour's a no-no. The culture-sensitive police will be inspecting all playcentres. I suppose I should have stopped my children from eating anything at all, really, when they were wee. Rupert would use a banana as a toy gun, and eat his sandwiches into crusts and 'shoot' me with them from his highchair. So take note parents, no more fun with food. Mind you, mothers won't have to worry about this because they'll all be out in the workforce, since the Prime Minister (she-who-must-be-obeyed) assumes we all can't stand looking after our own children and are bursting to get out of the house.

And surely that was the biggest lunacy of the week? It brought to mind a lovely line I read when my children were small and I despaired of ever having a brain or a life again. Metaphorically, you're constantly tripping over untidy gumboots at the back door. You tidy them and curse the kids. The next day, and the next, ad nauseum, you do it again. Then one day you go out the door and there are only your own gumboots there. The children have grown up and left home. Children are a gift; enjoy while you can.

Yours in liberty

Deborah Coddington

Liberty Belle is a column from Deborah Coddington, Member of Parliament for ACT New Zealand.

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