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Season of Joy, Goodwill and Dodgy Excuses Arrives

The Napkin Diaries
By Paula Pistol

Excuses, Exschmuses

The Season of Joy, Goodwill and Dodgy Excuses has arrived. As promised, the girls and me went to Indigo for the “Christmas on the Rocks” gig last hot Friday. While we watched Five Car Pileup’s Reta le Quesne take the stage in a tight leopard-print mini dress, Gita Mann wandered over to spend some time with her friend who was on the door.

The cover charge was $10, which for five bands equated to $2 a band. In just a few minutes on the door, Gita heard the following excuses for why punters should get in for cheap or free - "I've just got back from overseas with no money but the first thing I wanted to do was see a NZ band - I should get in for free"; "Surely the band would appreciate one dollar rather than no dollars?"; "I only want to see one of the five bands, so can I give you two bucks?"; "I'm underage - can I get a discount??".

Typically, Wanda Martini spotted some of these same people forking out $12 the next day for the 11.45pm session of Harry Potter at the Embassy. The logic does not compute. On the one hand you’ve got a product that’s already a phenomenon, backed with big studio bickies, guaranteed to make money. On the other you’ve got five bands who’ve practiced for months, hauled ass across town with their gear and put on a hell of a show, guaranteed only to make rock’n’roll fans smile. But Gita did want me to make special mention of the older guy who came in late with two mates, pulled out a crisp $100 to pay for all three, stayed for one song - and didn’t demand his money back! Whoever you are – you’re a legend and Wanda wants to know if you are single.

The excuses kept coming over the weekend. Sarah Barr heard a classic when she eavesdropped on a group of jolly office types who’d decided to carry their work’s Christmas party festivities on to the Matterhorn last week.

On the other side of the courtyard table, a woman unfurled a poster she’d recently acquired to show her friends - to the great interest of one of the office lot, who laid claim to the poster as her own. It appeared the poster-fancier had been at the same party.

When confronted with the bad luck of being right next to the person from whose office she had taken the apparently limited-edition poster, the woman explained, "I didn't steal it, I merely took it off the wall, rolled it up and popped it on top of my bag..." How's that for poetic license?!

I think the basis of “good party behaviour” this season is relatively simple. Good guests bring a bottle of wine and a ready smile. Bad guests drink everyone else's wine and take something of yours when they leave. Perhaps we could apply the New Zealand beach mantra: Take only photographs, leave only footprints (and don’t swim in your jeans after a few too many chardonnays).

Speaking of the Matterhorn, I meant to say a belated Goodbye to purry, dribbly Lady, who has gone to the Big Matterhorn in the Sky. She’ll be best-remembered by the ginger fur that we keep finding affectionately shed on our jackets.

Napkin Diaries are first published in the Capital Times.
napkindiaries@hotmail.com

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