1920s-era character building in Grafton

Grafton’s despicable hordes

I never wanted to be a parent.

Kids just didn’t seem like anyone I’d want to spend time with. Don’t know why.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 9.32.50 pm


It’s not that I despise children, with their exasperating need for constant attention, their volatile emotional states, their ‘live and let live’ approach to hygiene, their nonexistent social skills, and their psychotic conversations.

It’s just that, I despise children. How irritating, then, that I now live upstairs from a kindergarten.



I know I’m coming across as a babbling old fart shouting tired clichés about kids playing on someone’s lawn, but there’s a very good reason for it, which I’ve now forgotten.

Oh, right: I like children as individual people. In fact, some of my best friends have children, as far as I’m aware. And all my nephews and nieces are cool beans.

It’s when kids form hordes, clamoring like armies of Orcs disguised as ugly children, that they become instantly despicable. Kids in groups are the people my parents instructed me to avoid when I was growing up. While other kids were outside doing sports or stealing shit from the deli, I was sitting quietly in my bedroom, hands folded on my desk, waiting to turn 18.



It has taken me since that time to become an actual adult. I haven’t wet myself  in years, I rarely simper in public. And now Jacquie and I bought this flat.

My personal equity until last month had never matured so much as rocked back and forth in the fetal position. Owning a home has foisted great responsibility on my shoulders to convince other people that I’m mature. It’s a duty I take quite seriously.


Our apartment is a funky walk-up, a short walk to Karangahape Road, in one direction, and the Auckland Domain in the other. And as one reader pointed out, it’s a very convenient place to be hit by a bus, because Auckland hospital is right across the road. (I’ve already taken the time to introduce myself to the emergency room staff).

Our home would be perfect, if not for the horde of Orc-children downstairs.



The other day, one of the them was shrieking and sobbing in the playground. For about six hours. I got so pissed off, I finally went to the window and screamed, “I’ll give you something to cry about.” Then I told her how much money was in my checking account. One of the teachers heard what I’d said and scolded me for scaring the children, who had all run inside. Mission accomplished.

After that, the teachers would shoot cold leers of indignation in my direction, whenever I happened to pass the window. They didn’t like my attitude toward the children, and they were furious last Monday, when I got a little drunker than usual for a work day at noon. A terrible commotion downstairs drew me to the window. One boy was beating up another, and that made me angry. So I lit a cigarette, topped up my Jack Daniels and marched right to the window and screamed at the bully.

“Leave that kid alone, you little bastard,” I said. Then I pointed to myself and said “This is you in 39 years.”

Then I tossed the Jack Daniels out the window, and it splashed all over the kid’s Spider Man costume.

Then I flicked my cigarette at him, hitting him in the eye. It was a lot of fun watching him try to explain to his teachers why he reeked of alcohol, to say nothing of the cigarette butt still smoldering at his feet.

Those teachers need to relax about the whole incident, because I was simply trying to illustrate that in New Zealand, anyone can grow up to be the kind of person who smokes cigarettes and drinks heavily in the middle of a work day.

So, not only did I stop the bully from beating his victim, I also put the fear of god in him, using my life as an example.

They should be paying me.