Monday, 18 July 2011

A Modest Proposal with some dessert.

  • Introduction:
     All right, this is it. This is, as they say, the big one. Everybody has one idea that is absolutely world changing idea in their lives and this, quite literally as it happens, is mine.  It is rather long which is why there are Cliff Notes down at the bottom in addition to the regular footnotes.
    However before we get to the big plan itself I'm going to have to give you a quick lesson in my countries history which is why this starts with

  • A brief history of New Zealand Geomythologically speaking:
    Maui, having found his mother, tricking fire from the gods, and beating up the sun went out fishing with his brothers. Of course they didn't want him to come since he had made a habit of being stronger, faster and just better than them. to tag along but he wasn't going to let a little thing like that stop him. By the time they that he was on board it was too late to turn back so they gave him an oar and told him to get paddling.

    So he did and he took them further out than any of them had been.
    Yet every time his brothers said “You know what? I think we've gone far enough” Maui would assure them that there was a great spot for fishing just a little further on and would paddle harder
    Eventually he stopped and they started to fish and all of his brothers had a great time catching all sorts of fish until the boat was fair groaning under their weight. But they wouldn't give Maui a hook or any bait which of course proved to be a mistake
    [2] since he took his own hook, that had been fashioned out of his grandmothers jawbone [3] and bashed his nose to cover it in blood before casting it over the side of the boat.

    Time passed as time does when one is fishing
    [4] but eventually he got a nibble and then was almost pulled off his feet as something took the hook. The boat was dragged this way and that but Maui planted his feet and pulled until he found that he had fished up an gigantic fish. [5]
    Maui was no fool and said to his brothers "Look guys.  Its obvious that this has gone all mythological.  I'm going to check with the gods about this fish and just make absolutly certain that we haven't angered any of them so don't touch the fish until I get back"
    "Of course Maui" his brothers said "you go talk to the gods and don't worry about us, we'll just sit here and do the crossword in the paper until you get back"

    But they didn't do the crossword [6] As soon as Maui had left his brothers argued amongst themselves and started pounding away on the fish which created the many mountains and valleys of the North Island.  Because, lets face it, if someone says tells you not to touch something then it guarantees that this is the first thing you're going to do as soon as their back is turned and this goes double if that person is your little brother who seems to be devoted to doing better than everyone else.
  • New Zealand Climate:
    Coming back to modern day New Zealand we have four seasons like the rest of the world but, due to our geographic position and also the hole in the ozone layer [7] our winters are long, cold and gloomy.
    Even if you are into skiing and the like, you only have to talk to a snowboarder for a few minutes before they start going on about the amount of time they have to spend in the lines to even get to the powder.

     Right Next door to us, geographically speaking, is Australia which has a climate that is the equivalent of that guy who has the heater on all day and goes to sleep with the oven on high. On the other hand one floor above us is Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga which are likewise tropical in climate although it is more like someone is having a very long, very hot shower.
  • Conservation:We have many different conservation groups in New Zealand. Some of them want to save the very small, work on Transmission Gully has been tied up for ages because of the snails that live there [9], to the very largest.
    Hint: It isn't the boat
    Currently we're working hard to stop the Japanese killing whales for scientific research and it seems that we're slowly making inroads into stopping it with activists harassing the whalers and our politicos keeping the issue on the table at the International Whaling Commission.[10] 

    My own position on whaling has never changed. If you are hunting them because it's part of your cultural traditions then that is fine as long as long as you hunt them in the traditional manner.  Oh and don't call it scientific whaling because you're fooling nobody.
    That being said I agree with those who say "Save the whales" because I'm going to need their raw strength.
    My big plan hinges on the whales cooperation with us and if I may speak frankly, after all those times we've pushed them back into the ocean after they've beached themselves again I'd go so far as to say that they owe us.

    She shall be our ambassador.  You can't say no to that face

    Using Ropes that have been woven from our native flax we shall fashion gigantic harnesses. [11] This will provide work for the unemployed and pass on valuable crafting techniques that might otherwise have been lost. When we have put the whales in their traces and attached the other ends to the North island we shall, ahem, harness the raw strength of these magnificent beasts and tow New Zealand northward to much more tropical climes. This will be possible due to the fact that, as pointed out in the first section, we are all living on the back of a giant fish. Every six months there will be a vote through the country on where to travel next and I predict that we will be able to effectively end all commercial whaling since it's against international law to hunt whales in New Zealand waters and who guess who's coming to visit Greenland?
  • Those left behind:
    Our smallest island, Stewart Island, shall remain behind as a geographic reminder that we're still there and just because the country is gone this doesn't mean that anyone can simply drift over and casually take our spot. [12] 
    Now I don't want to point any fingers here but Australia seems to be in the habit of pinching our stuff and when it sees that moving a country by whales is possible then it won't be long before they've tied all their jellyfish together and lassoed the biggest sharks they could find solely for the purpose of nicking our traditional waters.  All New Zealanders have memories of their attempts to claim the Buzzy Bee
Proudly Created in New Zealand

and the Pavlova [13]
Also Proudly created in New Zealand 
Regular Footnotes:

    1. Just to show them what happens when you try and leave him behind.
    2. For them I mean.  If they had been willing to share I would be writing this blog underwater so I'm cool with how it all went down.
    3. She was still alive when he got it which makes this the sweetest natural 20 in the history of anything.
    4. Endlessly is the word you're looking for.
    5. Matthew 4:19 doesn't sound quite as impressive when you've got a guy in another boat saying “Come with me and I will make you fishers of great big islands”
    6. 5 across: He believed Falsely (4 letters) Crosswords back then were amazingly specific
    7. To say nothing of those darn kids skateboarding on the sidewalk
    8. There is an interesting and obscure point of New Zealand law that applies here.  To paraphrase, if you discover a mountain that everyone else has missed, scale it and proclaim “I bags this mountain!” then it's totally yours if you manage to survive the avalanche caused by some moron shouting at the top of a mountain.
    9. No picture for the snails in question but I'm going to trust to luck that almost everyone who reads this is going to know what a snail looks like. 
    10. To the point where there are walkouts because they don't want to talk about it.
    11. Flax ropes are very strong and very soft. I'd mention that they are flexible but we're talking about rope here!
    12. Admittedly this method does give us two sets of New Zealand Waters our original ones and the formally international waters that we now occupy and we'll just have to live with this.
    13. Tradition dictates that I give out the recipe, So here it is:

      Prep time: 40 minutes
      Cook time: 1 hour
      Servings: 1 pavlova

      3 Egg Whites
      1 cup caster sugar
      1 teaspoon vinegar
      1 tablespoon cornflour
      1 teaspoon vanilla essence

      Beat egg whites until stiff (forms peaks). Add sugar - heaped tablespoon at a time - beating well after each addition. Then beat for at least 10 minutes. This is very important. Then sprinkle vinegar, cornflour and vanilla essence into mixture. Beat until blended.

      Coat baking paper with water drops to allow baking paper to stick to sides of tin and pile pavlova mixture in 20cm circle.
      Heat oven until 300°F (or 150°C). Put pav in oven and immediately turn oven down to 250°F (or 125°C) and leave for 1 hour. Then turn oven off and leave in oven until cold. (Usually overnight). This makes a nice crust on outside of pav.

       Before serving, cover pav in whipped cream and decorate with your favourite fruit.

      Cliff Notes for the tldr crowd:
      A Brief history of New Zealand
      Geomythologically speaking:
      Maui hid on his brothers boat and paddled very far.

      Maui fished up the North island.  It is known as Te Ika a Maui (The fish of Maui).

      If someone is told not to do something they will wait until they are alone before doing the very thing that they were told not to do.

      New Zealand Climate:
      Winter is very long in New Zealand
      Winter is cold and gloomy

      Australia, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga are very hot.

      Conservation groups are a big part of New Zealand
      We don't support whaling

      Whales can be used to tow the country into warmer waters.

      Those left behind:

      Stewart island will hold our place.

       Australia sometimes claims that our inventions are theirs.
      They aren't


    1. We could probably scootch ya'll in next to Florida, if ya'll have a longing for warmer weather. Right now it's getting to a nice, toasty 100 degrees F here in the south, and the humidity is nice and smothering as well. But, you'd have to mind the hurricanes in the autumn. Dun-Dun-Dunnnnnn!(<---dramatic sound FX)

    2. That sounds like a grand scheme. We had thought of visiting Vegas, because everyone needs a trip to Vegas in their lifetime but the raw tonnage of flying fish necessary to get the whales airborne was immense.

      But I'll talk to Uncle John and hopefully we'll come visiting soon!

      PS: we'll be the ones with the whales and the pavlovas