Monday, 15 August 2011

The Half Gallon Jar Project: Do it yourself racket is well named.


A few weeks ago I'm sitting on a three-ply tea chest which some enemy had left at my place for kindling. I'm thinking about all thee jobs I have to do around the place,, such as dealing with the twitch and oxalis, to say nothing of the blackberry and honeysuckle which creeps on to my section from the rich pakeha coot's place at the back of the section.
I get to thinking about this and that and one thing and another and say to myself, “Is it worth it?”
More better, I think, to pay rent and let the plurry landlord keep the place in order.
To make matters worse I get to thinking about all the dough I have to find during the few weeks for rates and interest and things like that.

In this mood I don't want any problems other than getting the cork out of the half-gallon jar.
Just then the wife's mother comes up to me and says like this:
Hori, the driveway is a disgrace to the street and the weeds are are growing up through the old bitumen. I think it's about time you put it down in concrete.”
Spare me days, “ I tell her, “I have just been nutting it out how I'm going to pay all my bills and you come across with a new on one just about the 50 quid touch.”
Tut, tut” she says “you must not talk like that. Don't you read the papers about all this 'Do it yourself' business?
Look at me, “ she bleats, “I used to spend a lot of money on the perm wave but now I do it myself.”
Crikey, she does not have to call for tenders to get her hair trimmed!

It's all done up with paper clips and pipe cleaners and looks like Topsy in the book I used to read when I was a was a kid. Mind you, she is not the full blooded Maori, otherwise she would have to get the motor-mower to keep the hair in order!
Anyway I decide to give this plurry concrete drive a go and order all the shingle and cement to arrive on the Saturday morning.
When the stuff is on the job a pakeha joker with horn rimmed glasses stops outside my and says “I take it, sir, that you are about to lay a concrete drive. What, may I ask, is the mixture you intend to put down?”

Six to to one,“ I tell him, which is better than you get when you back the plurry racehorses.
Ridiculous, My man,”” he barks. “Just a pure waste of cement. Eight to one is plenty.”
Another pakeha walks past a bit later and asks me what mixture I am going too use, and when I tell him he says: “Not strong enough. It will never hold. You had better use four to one”
Next morning the first pakeha arrives and says he will give me a hand.
What will you do?” I ask, and he says he will do the tamping.

He gets a box to sit on and takes a stick, then when I pour the concrete he mucks about with it and seems to be enjoying himself.
The other pakeha then arrives and tells me that he will be only too pleased to supervise the job.
I thanks” I say. “Take the easy chair, “ and I produce another box with a sack on it.
After a couple of hours these coots' wives arrive to see that they are not getting into trouble.
All this time the mother in law and the missus are working double shifts making tea, scones and cakes for these people. After a while who should I see coming down the road but the wife's brother.

Pardon me, folks” I say and I get under the house smartly and put my six pigs trotters and crayfish claws in a kerosene tin and mark it “Weedkiller”
I ask this brother in law if he will give me a hand. “Sure he tells me. “Where is the beer so I can help these good people?” Stiffen the crows, this coot couldn't work in an iron lung.
Well, I seem to be the only joker who is doing any work. This do it yourself racket is right and am I doing it myself!
Everybody is inside putting scones, cakes and tea where the flies can't get them, and the women are having a great time time.

Up till now I have not produced any drink stronger than tea 'cause I'm keeping a couple of half-gallon jars for Sunday morning. Do you know what? That brother in law of mine holds the floor and tells these people that I am very grateful for all the good advice I have received from these pakehas and opens a jar to give them one for the road.
That night the wife's sister arrives and says “Well Hori, it was about time you fixed that drive up with concrete. It looks super duper”

She then runs up and down it with the stiletto-heeled shoes. Well, spare me days, you should have a bo-peep at it now.
It looks like a North Auckland beach after the opening of the toheroa season.
Next morning I'm sitting at the bottom of the section opening a sugar bag of pipis which a friend of mine gave me when my small boy comes along and says “Dad, what are you doing?”
Look, son,” I tell him. “I'm opening pipis and you can tell your mother, and your granny and all the pakeha coots from up the road that I don't want the job supervised cause this is one job where I can do it myself.”


  1. *snicker* This is some funny stuff. Hoping for more!

    Hey, I thought of you today while watching a ghost-hunting TV show. It was on Napier Prison in, I believe, Hawkes Bay. Apparently, the Maori were ticked off because the episode was filmed there last year (which is funny because they...the prison... have ghost tours there often and do silly "get served food in prison" type of themed tours....if they still do that, that is) because it was disrespectful to the ghost/spirit/what-have-you of Kereopa Te Rau, a Maori who ate a guy's eyeballs (ewww). (Of course, there was more to him that that, but that's the ickiest)

    It's totally haunted. *Eeek!*

    What's that got to do with you? LoL..nothing except that you speak of the Maori sometimes, and you're the only New Zealander I "don't really know but kinda do in a very, and I mean very, miniscule way"....and so there you go-->It made me think of you. *smile*

  2. Well, it's nice to be thought of while people watch television perhaps if enough of them do I'll be able to make an appearence!

    Napier is very much north of my lands as I come from rather more central Otaki region, (I'm not Maori but I am native)
    I do belong to a tribe ancestrally speaking but it isn't something that has ever played a huge role in my life to date.

    My Grandmother who left us earlier in the year was very much into genealogy and managed to trace her own ancestry back to four of the great canoes that arrived
    in Aotearoa which gave her the right to wear a moko. (Don't quote me on that since I'm not certain how correct that is) She didn't ever get one done but she talked about it a few times.

    According to her my Great-to-the-power-of-nth grandfather was a tohunga priest who could create whirlpools. An ability that, sadly, has not been passed down to me. (Although if it had been it would certainly explain why we kept on winning the Americas Cup)

    As for hauntings and the supernatural we've certainly got our own share of each. So much so that the homes of Taniwha [Tani-fa] are taken into account when roads and train tracks are being laid.

  3. Wow, you have a very cool ancestry; he must have been a high class priest. (What an awesome ability!)(*o*) Mine isn't nearly as cool.

    My mom's ancestry is from Scotland on both sides (though, her mom's ancestral clan were forced into Ireland for about 100 years before coming to the US. The only "notable" ancestor we have on that side is Mentor Graham, Abe Lincoln's schoolteacher. Everyone else in that family were mostly ministers and carpenters, and they pretty much still are to this day.)

    My dad's side (all sides) is mainly a mix of Cherokee and Irish. I stand out like a sore thumb against them becuase they're all dark, have black hair and black eyes....and here I am, snow white, green eyes, but I do have the dark hair. My brother and I look nothing alike because he looks like they do. My daughter, she is even kinda-dark with black eyes (though light colored hair) (She doesn't seem to have gotten any DNA from my ex-husband). But, today, the ginormous family is like a rainbow because we have so many different races and nationalities in it (lol...we love...a LOT)

    Anyway...ancestry can be cool and it's neat to see where we came from. I think it's awesome that you could have yours traced thus. It's really kick-arse.

    And, I'm sorry for the loss of your Grandmother.

    (Here I go again....making another humungous post. I talk too much sometimes...need an "off" switch...okay, okay, I'm gone....)*grin*

  4. Ministers and Carpenters can have a pretty big impact sometimes. I can certainly name one who seems to have left his mark on the world ;)