I tried to post earlier today but my connection was down - it's been very unreliable lately - and of course, I then couldn't post until now because I had to watch Rage on TVOne. It's ironic that just when TVNZ has its charter cancelled, so it's no longer obliged or expected to do anything at all except make money for the government, it suddenly comes up with a superb Sunday night series of four outstanding New Zealand dramas. Given my earlier complaints about free-to-air programmes, it's been a real pleasure to have such fantastic TV to look forward to for the last month - fine scripts, brilliant acting, classy productions all round. Thanks, everyone, you've given me four great evenings.
On the other hand - if this is what our TV makers can do when they get the chance, how come we've had to wait so long for them to get it, and how many other great dramas have we missed out on in the process?
AND none of it had anything to do with the W.C., though I suppose you could see tonight's one, about the Springbok tour, as distantly connected with it. (I only recently found out what "off-side" means - I vaguely thought it was when some guy got too far over on the side, but my 86-year-old neighbour recently explained that it's when someone gets too far in front of everyone else on their team or "side". Which sounds more like "in-front" or "far-out" to me.)
It was probably just a brief respite. Overall the W.C. quotient in the media is steadily going up. Today the Sunday Star-Times reported on the vitally important question of how beer will be served at Eden Park. The Alcoholic Liquor Advisory Council (Alac) is concerned about caterers being able to serve four beers at once, and also about the fact that they will be cans, because cans can be thrown. So one caterer said in its liquor licence application that it would "reduce the 'high' risk of injury to fans from flying cans by ensuring staff opened the vessels [sic] before giving them to customers". No wonder Harvey long ago gave up going to live rugby games....
But now another caterer is complaining, because "the time taken to open all beer cans to stop them being used as missiles will 'negatively impact the experience for fans'." Though presumably not as much as being hit by a full can would. Translated, I think this means: 'If we have to open the cans it'll take longer and we won't be able to sell as many" - and at a reputed $8 a pop, no wonder the caterer is concerned.
Alac would have much preferred what is known, I have now learnt, as a "wet pour" - serving beer in plastic cups, which can't cause injuries - but the park's $320 milion makeover didn't allow for this. Here's the unforgettable way David Allott, Eden Park Catering's venue manager, explained the problem:
"Eden Park does not have the infrastructure to wet pour beer into the public areas of the stadium."
What a shame. It would have been so much quicker just to hose it straight in.