Tabliod Hack

Wayne Peters Stars in Freddy Mercury Homage Tour!

Paul Dimmery Seen at Scottish River Dancing Convention with Rebel Motorcycle Leader – Having Fun!

Morris Cutforth, Kermit and Miss Piggy in shocking incident at Mander Park.

Whangarei Council agree to build giant outhouse at Town Basin as a kiwi twist on the world famous Hundterwasser Buildings – Mark Simpson goes to Vienna to Sell Them One!

Phil Heatley gets lead role as Maria in The Sound of Music (the rap ‘Frack That Hill’ version).

Vince Cocorullo Abducted by Aliens.

Signs Martian Ratification to Fix Life ‘Out There’.

Northtech Functional!

These are just some of the headlines you will never see in the new look ‘tabloid’ version of the Advocate.

Which is a great pity. The world would be a better and more entertaining place if even half of the above headlines were not complete fabrications.

Nevertheless I am determined to launch my career as a tabloid columnist in the hope that Rupert Murdoch will notice me and pay me a million dollars to go and live in Australia and work for him there. Hey. It worked for Paul Henry and he can’t read or write. I decide to hack something. Anything. And then I realise I can’t think of any Northland personalities interesting enough to warrant finding out about. This is disheartening but not a deterrent.

I’d like to find a prominent political figure cross-dressed in K. Road and lip-syncing ‘Baby Love’ with two other Supremes. A local religious leader with a stripper called Candy Cane….that kind of thing. How about pictures of the local gang leader with his secret ‘Hello Kitty’ collection.

I prepare to hack at random. Wilfully. To joyfully disregard legality or prudence. It is about then that I realise that I only use my computer as a glorified type-writer and I have yet to learn to text. It is faster for me to walk the 10ks round to a friend’s house and tell her that I’m not coming than it is to text it.

I decide instead to start taping conversations. Not having the stomach for cups of tea with the two Johns (Banks and Key that is) I need to think of someone of marginal public interest who will suddenly and randomly tell me rudely what he thinks about the world without being asked. Thank goodness for Wayne Peters.

Carrying the familial gift for roar and rancour; a veritable cockerel on P, he tells me what a waste of space this newspaper is and asks the universe “who even reads it?” I agree that the columnists in particular are particularly appalling and stop short of suggesting they should be summarily executed. Given Micheal Laws’ indiscretions in this department last year I felt it unwise. Too late I realise I have no instrument on me with which to tape this conversation. When I finally do get home and pick up the mobile phone – it has a message on it dripping with sarcasm from a friend noting that the ‘mobile’ in mobile phone is indicative of its mobility function, which ipso facto means that theoretically you should have it on you rather than leave it at home.

I go back to tabloid old school and head to some Whangarei bars and wait for notable night-life to appear. Two of the pubs have closed. For good. The other one has a very inebriated Sharon running, crying and shoeless after a generic Shane declaring her love. I want to tell her that if he’s running away he’s probably just not that into her.


My tabloid journalism career is over. I’ll have to go back to where the money isn’t.

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