"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more!"
Or to be accurate, I had been, in the famous words of Howard Beale in the 1976 film Network, “mad as hell”, earlier in the morning.
By afternoon, I’m drinking a beer in the sun at the Puhoi Pub, just north of Auckland and taking in the preparations for the annual Puhoi Axeman Wood Chopping Carnival.
As far as I can tell, this involves moving around piles of metre-length logs, and a lot of consulting.
The usual weekend motorcyclists who frequent the pub are elsewhere today, but are more than compensated for by the black-singleted axemen waiting around before things get serious tomorrow.
I comment on the beauty of one of the woodchopper’s kelpies and his friend immediately chimes in – “Him or the dog?... they say most dogs look like their owners. Haw, haw, haw.”
Replete with references to the Dukes of Hazzard, they keep up a hilarious running commentary on the comings and goings at the pub the whole time I’m there and I’m laughing despite myself.