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The answer is not that simple

It is surely the most stressful time of the year.

Weather bombs notwithstanding [or, for Wairarapa, the threat of drought to start 2024], there’s nothing that comes remotely close to lifting one’s anxiety levels as the last month on the calendar. The level of organisation required during the ever-quickening buildup is sky-high and is undertaken while trying to manage the everyday aspects of life, which can be stressful enough. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. Well, Christmas Day is finished with, at least.

Hosting the family, of both the immediate and extended variety, is no easy task. It can involve prolonged periods of cleaning beforehand, constant swapping of so-called “crucial” directions and instructions, the tricky matter of sleeping arrangements, prepping and serving truck-loads of food, and the actual and sometimes painful but nonetheless mandatory interaction with, and entertaining of, people you see once a year. A game of charades, anyone?

This is followed by even more cleaning and the often fruitless pursuit of enough sleep to have one feeling sufficiently rested to return to work.

It is small wonder then, that many of us turn to the comfort of a seasonal tipple to help us through the day-week-month. Nor is it surprising that some of us arrive at the view that there is simply not enough said plonk in the world to provide any meaningful support in the silly [behaviour] season. But still, we try. And, ultimately, regret that we tried so hard.

An alternative solution, or so we might like to think, in difficult times, comes in the form of money. Dosh, funds, readies, loot, coin, bread and the dough with which to make more … bread.

If only we had more of it, all our problems would be solved immediately. We’ve just been spending it like it was going out of fashion, but, lo and behold, if we just had an extra pile or two under the mattress, everything would suddenly be sweet.

If only it were that simple. It’s why New Zealanders buy lotto tickets in such large numbers. In fact, we give them as presents. Simple. You pick your numbers or have them picked for you, and if they come up … bonanza. There’s a plan in place, sort of, so we know exactly what we’re doing if we win big. Cars, boats, houses … the whole kit and caboodle. The trouble is, the odds of winning are astronomically small. Thus, you have to cope with massive disappointment every week.

So, what now?

Well, would you believe it, the answer arrived in my junk mail just last week. What extraordinary timing.

I got an email from an entirely credible individual with extremely close links to the Bank of Nigeria who wanted to park an enormous amount of United States currency in an overseas account for a short time so as to avoid the foreign taxman. And they struck upon me, of all the people in the world, to be the lucky recipient of a 15 per cent commission. Bingo.

Dr [nice touch] Ade Akerele and his stash of greenbacks are about as genuine as Donald Trump’s tan. I deleted the email, as I have done with all other similarly themed correspondence [as should you] and, in doing so, resisted the temptation to invite him to next year’s Christmas.

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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