News Heroes and Villains: Searching for a Forever Home
Our news heroes and villains this week are all searching for a home, whether they're a Cemetery Cat, a Naked Man Who Stole Police Car or an Imaginary Chinese Investor.
By Newsworthy Executive Producer Jono Hutchison
This is a tough one. Teen Girl displayed remarkable courage and endurance - the kind of determination to survive that has made our great species the dominant force on Earth. Never mind the fact that we’re a confused and gangly bunch of bipeds with minimal natural defence mechanisms: we are the most averse to extinction, so we have prospered.
For being the epitome of human survival, Teen Girl deserves awards and medals and glory. She will probably get them. The Barfoot Leaker, however, will get no awards for his bravery in passing on a list of surnames that may or may not have been Chinese. What did he get for sharing this oblique and mostly useless information? He got fired. Some world we live in.
Leaker: we may never know exactly what you did or why, but we do know one thing: you are the quiet hero of this round.
By Alex O’Hara
The reign of corgis at Buckingham Palace is coming to an end after more than 80 years, and oh what a glorious 80 years it's been.
The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during that time and they've always been fiercely loyal to her. One bit the royal clock winder, another accompanied her and Prince Philip on their honeymoon.
Now there are just two corgis left and the Queen says she won't replace them, as she's worried about tripping over the small dogs and injuring herself.
On behalf of the Commonwealth I'd like to thank the corgis for their service to the Queen. We salute you.
Cemetery cat had me standing in a cemetery late at night wondering where I went wrong in my life. Four years at University, four years in journalism, and here I am chasing around a stray cat. Sigh. Cemetery cat is definitely no hero.
This is a preposterous outcome and was clearly influenced by Alex’s personal bias. I am overruling her decision and this definitely has nothing to do with a creeping fear I have that Cemetery Cat might be a ghost cat who will haunt me forever with its spectral glowing eyes.
By Hayden Donnell
Barfoot Leaker saw shapes moving in the darkness of the cemetery. Menacing visions of sharp claws and long fangs danced in the gloom. To him, they looked like Imaginary Chinese Investors. Their spectral hands loomed over Auckland, ready to clutch it and consume it whole.
A flash of panic overcame him. He staggered backward and ran toward his office at Barfoot & Thompson. He got out his records. “My God,” he thought. “The numbers. They all add up.” He could lose his job, but he had to do something. Leaker compiled the data and pressed send.
If only he’d kept peering into the night a little longer. He would have seen that those menacing shapes weren’t Chinese investors. They were Cemetery Cat. She didn’t want to hurt anyone. She only wanted what we all want: to have a home; to be liked; to feel welcome in Auckland.
By Jenny Suo
It's probably not a good idea to start writing about the Egg Master after having a family sized bag of chips and half a bottle of Sprite for breakfast but here goes. The Egg Master claims to be a new, hassle free way to cook eggs but I'm pretty sure the person who invented it hates everything on earth, but especially eggs.
You crack a couple of eggs into the deep, dark chasm of the Egg Master and once it's cooked, with great effort, it squeezes a dense log of yellow out, ready to be consumed. I've witnessed my dog make similar messes while out on walks so, I can tell you now, I don't need this.
What I do need though, is to own a home but it seems a couple of eggs are causing problems in that department too.
This week, Labour released a list of people with Chinese sounding last names who have recently bought property here and suggested overseas Chinese investors are driving up Auckland house prices. However the data didn't reveal if the buyers were born here, or in China, or are even Chinese at all.
So at this stage they are only imaginary Chinese investors but boy, are they evil! These guys have just waltzed on in and acted like they own the place, because they do.
Plus, their surnames are devilishly similar to many hard working New Zealand citizens who actually saved up to buy their houses.
The Egg Master may produce a hot log of awfulness, but imaginary Chinese investors are so imaginary, that their evil knows no bounds. They're probably also responsible for making it freezing everywhere, stopping cemetery cat from finding its forever home, and keeping IKEA from New Zealand too.
By Newsworthy Executive Producer Jono Hutchison
Len Brown is no stranger to opprobrium. One could say it comes with the territory of being a politician. One could also say it comes from parking in territory allocated to cyclists.
This week, over in America – the true home of democracy now that Greece has demonstrated that referenda are meaningless – a rogue man was stalking the streets. He was dressed like an Ancient Greek wrestler, which is to say he was NUDE. It was in this state that he was discovered by a helpful policeman. The officer stood on the side of the road and tried, politely, to coax the aforementioned naked man off the bonnet of his police car. “OK that’s my car,” he said. “No one’s in there.” Well, the exposed hoodlum jumped at that opportunity – right into the law enforcement vehicle. He sped off into the night, flashing the police lights like he had flashed his unmentionables.
Talk about giving someone an inch and they run a marathon. Naked Man took advantage of a naïve and friendly police officer. Len Brown at least reported his own alleged crime to Auckland Transport. The naughty, unrepentant nudist is our victorious villain.
By Hayden Donnell
Naked Man is a criminal, but at least he’s upfront about it. He stripped. He stole a police car. He got caught. It’s not conventional. It’s not pleasant. It is radically honest. He stood nude before society and said: “This is me. You may not like it. It may not be right. But today, I’m not changing.”
Imaginary Chinese Investors are the opposite of Naked Man. They exist in shadows; thrive in uncertainty. Their imaginary voice floats down every phone within 10km radius of a house auction. Whenever a Chinese name is written down - even a name that just sounds like it could be sort of Chinese - their imaginary hands emerge offering wads of cash.
Our news villains this week are like a horror film, or a decently-run torture chamber. Their scariest and most dastardly acts always play out off-screen, in the kingdoms of our minds. They are a lingering look at a weirdly-shaped knife. A scuffling sound in a darkened hallway. Their power is in mystery. Just don’t flick on the lights.