This story was first published in May 2019.
A Kiwi woman's long-running competition with her dad has reached new heights - literally.
Bridie Connell, a Christchurch-born actor now living in Melbourne, has spent the last 15 years locked in a fierce prank war. On the first day of every month, she tries to wish her father a "pinch and a punch for the first of the month" before he can do the same.
They've both tried unorthodox techniques to get the message to the other person, which Connell detailed in an entertaining Twitter thread. She once organised musicians to serenade her dad with the phrase, while on another occasion he pranked her on live radio.
"It's happened in a live poetry reading. It's happened at a funeral. It ruins New Year's Eve," she says.
On May 1, Connell boarded an Air New Zealand flight home to New Zealand for her cousin's birthday. As it was an early flight, she reasoned it was too soon to give her dad the customary "pinch and a punch" phone call and decided to wait until she landed.
Little did she know, he had other plans.
Connell describes the moment a flight attendant came over to her seat and said he had a "special delivery" for her, which she took to mean she was being upgraded to the next class.
But when he handed her a letter, she began to realise what was going on.
"To my most beloved daughter," it read.
"I do hope you're sitting back reclining comfortably as you wend your way across the Tasman. I can't wait to see you, and I know you are going to be very excited and thrilled when you see me!
"By the way, while I remember... pinch and a punch for the first of the month, no returns!"
He also said Air New Zealand staff are "fabulous" for playing along with his prank.
"I am SO annoyed but also SO impressed," Connell says. "And the worst part is tonight I'll have to sit through a family dinner with everyone telling and retelling this story and Dad being all smug."
She spent the remainder of the flight planning her revenge to make sure she wins the next first of the month, but this one's sure to be hard to beat.