Think I’ve recovered from last weekend. It was a bit of a stunner though. No, I’m not talking about the election: I was up a mountain and a big hardwood door fell on me and knocked me out. Have you ever had a concussion before? I think one in two of you must have some kind of on-going head injury, because I came down from Awakino, high in the St Mary’s Range – where not much has changed since the Waitaki Ski Club was formed between the two wars that would decimate the valley and leave nothing but widows and crosses from Oamaru to Kurow and where the spring slush is soft and the snow melt makes the old water race, Fluming Gully, waterfall cold over gold – to discover a National landslide and Winston Peters as kingmaker AGAIN, the last thing I bloody expected.
That’s the problem with blows to the head, though, aside from unsightly lumps, you’re temporarily bewildered, lose the run of yourself. “Who are those people in the kitchen?” I kept asking, no idea where I was, like an Alzheimer’s patient on a golf course, a lovely opportunity for MMM to picture my swift and certain intellectual decline (only fair, he won’t always be massively strong). The constant cranial pounding was like some awful Dub Step. “My head really hurts.”
“I’m sure it does,” said the Much-Maligned Man, whose own head was a bit hurty; the mountain suddenly weirdly teeming with women who wanted his attention. There’s just no safety procedure for that, other than climbing higher; above the receding snow exposing the dirty Spaniard and wild Irish, past a big black spider tip-toeing across the white.
Concussion though, it’s a doddle: check the patient knows their name, the date, who the prime minister is (turns out I did) apply a cold compress, aid sleep, provide a bowl to be sick in. The blow to your head might smack you silly in the short term, but it’s the 72 hours afterwards that really matter. Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) symptoms include fatigue (your poor wee brain is trying to heal itself), irritability and impaired memory. Concussions and repetitive play-related injuries have been known to led to depression, anxiety, are even thought to cause psychotic episodes.
Is that what we’re having, New Zealand? Have 46% of us gone a little mad, as Psycho’s Norman Bates says we all do sometimes? Dressed in our mother’s clothes, off on a stabbing spree? Maori Party, stab. Greens, stabbity stab. Medical marijuana, stab. Is it not enough there are too many people squished atop the two deflating lilos we call islands, that wages remain low while food is atrociously expensive and the country is so filthy we can’t swim in or drink the water? Isn’t it enough that our government keeps lying to us? Why would anyone want more of the same? Isn’t this the oft-used definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? And worse, a result still so uncertain, with special votes yet to be counted before a tremulous parliament can be formed. Labour-Greens-Winston or National-Act-Winston? The only certainty is that we’re all hostages to one man’s massive vanity. Trump much, New Zealand?
Since the door fell on me I’ve flaked out several times, been super-tired, not to mention as grumpy as Winston being asked for a straight answer. I would have gone to the hospital but I wasn’t sure we still had any. What the hell New Zealand? What the hell? I’m not the only one who’s been whacked over the head here: the homeless, the mentally ill, low-income families living pay check to pay check – you mass immigration-milk-powder-to-China-property-speculators may as well have king hit them too, and you can bet the headache is going to last for those of us who wouldn’t know a capital gain from a hole in our pocket. Thanks for nothing, you chicken-hearted bastards (because National voters never admit it, do they? Always stay schtum when the rest of us are looking for the culprits), you change-phobic cretins, you door slammers. I’m so mad at you. If my head didn’t hurt so much I’d butt you with it.