Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: The Joys of Unclehood

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  • andrew llewellyn,

    Mouahaha! What is it with kids & McDonalds? I confess I reached the end of my tether one weekend with my nephews (8 & 10 at the time), and admittedly, we'd dragged them all over the place at short notice as we watched, and "supported" a 15 year old in a triathlon, where the nearest McDonalds was miles away & the only snacks were chips, hotdogs on sticks, hippie vegan stuff from a hippie vegan stall, and donuts.

    aND i BELLOWED AT ONE STAGE "wE'RE NOT "QUAXING" GOING TO "QUAXING" MCdONALDS EAT YOUR "quaxing" donut & be "quaxing" GRATEFUL!

    Told their parents they'd been angels when we dropped them off.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    My wife used to take delight in giving a sticky chocolate fish to the infants of friends- until we gained kids of our own. A sign of good writing is the resonance in the reader. Keep it coming David.

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    What is it with kids & McDonalds?

    Network effect. Even if you don't go there, some of their little frinds will demand their birthday there and they get hooked.

    Also, McDonalds advertise heavily to kids. I'm not at home, so I can't give you the cite, but I can give you the gist of the quote a C*O level McDonalds manager gave a financial paper, which was to specify their goal of having kids eat at least 20 McDonalds meals per month on average...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Glorious, I was raised under a poster of Bobby Sands and a Mother who told me "Jesus was a Socialist", as a batton from the "Special Constables" of the waterfront strike stood in the corner of the room. My family are orange and green, red and blue, royalist and republican. Always 'considerate' in conversation to ask what the other thinks on a subject, but only as a means to establish the opposite view.

    It is the right, no duty of every uncle to load a child up with sugar before dropping them back to their parents, so too buying noisy gifts with which to have a 1/2hr of fun and leave the child with endless hours of enjoyment at home.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Given my son's first present from his Uncle last week was a tiny Motorhead T-shirt he may have a few similar "cool visits with his Uncle" in his future...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1712 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    aND i BELLOWED AT ONE STAGE "wE'RE NOT "QUAXING" GOING TO "QUAXING" MCdONALDS EAT YOUR "quaxing" donut & be "quaxing" GRATEFUL!

    Yessss... My ability to be a cool aunt is sort of hampered by my brother's determination to be cool uncle to his own daughter. After several years of observation of said niece, I've been forced to conclude that either my brother or his partner must be Satan.

    My mother is the most patient person I know. She once took Brother and Niece to the Bay. Niece spent entire first half of trip whining for an ice cream. Halfway through the ice cream, she decided that what she really wanted was chips. Having already endured a week of Whim Catering, my 80 year old mother said, "If you buy her chips, I'm getting in the car, and I'm going home, and I'm leaving you here."

    There were no chips.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4286 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    "Maybe a child," said Jennifer uncertainly.

    thats sweeeeet.

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    What is it with kids & McDonalds?

    While I can't say I like it, the people who do the marketing, branding, design work, and create the public image of McDonalds are masters at what they do.

    Even in my relatively resistant brain they stand above other takeaway places that I actually like the food of better.

    In my son's brain, no contest.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6145 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Yessss... My ability to be a cool aunt is sort of hampered by my brother's determination to be cool uncle to his own daughter.

    Well, I've got a rather pleasant niche in the family ecology -- the Big Gay Eccentric Cardigan-Wearing 'Uncle' who says 'no' a lot, prefers sushi to Maccas, and has an ever so slightly intimidating bellow (and an aversion to repeating himself). Though when you find yourself saying "You mean yes, dear. 'Yah' doesn't mean anything unless you're a pirate. Or German."...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11617 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I can say with some pride that my kids (aged 3 and 6) have never darkened the door of McDonalds - largely due to the lack of meatless options. Would that the rest of their diet was pure though. They request take-away pizza for dinner on an almost nightly basis. And I swear it's the pizza connection that is the reason one of the first words my oldest learned to spell was "hell".

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 690 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    heh. i let the neices eat chicken nuggets but never give them any gifts except books.

    i also use work gear to record and edit stories to send them to them on CD.

    i expect all this exuberance will wear off by the time i a parent myself.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    heh. i let the neices eat chicken nuggets but never give them any gifts except books.

    i also use work gear to record and edit stories to send them to them on CD.

    Would you be available to uncle children outside of your bloodline?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    This is the second post David's made that doubles as an effective form of birth control. (This is the other one)

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1823 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Would you be available to uncle children outside of your bloodline?

    are they likely to grow up to become wealthy?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Craig wrote:

    Well, I've got a rather pleasant niche in the family ecology -- the Big Gay Eccentric Cardigan-Wearing 'Uncle' who says 'no' a lot,

    My brother and his partner have a less fierce but occasionally problematic possie in our family: they're the playful big uncles who, when they give neices and nephews back, often accompany it with a gift of a Very Loud Toy.

    Just because they know retaliation isn't possible.

    Che wrote:

    i expect all this exuberance will wear off by the time i a parent myself.

    Oh, they remove exuberance from the parents in the delivery suite. It goes out with the afterbirth.

    Although I understand in these more culturally diverse times they will hand it back so's you can plant a tree on top of it or something.

    But its dead, believe me.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    For many years now the routine threat among my brothers and I has been to give each others' children a packet of Jaffas and drum for Christmas. It's a powerful threat, and we use it to reinforce our present non-proliferation treaty.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1275 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Would you be available to uncle children outside of your bloodline?

    are they likely to grow up to become wealthy?

    Er, no. Plus becoming wealthy generally is the domain of the uncle himself.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Er, no.

    but... how will they support one in his dotage?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2018 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    but... how will they support one in his dotage?

    We'll work something out.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7315 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Maccas; meh! We'd not thought though all the implications when we named our youngest Mia - her learning of the alphabet has been somewhat corrupted.

    Another great piece David. We've got equally indulgent aunties but I think/hope kids know how to differentiate their behaviour to fit the circumstances.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2185 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Regarding McDonald's, without wishing to state the obvious, they also market pretty well to adults as well.

    The shop I work at is adjacent to the Dunedin North McDonald's and there is a steady stream through the drive-through, which is always nose-to-tail from 12 - 2.

    Also, the amount of people that eat their for breakfast is just baffling. Sure, having a snack there is understandable, but breakfast ?

    I always remember when McDonald's opened in Gisborne, about 20 years' ago. A bloke I knew, Chris Taylor, now a lawyer in Wellington, got a part-time job, while at high school.
    A few months later, one Saturday evening, there was a party somewhere, so he threw a sickie...went to the party...got liquoured up...got hungry...then went to McDonald's. :) Needless to say, he was told not to turn up at work again... :)

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 548 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    my 80 year old mother said, "If you buy her chips, I'm getting in the car, and I'm going home, and I'm leaving you here."

    Heh - my mum (now in her 70s) recounts how she lost her rag with the aforementiond nephews. The situation involved a cinema cafe & one nephew who had less ice cubes in his drink than the other (a major problem apparently).

    So she snapped & scared them shitlless, then rang me later to gauge my opinion as to whether she'd been unfair, and to ask had she been a monster to her own kids...?

    I told her no on both counts.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2073 posts Report Reply

  • paulalambert,

    My doctor told me you don't get diabetes from sugar. Yay !

    For a while a recorder was my gift of choice for kids. Fortunately noone was unkind enough to return the 'favour' when I had my own.

    chch • Since Dec 2006 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    My brother and his partner have a less fierce but occasionally problematic possie in our family: they're the playful big uncles who, when they give neices and nephews back, often accompany it with a gift of a Very Loud Toy.

    Isn't there some kind of UN Convention prohibiting such a vile act of environmental terrorism. One can only be thankful that modern Very Loud Toys are often badly constructed (therefore, easily broken "accidentally on purpose") or require a dozen car batteries and someone with an advanced engineering degree to put it together.

    Remember, folks: It's a war. Hearts and minds and short curly hairs. Getting in touch with your inner sociopath may be the difference between victory and defeat.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11617 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Robyn Gallagher wrote:

    This is the second post David's made that doubles as an effective form of birth control.

    Oh, that's so hurtful!

    paulalambert wrote:

    My doctor told me you don't get diabetes from sugar. Yay !

    I guess my siblings and I are living proof of that.

    And on sentence number two Bob-the-baby wakes up -- EOM!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 864 posts Report Reply

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