Summer is harsh and at no other time of year are Kiwi men and women at more risk of being soft pussies than when the days get longer and the shorts get shorter. But in this country there’s a certain way we do things: no attribute is as prized as hardness; no fault is faultier than being a great big puss. If you don’t like it, you can always leave the country. The following rules for staying hard in the Kiwi summer weren’t written down by clowns with pens, they were chiselled into slabs of pure toughness by nasty buggers using bits of sharpened asbestos.
Rule 1 Between September 30 and April 30: no socks, no exceptions. If you are too soft to go barefoot or if there’s a funeral, wear jandals, you clown.
Rule 2 Don’t put your jandals on just because the carpark asphalt is hot. Walk on the white lines.
Rule 3 If you get a prickle in your foot, never say, “Aaargh! Prickle!”, and never sit down and bend your foot up so you can get it out. Late at night when everyone else has gone to sleep, you can get the staffie to gnaw it out.
Rule 4 If it doesn’t fit in the car, it doesn’t go to the beach. No roofracks, no Thule pussy-capsules, no trailers. The only exception is the mattress for the tent, which you can “strongarm” onto the roof of the Legacy.
Rule 5 If you go camping, you go camping. Never pack up just because the weather does. Wait until it’s beautifully fine to leave the campground, in case people think the weather’s making you go. If that means losing your job because you’re a week late returning to work, too bad. Your real job is Regional Manager in Charge of Being Hard.
Rule 6 Never let anyone see you applying sunscreen. Putting on sunscreen is admitting that the sun is more badarse than your skin, and it should be done in private and in shame.
Rule 7 SPF30 is only for pussies. Here’s a simple calculation to find out what SPF to use: Take your age. Add 2. Subtract your age.
Rule 8 Aloe vera? What else do you want? Some waterwings and a Wiggles CD to go sleepies with?
Rule 9 Don’t ask someone else to put sunscreen on you. If you can’t reach it, it gets a melanoma, period.
Rule 10 Go out over your head on every swim. If you aren’t over your head, it’s not swimming, it’s wading – and the only people allowed to wade are children and guys called Wade (who are only allowed to wade, even if the water is over their head).
Rule 11 If you are attacked by a shark, punch it on the nose – but not straight away. Work the body first.
Rule 12 Never swim between the flags. If you can even see the flags, you are too close. The symbol on those flags is Pirate for “Arrrrrr, here be pussies.”
Rule 13 If you get swept away, don’t let the rip take you without a fight. Swim directly against the rip until you either get to the beach or lose consciousness from exertion and drown. What’s the point of surviving the rip if you can’t hold your head up later at the piss-up?
Rule 14 Eat only hokey-pokey or orange chocolate chip icecream. Stracciatella is Pussylanguage for “I want my mummy”. And no waffle cones – they look too much like real food. Eat your icecream from a cone made out of something pale orange and unidentifiable.
Rule 15 Never cook a vegetarian sausage on your barbecue. Not until there are also courgettes made of meat.
Rule 16 Always criticise whoever is barbecuing, but only use questions, and only speak very quietly. “Is that how you’re gonna arrange those Sizzlers?”, and “Are you waiting for an invitation to turn that steak, you massive puss?” are a good start.
Rule 17 If you find yourself giving out serviettes for the fish and chips, punch yourself hard in the genitals. What do you think the curtains are for?
Have a lovely summer.