Gargalesthesia – the sensation caused by tickling;
“Are you in the Christmas mood yet?” the bloke serving me at the supermarket yesterday asked.
“Well, I pulled my first cracker last night,” I said before adding that Prime Minister John Key had been pulling the other end.
“How come?” the bloke’s son who was helping his father, asked.
I explained that I’d been invited, as the National Party’s Southern Regional chair, to attend the Canterbury Westland Region’s Christmas Party. The crackers had been on the tables, the PM had picked one up and invited me to pull the other end.
I did and an appropriately blue hat fell out.
“Cool,” the son replied.
It was, I agreed, a cracker of a night.
Friends who had come with us went home to a phone call from their son who is working in London. When told they’d just met the P.M. and shared a table with a Cabinet Minister, he laughed and said, only in New Zealand could that happen so easily.
More proof that the amount you spend on electioneering isn’t directly related to the result:
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull spent more than $13,000 in his campaign to win the mayoral chains – nearly $30,000 less than Peter Chin did in his campaign not to lose them.
Documents Mr Cull filed with Dunedin electoral officer Pam Jordan this week show he spent $13,517 on his successful tilt at the city mayoralty.
It would be difficult to win an election without spending some money but this is one of many cases where the winner spent a lot less than the loser.
Money helps but it can’t buy love from voters. It is only one of many ingredients in successful campaigns and spending more doesn’t guarantee a better result.
So far this year we’ve had floods, severe snow storms, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake followed by hundreds of aftershocks, kiwifruit canker and a fatal explosion in a coal mine.
What next – a plague of locusts?
On December 4:
306 – Martyrdom of Saint Barbara.
771 – Austrasian King Carloman died, leaving his brother Charlemagne King of the complete Frankish Kingdom.
1110 – First Crusade: The Crusaders sacked Sidon.
1259 – Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agreed to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounced his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.
1563 – The final session of the Council of Trent was held (it opened on December 13, 1545).
1676 – Battle of Lund: A Danish army under the command of King Christian V of Denmark engaged the Swedish army commanded by Field Marshal Simon Grundel-Helmfelt.
1795 Thomas Carlyle, Scottish writer and historian, was born (d. 1881) .
1835 Samuel Butler, English writer, was born (d. 1902).
1881 The first edition of the Los Angeles Times was published.
1892 Francisco Franco, dictator of Spain, was born (d. 1975).
1930 Ronnie Corbett, Scottish actor, was born.
1939 – HMS Nelson was struck by a mine (laid by U-31) off the Scottish coast.
1942 – In Warsaw, Zofia Kossak-Szczucka and Wanda Krahelska-Filipowicz set up the Żegota organization.
1942 – Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign ended.
1943 – World War II: In Yugoslavia, resistance leader Marshal Tito proclaimed a provisional democratic Yugoslav government in-exile.
1943 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed down the Works Progress Administration, because of the high levels of wartime employment in the United States.
1945 – By a vote of 65 to 7, the United States Senate approved United States participation in the United Nations
1949 Pamela Stephenson, New Zealand-born actress, was born.
1954 The first Burger King opened in Miami, Florida.
1958 – Dahomey (present-day Benin) became a self-governing country within the French Community.
1966 – The state monopoly on commercial radio broadcasting was challenged by the pirate station Radio Hauraki’s first scheduled transmission from the vessel Tiri in the Colville Channel.
1971 – McGurk’s Bar bombing: An Ulster Volunteer Force bomb kills 15 civilians and wounds 17 in Belfast.
1977 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is hijacked and crashed in Tanjong Kupang, Johor, killing 100.
1978 Dianne Feinstein became San Francisco, California’s first female mayor.
1980 Led Zeppelin officially disbanded following the death of drummer John Bonham on September 25th.
1991 Journalist Terry A. Anderson was released after 7 years in captivity as a hostage in Beirut.
1991 Captain Mark Pyle piloted Clipper Goodwill, a Pan American World Airways Boeing 727-221ADV, to Miami International Airport ending 64 years of Pan Am operations.
1998 – The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, was launched.
2005 – Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong protested for democracy and call on the Government to allow universal and equal suffrage.
2006 – An adult giant squid was caught on video for the first time by Tsunemi Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia