There’s been no sight of him round the burrow.

Not so much as a fuzzy ear or whisker ….not one fresh dropping.



Wise rabbits are, at this time of the year, deep in the warren – sheltered from global warming, left-leaning politics, the arguable musings of race relations conciliators, buckshot and myxomatosis.

And so in the absence of RR I am going to be more obsequious than a West Wing Donald Trump advisor.

Consult any book of animal evolution and you will find RR’s species name is Brian. And it’s a name I would have killed for as a kid. Because I was a Hunter in a sea of Brians, Trevors, Kevins, Ronalds and Ians. I stood out simply because of my bloody name and I resented it. I wanted to be Peter …. so much so. I even called a pet hedgehog Peter. I wanted to be one of the crowd and my parents turned me into a neon sign by dubbing me with an unusual name.

Hunter was a fragment of war history – my Dad brought it home from bomber school in Calgary. I was named after a Hunter McAndrew apparently. I never got to meet him, or for that matter, know anything of him. I now wish I did, but that was the way things were.

That was another time.

Over the years most guys got called many things. As a wag once said – people are called many things, a lot of them uncouth, and most of them have been thoroughly earned. I was even cheated out of a nickname – I was always just Hunter.

As I meandered through this life of mediocrity, doing not much and achieving not much, my name excited. And I warmed to ‘Hunter’ simply because people did. “Should I know you?” or “l recognise that name.” A media career helped. And I was completely won over when a distinguished elderly man once told me: “name like the handshake – strong!”

Stolen identity
Then this week, it came like a thunderbolt. My individuality, my identity had been stolen. ‘Hunter’ is now dead-set common – the fifth most common
name given to boys in 2017.

I am told some TV scriptwriter apparently used a company telephone directory to research an interesting name and found Hunter. Hunter was then attached to some eminently forgettable character in some eminently forgettable soap playing
nightly on an eminently forgettable state-owned TV channel.

Now every couch-bound, TV-bound mother-to-be in the nation is calling their kid Hunter. Only surpassed by such ordinariness and forgettableness as Oliver, Jack, Noah and William. It makes me want to projectile vomit all over my birth certificate. I am thoroughly pissed. And after Hunter came James, George, Mason, Lucas and Arlo.

Last night I dusted off my vinyl of Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ and utter respect and apology to Woody’s little boy Arlo. I share your indignity Arlo.

It’s the fifth year in a row that Oliver has had the unenviable top slot. Why do parents persist with dead-common, everyday, garden-variety tags? Why do they want to punish their kids even before they’re even off the breast?
What about Huckleberry or Ebenezer?

What about the great names, warrior names, names of great beauty and substance  – Horatio, Hannibal, Huckleberry, Scarlet, Uriah, Monroe, Ramona, Eustacia, Robinson, Tristram, Dorian, Ichabod, Lolita, Atticus, Ebenezer and Humbert … and Peter
of course. Why settle for popular?

Apart from the bastardisation of ‘Hunter’, there’s another nomenclature issue festering. That’s the urge by some to take a simple name and give it new respectability by changing the spelling – when a Jennifer, who became Jenny is now J-e-n-n-i. They have condemned themselves to a lifetime of spelling out a simple name to confused people who are unimpressed and don’t care.

However if you can’t beat them, join them. I have decided I would like to take a new name. With apologies, and out of respect for the land I live in and the people I live among, I would like to be called Kaiwhakangau – it means hunter. Just an idea.
New Year’s purge I may as well purge myself now I have come this far.

Waiheke Island – bastion of the affluent and privileged in Dorkland’s Hauraki Gulf still think it’s okay to be selling golliwogs. Money doesn’t buy common sense and decency it seems.

The fun police who killed New Year’s Eve at the Mount. There were none, or few arrests. That was only because no-one was there.

Throw in Australia’s Channel 9 television cricket commentators who are not commentators but cheergirls. Aussies are appalling losers and even worse winners.   
And the abuse of words like ‘pathways’ and ‘carnage’. Get ready for more America’s Cup carnage Stuff warned us. Carnage implies the death of many people. No one died at the America’s Cup. There was carnage on the embankment at the cricket during the catch-a-six competition. Beers were spilled but no one died.

Meanwhile, and it’s a big meanwhile, as the evenings cool I would expect a familiar twitching nose to poke out of the burrow on The Strand. The grass is green out here RR. Get out here.

Hunter Wells
(with apologies to Rogers Rabbits)

Brian Rogers
Rogers Rabbits