There are a lot of problems to solve this week in our beautiful but tortured land.
The Bay of Plenty has become just that lately – plenty of crime, plenty of rough sleepers and beggars and plenty of people buying face masks in case they are struck down by an unfamiliar virus.
So, here in The Hutch – picture a cave-like headquarters in the bowels of the city – I have gathered together the finest minds to solve these problems.
Firstly, our intelligence gatherers have discovered that perfectly healthy people are buying up face masks at a phenomenal rate so they are protected against the Coronavirus. See pages 4-5 for that.
Now, it is important to understand a few things about these kinds of outbreaks and it goes something like this.
Initially a virus gets a cool name – often it involves an animal like a swine or the more attractive bird flu. Only rarely does this name stick around, like the really scary Ebola Virus. Cool name though. It means Black River.
I’m not sure how this latest one escaped the Bat Virus moniker but it got named after a popular beer instead. Either that, or the beer got named after a type of virus but I’m not sure why you would do that.
Anyway, the scientists always come up with a boring name for it like H1N1 or H5N1. In the case of the Coronavirus (this is just the latest coronavirus by the way. SARS is another famous one), it is now called 2019 NCov. Very catchy.
Once it has a boring name, people relax a bit but the problem is, by now all the healthy people have all the face masks and the people who actually need them on a day-to-day basis can’t get their hands on them.
Our answer to this is the same as the previous council’s answer to begging and rough sleeping in Tauranga City. We will simply ban the virus from entering New Zealand. Catching this disease is also prohibited and anyone caught catching this disease will be fined and turned invisible.
It’s a bit rough
The only fly in the ointment for this simple solution is that the new Mayor and council is actually having second thoughts about banning begging and rough sleeping from shop fronts.
The Mayor of Tauranga City is making the bold claim that you can’t simply ban destitute people and they have formed a committee of highly intelligent people to solve this problem.
I wasn’t invited onto this committee, which is clearly an oversight, but I will offer my $300-an-hour worth anyway.
We should set up an area specifically for rough sleeping and begging. Somewhere central, but not too central. Somewhere where even the trees have woolly jumpers. Somewhere like Greerton would be ideal (see story on page 24-25).
People will clearly need to be part of an organised begging group. They can either get together and make a new group or join an existing gang. That way we know they are homeless because a disreputable organisation said so.
These people can then list ‘Greerton’ as their address and they will qualify for government assistance. Then they won’t have to ask passers-by for money anymore.
Crime is rife
The dark underbelly of crime has spread far and wide across our province in the last few weeks, with shoot-ups and burn-downs, stabbings and other less than satisfactory behaviour. See Sunlive.co.nz for updates on these things as they happen.
Our answer to this is to gather together a large group of people, arm them, give them all uniforms and set them to work fighting crime.
They will drive fast cars, catch the baddies and lock them away somewhere until they are good again.
When it comes to the worst offenders we should get investigators to study their family history, specifically to look for family links to Australia. Everyone has a cousin or an aunty who lives in Australia so that shouldn’t be too hard.
Once the link is established, we then deport these people back across the ditch where they will live happy and productive lives, working as pub bouncers and parking wardens.
Now, if you don’t like any of our solutions, it’s a free country and you are allowed to speak your mind.
You can either have a massively offensive rant on social media, under a false name, or you can email your solutions to email@example.com with your proper name. That way you get credit for the idea.
For those rare individuals that have paper and a pen and know how to use them, you can even write us an actual letter, PO Box 240, Tauranga.