Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aloha from New Zealand

Hi. I'm in New Zealand for two weeks with my kids, visiting my father who lives here. He is not originally from New Zealand, but married a New Zealand woman and they had the good sense to move down here. She died but he stuck around. The other thing you should know about my father is that he has early-onset Parkinson's Disease -- you know, the same thing that Michael J. Fox has, although unlike MJF, my father did not play an adorable young curmudgeon in a 1980s sitcom.

Can we all agree that Michael J. Fox is important enough that we can refer to him by his three-letter initials, like FDR and JFK?

I think a lot of Americans think of New Zealand as the land from The Lord of the Rings. And New Zealand has helped that association along with a big ad campaign encouraging people to "visit middle  earth," a campaign I find a bit ridiculous. The Tolkien-themed archway you have to walk through as you get off the plane in Auckland is just plain silly. And let's be honest, none of those nerdy elven-forged swords would make it through customs anyway.

So now that I've made my opinions totally clear, I want to show you the halfway clever safety video for Air New Zealand, which yes, okay, involves hobbits:

One of the great things about this video is that if you scroll down in the comments left on the YouTube page, you can see that one of the commenters complains (at length!) that Air New Zealand will not let men flying solo sit next to unaccompanied minors. I'm going to have to give that remark the gold medal of weird Internet comments. That is quite an accomplishment given the steep competition for that award.

Here's a photo of Stella in a New Zealand tree, practically indistinguishable from Galadriel, although my guess is that Galadriel doesn't roll her eyes when her mother yells at her for biting her little brother.

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