by Edward Wilkinson Latham

Watching TV advertisements in a foreign county is by no means what one travels to see, but it does tell you a lot about a culture. I had met many blokes in New Zealand who thought rugby a religion, who wore dangerously high shorts with socks and sandals and who thought a caravan nothing short of a temple on wheels. But it was while relaxing akimbo on my hotel bed that I caught one commercial that may of told me more about the New Zealand homus erectus that I could of ever gained from a month long trip.

It seems that some Kiwi male like a few ales and in keeping with the protectorate culture of the mother county, Britain, they often enjoy it in generous quantities. Kiwi fellas also like is good English style fry up, with fried bread, bacon, sausage, eggs and all the trimmings. Oh yes and chips. Put these together and the New Zealand Fire Service has something to worry about. So much so they have devised a hard-hitting fire safety campaign directed at New Zealand males who stagger home from the pub and try to make a late night breakfast, but instead they often turn themselves and the house to ashes.

With some low budget camera work and images of a few empty cans of larger and a flaming breakfast, a voice announces, “Cooking and alcohol just don’t mix. So remember fellas. Don’t Drink and Fry.” The following commercial reminded watchers to “get your sheep wormed and crotched this spring.” I may have been a little tipsy from the mini bar but after watching that I certainly wasn’t hungry anymore.