Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Geekman's family inflicted us on a church supper tonight. But my mother-in-law averred that didn't mean she was going to eat nasty cheap meat with plastic forks. So we, the Geekman family clan, arrived with our own poached salmon fillets, mango salsa, Italian bread, and real cutlery, and Geekman's mother constructed a civilized enclave at one end of the long table, where she defended our "real food" from her encroaching brothers and sisters in Christ (unsuccessfully in the case of Edna, who is 94 and polished off half a plate of salmon before Geekman's mother could make her understand that that wasn't part of the free nosh.)

Partway through the evening, Geekman and I were discussing why people might choose to live in Tokoroa. I said it might appeal to some people that it was really easy to become a big fish in a small pond. So Geekman asked his father: does everyone in Tokoroa in fact know who the big fish are? Do people know, for example, who is rich and who is poor? Is the social hierarchy something people talk about?

Social hierarchy? asked his father. There is no social hierarchy in Tokoroa. There is no rich and poor. Everyone is all the same.

And he used his silver knife to butter his Italian roll.


* To give an idea of the sort of town it is, it probably suffices to mention that people at the dinner could recall everyone from the town who has ever gone away to university --- population Geekman and his brother --- and that the fact there was mint in the boiled potato had everyone commenting on the posh food.


Jana said...

Every *single time* I read about Tokoroa in the news, and this is quite often, it's because of gang-related crime. Are there really so many gangs there? Did Geekman feel unsafe growing up? (Or does he still sport a patch?)

Anonymous said...

this post rules.

Badaunt said...

I bet Edna knew exactly what she was doing.

(And ooh! Geekman comes from the top of the social hierarchy of Tokoroa!)

AliceAcademic said...

I'm with badaunt. Don't mess with Edna! Maybe that's what happens when you turn 94, you stop having manners when you know you can get away with it! There have to be some perks to being around that long.

StyleyGeek said...

Jana - I think the gang problem is more recent. (You'll see Tokoroa in the news today, though, since it's on fire.) Also, Geekman spent his entire childhood locked in a bedroom teaching himself to write machine code, so he wouldn't have felt unsafe even if he had been surrounded by gang crime.

And yes, you are probably all right about Edna.

grace said...

Styley, that is very funny!

Regarding gang violence, GM *does* have that scar on his leg he always claimed was from a knife fight in a dark alley.

Jana said...

And bad knees from ice hockey? Hah! He was kneecapped!