New Zealand has a history of strange elections. That time the Prime Minister called a snap election while pickled to the gills, for example. The time when two parties who respectively got the support of about 1/15 and 1/21 of the enrolled voters got into government.
And yet, despite this history of oddity, I was nonetheless Yours Truly Baffled last night when I read in the news that seventh place in Bug of the Year went to Powelliphanta superba.
Which is a snail.
This is even wackier than a bat being voted Bird of the Year. Birds have wings, bats have wings. Bugs are the Things With Many Legs, snails are…(checks notes) legless. So legless, in fact, that they’re gastropods, i.e. the Things Which March On Their Stomachs.
I have been doing a bit of clothes shopping lately, and this has inspired a rant. Or, more accurately, a collection of related mini-rants, which – as I do not have a hotline to garment industrialists worldwide – I present here.
In the first place, there seems to be considerable confusion about the significance of length. If the wearer cannot bend over in a certain garment without flashing passersby, it is a top. Kindly stop charging extra for it under the pretence that it is a dress.
There are a large number of posts and articles circulating at this time of year, with gift guides for this, that, and the other person in your life. This is not one of those posts. Today we look at a different kind of giving: giving to those who actually need it.
Some traditions say the 12 Days of Christmas are those from the 25th of December to the 5th of January; others say the 26th of December to the 6th of January – aka Epiphany or Twelfth Night. You can choose either, or you can pretend to be a baker and have your “12” Days run from the 25th to the 6th.
Since this coming Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the fast that leads up to the feast of Christmas, this post could be construed as a little premature. But it never hurts to have time to mull over things. These days the “fast” of Advent seems to be more about the speed of the frenziedly busy days whizzing by, rather than abstaining from something.
(You’ve probably heard of the tradition of giving something up for Lent; perhaps we could consider choosing the least life-giving/most soul-destroying part of the December hustle and bustle and announce to the world that we have given it up for Advent.)
But back to the 12 Days of Christmas Giving. The idea is that for each day, one chooses a charity to make a donation to. You might have favourite charities all lined up, or you might want to choose a number of charities working in an area you are passionate about. Or – and this is my personal favourite – you could actually choose Christmas-themed charities.