A Little Bit of Me

Jottings and Writing, miscellanous misgivings

reading the obituaries

Dedicated to, and inspired by, Susan Elliot (2000-2002, Writing group)

This story could be blended into one seamless one or stand alone as a series of Darwin-type award, statements.

The convicted South African lawyer, Patrick Jouess, who was convicted in November, to seventeen years in a New Zealand prison, has had is sentence extended to twenty-five years as the countries top Crown lawyer has successfully won his case. Spokesman for Solicitor General Quentin Meads denied that his superiors decision to bring about his case had ‘absolutely nothing’ to do with Jouess, convicted of slowly torturing and strangling his wife of thirty years to death after a thirty year marriage, assertion before the trial, that New Zealand police and judiciary were ‘stupid and uninformed underlings and would never prove that he did it’.

English tourist Helen Phillips says she will never return to Dunedin after she was injured in an eco tourism accident late last year. Ms Phillips, speaking from the Aro Rehabilitation Centre in Christchurch says she was treated appallingly by both the eco tourism company and the Dunedin Public Hospital’s Emergency Department. ‘ We were told to get into this bus which had no seat belts and then the driver said that because he had a bad leg he would drive down this steep bank rather than walk down the designated track.” Other passengers were aghast as the bus tipped and then slid backwards down the popular tourist spot steep face. The bus rolled and Ms Phillips was helicoptered to Dunedin Hospital with suspected back injuries. Here, she claims, she was subjected to a two hour wait in freezing conditions before her clothing was cut away in a public area and she was left to sleep in a corridor in appalling conditions. She was discharged the next day without shoes and since, has experienced back pain, which is being investigated at the Aro Centre. A spokesperson for the Dunedin Hospital declined to comment. A spokesperson for the toursit company also declined to comment.

John and Jenny Beresford were outraged to find the wheels on their 1989 Mazda missing when they returned from a night of revelry at the local casino. They had parked their vehicle in a $2 overnight honesty park but had failed to deposit the required fee and display their sticker. The car park is rented from the Ngai Tahu Trust by Patrick Meyer who lives on the site in his converted bus, Mr Beresford (27) said that he saw the bus wasn’t on site and thought they could get away with it.  “I know it was a bit cheeky, but its holidays and I was in a good mood.” The pair complained to Mr Meyer who, they claimed, became argumentative and abusive, and kicked in a side panel of their vehicle.

In what has been described as a bizarre turnaround, the ACC has halted payments to Sam Waterson, and demanded he pay back $NZ15, 675 that he has been paid since 1996. Mr Waterson, currently residing in Australia, said that he could not afford to travel back to NZ to dispute the ACC’s claim that he was ripping off the Department and the NZ taxpayer. “I have certificates from doctors that say that I will never be able to return to work. I am in intense pain, and if I am able to do some minor lifting I am on the couch an hour later, crying from the pain.” This comment was in response to the ACC’s production of a twenty-minute video showing Waterson lifting heavy containers and small children while on a beach excursion in Sydney. Mr Waterson fell on a construction site in 1997 while working in Christchurch. His partner and child have since moved to Australia and Mr Waterson joined them in 1999.

The MacDonald Corporation is reportedly furious over a scaremongering campaign that has seen twelve restaurants closed down in the last two weeks. A store manager is claimed to be at the centre of the scandal. According to official sources, the manager, 21 year old Jacob Smellie, opened a letter delivered to the Stevens St outlet, and reported that it contained white powder. Mr Smellie then broke out in a number of rashes around his body and was taken to hospital. Extensive forensic tests have so far failed to reveal any traces of powder or hazardous material.

Bamford, Keith David Duncan – On Tuesday 13th January, in Dunedin. Much loved husband and friend to Fiona, loving father to Julian and Kate and loving son of Margaret and the late Keith, and son-in-law to James and Julia. A farewell and remembrance for Keith will be held at our Anderson St residence on Saturday at 11.00.

Police, called to an Anderson St residence on Tuesday night, were confronted with a grisly scene. A body hanging from a rafter in the garage on the site was well ablaze and was threatening to spread to the adjoining residence. The body was identified as Dr Keith  (Dave) Bamford, a local doctor, who had been described as being under much marital pressure in the weeks prior to Christmas.

Relatives of the worlds first hand transplant patient, Egyptian Ada Hassan, are aghast and dumbfounded to learn he wants another hand. Mr Hassan made headlines last year when surgeons grafted a brain dead French motorcyclists hand onto his stump. Hassan asked for the hand to be removed because he became “mentally detached from it”. Hassan infuriated his doctors by regularly losing contact with them and refusing to follow treatment and drug advice they offered. Mr Hassan has recently been vociferous in his condemnation of the French Governments military campaign in his home country.

The fires in the Australian bush may have been extinguished by the heavy overnight rain but nature has dealt a cruel blow to the Peterson family. Their Sydney home had been spared destruction after fires, which have raged for two weeks, failed to breach the five hundred-metre firebreaks the family had built around the hundred-year-old house. Bizarrely, the change in the weather, which bought relief from the blistering temperatures experienced in Sydney, also proved the Peterson family’s downfall. The house was struck by lightening and burnt to the ground soon after the Wednesday evening storm started.

A young couple, believing their daughter had been sexually molested by a male babysitter, set up an attack in order to extract revenge. The child’s mother Amy Joan Brett (19) and father, Brendon John Brett (18), rubbish collector, were jointly charged with assault, and injuring with intent. The court was told that the victim, a long term friend of the couple, had babysat the pairs child’s for approximately 30 minutes, and they noticed her behaviour over the following week as being different, and surmised that she had been sexually assaulted, They jointly planned a revenge attack and invited the babysitter back into their house, punched him in the head and then kicked him into unconsciousness. When the victim revived he was restrained and confronted by Ms Brett brandishing a large kitchen knife and screaming that she wanted to chop off his penis and shove it so far down his throat that it would choke him.

A former South African Special Forces soldier claimed he was suffering form posttraumatic stress disorder after he admitted to an assault of his former girlfriend. The court was told that he lifted the victim off her feet by the throat and, during five hours of menacing, threatened to cut her off at the knees and into small pieces. The women, who has name suppression, was said to be trying to end the relationship.

The first entry in the New Zealand Writers Premier Biography award was not quite what the organisers had in mind. The entry, bearing the pen name Susan E, was a detailed story of the authors, two-day-old, Dachshund dog. ‘We expected Biographies to be about humans and to be about New Zealanders’, the organisers said by way of a prepared press statement.


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