Here’s fun on a Thursday. Go read Shelley’s latest column. Now, in the comments section, submit a paragraph in which Herald lifestyle columnist Shelley Bridgeman writes a passage from a classic New Zealand novel in her own inimitable style. I’ll send the winners to the New Zealand Herald opinion editor, who has yet to acknowledge any of my submissions let alone publish them, but you never know.
I’ll start you off:
Beth Heke stood in the Charvet store on the Place Vendome, on a perfect trip to Paris, eyeing up a green scarf that would match the resort holiday she went on to the Bahamas once. I wonder, she wondered, wondering aloud, if my husband Jake raped my daughter? Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse, which is initiated by one or more persons against another person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority or with a person who is incapable of valid consent. The term is most often defined in criminal law. A person who commits an act of rape is known as a rapist. One thing is for sure – Beth poetically never forgot the day she bought the sky-green Charvet scarf.
Seacliffe asylum was perched atop the rugged hills that lay below Seacliffe asylum. I soon became accustomed to the hospital – but I missed Remuera, with its sky perched high, high above the ground, and its ground at ground level, filled with objects and things.
One day my doctor called me into his office. ‘As you know,’ he said, ‘You’re scheduled to have a pre-frontal lobotomy.’
I smiled, because I knew that for all his learning, the doctor didn’t know that the hospital gown I wore was actually designed by Linda Jackson, an Australian fashion designer who crafted the outfit to look just like a hospital frock. My husband and I once sat at a table near Jackson at a fashionable restaurant in Noosa, where . . .
‘Bridgeman?’ The doctor snapped his fingers in front of my face. ‘Can you even hear me?’
I could only smile. The poor doctor! For all his learning he didn’t know that the hospital gown I wore . .
‘Hey!’ The doctor took some papers out of his drawer and fanned them across his desk. ‘Did you publish these articles?’ He demanded.
I nodded and his face grew grave. ‘As you know you’re scheduled for a lobotomy next Monday,’ he said, furrowing his brow. ‘But in light of the quality of your writing, we’re sending you into surgery immediately.’
I don’t know why people take taxis places. I drive my Lancia.