We’re gonna have a problem here…


My first clue as to what happened at school today was a good one.

“I joined the choir!” Master10 exclaimed as the kids jumped into the car this afternoon.

“Me too!” Miss8 chimed in.

“Yeah, but she wasn’t singing very loud,” said Master10, sounding extremely unimpressed. “We were singing and I looked around and her lips were hardly moving and she was staring at me.”

This is where it all got a bit mysterious. For a start, this didn’t sound like Miss8 at all – her lips never friggin’ stop moving around home.

“I was singing softly,” explained Miss8, “Because it had the F word in it.”

“No, it didn’t,” Master10 scoffed at her.

“Yes it did!” his little sister assured him.  “The F word and then ‘er’.”

Now I confess I haven’t been involved in a school choir for some thirty five years, but I’m pretty sure things haven’t changed so much in that time they’re belting out Eminem-style numbers.

“What’s the name of the song?” I asked her.

They didn’t know, but they had a clue.

“Mary sings it,” said Miss8, and Master10 nodded.

“So it’s a hymn?” I asked.

“Noooo,” said Miss8, in that tone which tells you you’re an idiot. “It’s an anthem. The New Zealand Anthem.”

I thought about that for a second. National Anthems, historically, are also light on the cussing.

“Do the Maori’s sing it?” I asked. “Is it a foreign language?”

“Yeeeees!” my kids said in such perfect unison, of both word and that tone I was just telling you about, their choir master would be proud.

I thought some more.

“Is it maybe a haka?” I suggested. After all, it rhymes.

“Dad!” squealed Miss8. “You can’t say that!”

I thought I’d solved the mystery, but I had another couple of steps to go yet.

“What’s a haka,” said Master10.

Now it was my turn to show my kids my sports smarts.

“That’s where they line dance before a football game,” I told them. “It’s very intimidating if you’re scared of tongues.”

And if you think that’s a poor explanation, just be thankful I didn’t have to explain the actual rules of the game to them.

But it turns out I was off on a red herring.

“I don’t think it was a haka then,” said Master10.

So tonight I went online and tried to work out what happened in choir today and I finally think, using those tried and true detective tools (Google and Youtube) I’ve solved it.

If you want to fast forward (and no offence, New Zealand, but everyone will) it’s at 0.29secs.

Try not to laugh – personally I’m betting my deerstalker you won’t succeed.

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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”


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