A huge sigh of relief was felt across Auckland on Sunday when once again the Herald web-site ran “The Tragic Life and Death of Sonny Fai” item.
It’s over 3 weeks since they last ran it, consequentially across the city numerous readers were suffering from terrible withdrawal symptoms.
The Herald will doubtless defend this disgraceful lapse by saying they did run a story a week ago about a footballer and it included a background photo of Sonny Fai. But with an indoctrinated readership, many now Sonny Fai addicted, it’s just not good enough.
We need the “Tragic Life and Death of Sonny Fai” at least weekly henceforth.
For any Auckland newcomer unfamiliar with this matter, it traces back 2 ½ years during the January no-news period known by journalists as the silly season. That’s because they’re obliged to be creative and make things up.
A Herald reporter, with nothing to write, came up with the idea of searching the archives a decade back to find something of interest and write a reminiscence story. The problem with that was he simply encountered the no-news silly season a decade back so found nothing.
Not to be denied, he noted a report of a teenager called Sonny Fai who had drowned while swimming, something that happens every five or six days in New Zealand. So, doubtless to the bewilderment of Sonny Fai’s family he wrote a beat-up story about it, a huge struggle as Fai was in no way notable although the reporter mentioned he was reputedly quite good at rugby.
It’s bloody unbelievable but in the 2 ½ years ever since, at about 2-3 week intervals, the Herald web-site re-runs this creative writing exercise when looking for fill-in material.
We should instigate The Sonny Fai Trophy to be awarded annually to the biggest bull-shit story published. It will take an extraordinary effort to top the Sonny Fai absurdity.