Last week a South Island Borough Councillor resigned, because, he said, he may have behaved inappropriately at a function. The key word here is “may”.

No details of the possible inappropriate behaviour were supplied and according to the report no-one had complained. Still, we can guess the likely circumstances, specifically a Christmas function, everyone sozzled, shouting, raucous ribaldry and so on, the latter perhaps targeting females who may or may not have been irked by it but wisely lived with it in the circumstances. In other words an everyday event occurring in hundreds of gatherings across the country at this time of the year.

But back to the “may” word. Reading of this brought back memories from 1997 and the riotous luncheon launch of my book Memories of Muldoon, published by Canterbury University Press and hosted by the Press Club at Wellington’s Intercontinental hotel. Proceedings began about 11am with circa 200 present, thus by the time we sat down for lunch about 1pm, everyone was well gone.

This induced much off-the-hip speech-making throughout the afternoon and even Dame Thea Muldoon rose at one stage to “say a few words”.

The luncheon launch finally culminated near midnight with about 20 or so in my office and to this day I can’t recall how I got home.

The next morning in a sorry state I went to my office.

My secretary had cleaned everything up but, was puzzled by a letter she’d received from a prominent QC.

He asked her to advise him of the damage he’d caused so he could pay compensation.

“What had he smashed?” I asked. “Nothing’s been smashed”, she told me so I called him.

His genuine explanation for the letter was that “may” word again, specifically that he was in such a state by midnight, he’d assumed he may have run riot and smashed something.

I suspect, if like the QC, honourable in his intentions, the resigning Councillor has over-reacted and jumped the gun.


Interesting theorizing on the word “may” and I for one, wonder how the honour of those who “may have” erred actually acted when compared with The Speaker of the House who admits he has in fact erred in a way that was totally inappropriate.

I am not as confident as you are. I can only go as far as saying the councillor may have over-reacted.

Hmmm! If another person was involved and something did infact occur, is possible that Individual may have enjoyed it?

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