Alf has some sympathy for Vanessa Moodie this morning.
The poor woman has been expressing her shock at discovering her teenage son has become a practising planker and was photographed lying over train tracks.
She is also dismayed – Alf supposes – to discover she has spawned a son who might be a few sandwiches short of a picnic.
Her son Reid is aged 15.
His IQ – the evidence suggests – is not too much higher.
Mrs Moodie’s dismay at finding a planker in the family was triggered by the posting of a photograph of the Tauranga Boys College student on Facebook after he posed for the stunt last Friday.
Last night, when contacted by the Herald, his mother Vanessa said: “I’m just in shock, I had no idea … It’s extremely dangerous of him.
“I absolutely would never have imagined that Reid would be planking,” she said.
Planking – if you haven’t caught up with it – is a modern-day fad whereby a person lies down in a rigid position in awkward or unusual places.
Photos of the stunt often are uploaded on to Facebook.
In the case of Vanessa’s lad, she said her son had assured her that there was no train coming.
But Alf’s experience of railway operators and their inability to stick to timetables tells him you can never know when a train will be coming.
She has good cause, therefore, to impress upon him how dangerous his stunt was.
“There’ll be a big chat with him about it. But I think his father will have more to say about it to him than I would.”
But Vanessa can take comfort in knowing her son is not the country’s biggest plonker.
A school pupil was videoed stretched across Middlemore Station in South Auckland while a train was approaching.
Secondary Principals Association president Patrick Walsh said the principal of a school near the station had told him about the incident.
“It was captured on a cellphone by another student and reported to the principal, who brought the student in and spoke to the parents.”
The student had been disciplined.
A previous Herald report said Walsh had put out an advisory to schools and parents warning them of the dangers of the craze.
“It’s not that the principals are opposed to planking but we’ve quickly discovered the more precarious and dangerous the planking is, the more kudos the students gain from it,” he told Newstalk ZB.
Walsh says students caught performing dangerous acts could face suspension.
Dunno about suspension.
Alf would tie the buggers to the tracks in the sure knowledge the next train will rid the country of fuckwits who have reached an age where they are capable of passing on their defective genes to the next generation.