Dunno why The Boss is apologising for making a joking referenceto convicted murderer Phillip John Smith fleeing the country.
But he is apologising, according to the Herald and other media.
As everybody in the Eketahuna Club seems to know, Smith was let out on temporary release from jail without anyone having the wit to think maybe he should be electronically monitored.
He did a bunk and flew to Chile using a passport obtained in his birth name.
And – so far as the best guess has it – he is now somehow in Brazil.
Sure, it hasn’t been much fun for the family of Smith’s victims. They have said they were fearful and some got police protection.
But there’s a funny side to it, if you have a wry sense of humour, including the increasing evidence that maybe Smith should be running the Corrections Department instead of the officials now in charge.
The Boss certainly saw something funny in it (although he might have been more sombre if he had seen how Sam was coping with his first foray into a challenging situation demanding ministerial accountability).
The Herald tells us…
In Beijing for the Apec summit, Mr Key laughed on Monday as he told reporters he would alert Chilean President Michelle Bachelet about Smith when they met.
“I’ll just let her know there’s someone who could be out there from New Zealand that you may not want to invite round for lunch,” he said.
But he told media in Beijing late yesterday he regretted the comment.
“Obviously it was a very poorly placed attempt at humour. I regret that, and I unreservedly apologise.”
He said he had “misinterpreted the question” when he made the joke.
Did he really?
Nah. It seems he is apologising because we have become a joyless society obsessed with political correctness.
Mr Key’s joke raised eyebrows on Twitter, with Labour’s corrections spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern among those to criticise the remark.
“Just heard the audio of John Key talking about Phillip Smith’s escape … and joking about it. Really Prime Minister?” she posted.
Zoe Walker added: “Did John Key seriously just get the giggles when talking about Phillip John Smith? WTF”.
Herald columnist Tobey Manhire tweeted: “The greatest threat to PM Key has always been Comedy John. RT @hdpaNEWS: Phillip John Smith lols?”
So tossers like Tobey can permit themselves to be funny – or try to be – but The Boss is being warned off trying to make us laugh.
Alf has a powerful urge to emigrate to a place where attitudes are more relaxed.
Any region where ISIS is in control should be avoided, of course, along with Saudi Arabia, where they take a dim view of a bloke having a drink.
But pretty well anywhere else is worth considering as Kiwis lose their sense of fun.