Ever noticed that every summer news story is recycled from previous years? Former sadsack reporter Hayden Donnell designs a drinking game to improve, or at least anaesthetise, your holiday news reading experience.
Soon everything will stop happening.
The holidays will arrive in a blissful swirl of sunshine. Politics will retreat into its sooty tomb. Gareth Morgan will take a break from telling people to FO on Twitter. David Shearer will surf.
But even when nothing is going on, the news mill will keep churning. Newspapers must be released. Pixels must be emitted onto the internet. How do reporters do their jobs when everything that used to resemble news has vanished into the sea off the coast of Northland? The only way we can: by recycling holiday news from last year, and the years before, like dogs eating our own vomit, letting that sick churn inside our bellies for a full 365 days, then spewing it out again.
Every year it’s the same stories: Sharks. Santa. Sun. Some arguably sociopathic business executive being anointed a knight. It’s a terrible time both for people working in media and anyone with who likes reading news; a fiery gauntlet of boredom interrupted only by the Herald’s holiday snaps competition.
This year The Spinoff is here to help. We’re making the Christmastime news interesting the only way we can: by linking it to binge drinking. The concept of our game is simple: every time a classic holiday story appears, you take a drink. This one weird trick will help even the most chronic news junkie stay sane this holidays, mainly by making them perpetually shit-faced.
So without further ado, here it is: The Spinoff’s first annual Ultimate Summer Media Drinking Game. These are the rules. We strongly suggest you live by them for the next few weeks.
What’s the weather going to be like on Christmas?
Make it a sip unless you want to spend the rest of this week vomiting up your lungs.
EFTPOS spending has gone up
Christmas, when Paymark sends out a press release about EFTPOS spending and reporters clutch it to their chests while weeping grateful tears.
December is the hottest on record
January is the hottest on record
February is the hottest on record
Drink! Also stock up your apocalypse bunker.
Holiday road toll update
Keeping a daily tally of the carnage and destruction being wrought by festive motorists is the main responsibility of the holiday journalist. When you see the latest figures updated, drink long and deep to brace yourself against the darkness.
New Year’s honour goes to *insert name here*
Will John Key be made a knight? Who cares? Drink!
It’s a hot summer day
Gulp at a gin and retreat into a refrigerator until the worst is over.
A celebrity is at the beach
One gulp for Art.
One gulp for Matilda.
Rhythm and Vines flooded
One gulp in sympathy.
One gulp in secret glee.
There are traffic jams on a road to a holiday destination
What are prisoners eating for Christmas?
A classic, reported every year without fail by all respectable media. Drink!
It’s raining at a campground
Have an extra gulp if New Year’s campers have their tents washed out.
Scientific analysis of the feasibility of Santa
A niche story of the holiday genre, but nevertheless a recurring one. Look to Spinoff hack Toby Manhire for the latest version.
Drain your vessel
A family got their presents stolen from under the tree
The police need to establish a special taskforce to investigate under-the-tree present theft.
Shark sighting at any beach
The ultimate in the summer genre. Sharks are the lords of Christmas. The finned kings of our holiday media hearts. A Great White Shark sighting is the ultimate in all summer news stories, trumping even news of what a celebrity is doing for their holidays.
If a shark swims close to Papamoa Beach, drain your Mac’s Gold.
If a shark swims in the shallows, empty your GnT.
If a shark as “big as a tractor” appears, skol everything you’ve got on hand.
Drink for Shayne Currie. Drink for the poor reporters oscillating between checking press releases from Surf Lifesaving and playing Kiwi cricket in the newsroom. Drink for New Zealand.
Yet another Spinoff summer reissue
At least other media are putting out sort-of-kinda-new stories in trying circumstances. Millennial ethics blog The Spinoff is just rehashing its old material for three weeks and hoping nobody will notice. Drink every time you see one of its sarcastic sermons re-entering the Internet like Apollo 13 crashing back to Earth.
Happy holidays and better living everybody.
The Bulletin is The Spinoff’s acclaimed, free daily curated digest of all the most important stories from around New Zealand delivered directly to your inbox each morning.