The National Party MP tells us about his first car, first concert, accidentally killing his childhood axolotl and more in this week’s episode of FIRST.
“I’m just going to give you… almost like subconscious self,” Simon Bridges said as he sat down for his interview. “Let’s see what’s in there. Take me back to my childhood.”
The former National Party leader and future published author may not be able to remember his first memory, but he does recall getting in trouble at school (“I dobbed myself in”), childhood dreams of becoming an orchestra conductor (“probably slight megalomania”), Bata Bullets with the Velcro strap (“they were good“), driving his mum’s Toyota Starlet (“I thrashed the shit out of that car”), attending his first U2 concert at Western Springs in 1989 (“great times”) and an axolotl called Aristotle.
Aristotle the axolotl was Bridges’ first pet. “He was great, actually, but you had to be careful because he could bite your finger quite badly,” he remembers. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending. “In kindness,” he emphasises, “I fed him quite a long sliver of meat. And that killed him.”
The Tauranga MP’s first book, National Identity: Confessions of an Outsider, is out on August 18. As the cover makes sure to clarify, it is “not a political memoir”. Hopefully that means one of the first entries in the index will be “Aristotle (Axolotl)”, because we have a lot of questions.