Well-mannered talk quickly turned ugly at Cornwall Park’s Osmanthus Gardens yesterday, as Hastings district councillor Kevin Watkins (pictured) and His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, argued over the future of Hastings’ relationship with Chinese sister-city Guilin.                                                            BayBuzz were there to take up the commentary.

(Scene: His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama and Hastings district councillor Kevin Watkins sit shaded by a bamboo stand in Osmanthus gardens).

Dalai Lama: Venerable counshiwa [Councillor]. When you speak of Guilin – a name I abhor – my ears start to ache.

Watkins: Your Holiness, you forget whose backyard you disrespect.

[His Holiness draws his sword, the two circle each other]

Dalai Lama: Ah. To fight without fighting, but you leave me no choice.

Watkins [indicates to a sign in garden that reads: “No Dogs or Dalai Lamas.”] Pretend you are a dog, and I’ll let you live. [pulls a well-worn comb from his pocket, points to it]. Meet your fate, she is called “The Red Destiny”.

Dalai Lama: A comb by itself rules nothing. It only comes alive in skilled hands.

Watkins: And suddenly I cannot hold back my comb hand’s anger! [deftly throws the comb missing His Holiness by inches. Combs embeds itself in tree].

Dalai Lama: Ha! White-haired warrior, you impress me! You should come to Lhasa and become a disciple. No, wait, Lhasa does not accept women.

Watkins: You have offended my family, and you have offended Hastings [throws a braeburn in the air and smashes it with fist]

Dalai Lama: [wipes apple juice from robe] An apple does not hit back counshiwa.

[Nearby bushes rustle, out steps a handful of Guilin-loyal councillors]

Dalai Lama: So! You bag of the scum! Rather, it is you who shames Hastings! [hurls a dagger that grazes Watkin’s forearm].

Councillor Margaret Twigg: Kevin! You’re bleeding!

Watkins: Blood is just red sweat Margaret.

His Holiness: Surrender now counshiwa, I am entirely self taught.

Twigg: He who is taught by himself has a fool for a master.

His Holiness: Counshiwa Twigg, how do you fit that ego into that body?

Twigg: With a shoe horn.

His Holiness: Ha! Respect!

Watkins: Stand back Margaret, this isn’t your fight. Your Holiness, I’m gunna LTCCP yer arse.

[A bloody battle ensues, yet His Holiness dominates effortlessly with a Hanzo sword, Watkins is downed with an opium dart, he weakens, falls].

His Holiness: [stands, straightens robe] Counshiwas, those of you lucky enough to have your lives, take them with you. However, leave the limbs you’ve lost. They belong to me now. [Gathers severed limbs].

Watkins: I am defeated…but Guilin lives.

His Holiness: Why do you seek the past counshiwa? You rob the present.

Watkins: [weakening further] Ignore the past, and rob the future?

His Holiness: The opium has reached your melon. [draws long breath, closes eyes]. My gift, is to let you live. My demand, as victor, is that Guilin, like a shadow touched by light, must disappear. [Levitates to the tree tops, vanishes. Watkins staggers to retrieve comb from tree, limps back to council chambers].

Postscript: Just before going to print this morning, BayBuzz learnt His Holiness was heading to Napier to “discuss” Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s renewed relationship with Chinese sister-city Xuzhou. After hearing of yesterday’s fracas, it’s believed council chairman, Rex McIntyre has gone to ground in an undisclosed Wairoa woolshed.


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