It's becoming clear that the Foot and Mouth scare on Waiheke Island is a hoax, and possibly part of a pretty poor capping stunt. TVNZ story here, and a Chinese report here. Phew.
What idiot thought up a stunt that could have cost the country billions? Perhaps no coincidence that the Vet School is in Palmerston North from where the letter was reportedly posted? Massey University Students' Association president Iain Galloway said it is possible the foot and mouth threat could be a capping stunt but "it's pretty out there". It's not 'out there,' it's just dumb.
But can you remember a time when capping stunts were actually funny? Most of those I remember were enacted by Auckland's Engineering School: The dumping of 'toxic drums' in Queen St that had been marked up with toxic warnings and set to leak dry ice; the placing of a 'guided missile' in the QEII Square fountain to greet morning traffic; the infamous Engineer's haka ... (well, I laughed).
My favourite was the stunt in which passersby were asked by white-coated students wielding clipboards and an earnest look to help them fill a sperm bank whose levels were, as such things can be, dangerously low and in need of new 'deposits' to help fulfil struggling couples in need of this magic bullet. The response to this altruistic call was as amusing as it was enthusiastic.
Pity none of the deposits were needed.