Every now and again one must come to the realisation that you simply have too much stuff. And so it happened to me last week when it was pointed out by the long-suffering Mrs ExPFC that I only have one towbar on my (totally awesome by the way,) Falcon wagon.

“Why is this a problem oh love of my life?” I enquired.

“Well, you can only tow one thing at a time,” she so sensibly and logically pointed out, “so what the hell is the point of having two jetskis?”

“Ahh but what if the boys come up to the bach for a bit and we feel the need to go out and prove our manliness by pummelling some waves into submission on the bar, aggravating surfers or even just investigating massive sharks whilst trying not to fall off, thereby becoming lunch for said razor-toothed sea beasts? And of course my love, it has been proven by actual scientists that it is good for a bloke’s mental health to spend quality time with his man-friends you know.”

“Umm, last time you did that you set one of them on fire and sunk the other one.” she sarcastically pointed out. “If you sold one of them we could buy a horse float.”

“Yes I see what you mean oh great wide-hipped bearer of my children, you are correct as usual. Would you like a Mojito?”

So anyway, this, of course, got me thinking about the futility of owning two jetskis, so a plan hatching was called for.

Yamaha Waverunners, even girls can drive them. The BFD recommends you wear wetsuit pants.

Fortunately, a few days later, after dropping said wife at the airport so she could head home and earn some money, I needed to drop into a hardware store in order to obtain some more vitally important manly items that I simply couldn’t do without. (Did you know that you can get a bbq fork that measures temperature so you will know that your boned slab of Whalemeat, once reaching 51 degrees in the middle, is exactly medium rare?)

Of course, I could have gone to the Silverdale Bunnings on the way home as it is not far from the motorway and has easy access, thereby limiting my environmental impact, but naturally, I chose another place, which although a little more fiddly and fuel wasty to get to, just happens to be across the road from the jetski emporium.

So since I was there anyway, it seemed eminently sensible to pop over to enquire about the possibility of satisfying my betrothed’s minimalist wishes, by seeing if it was indeed possible to magically turn two old jetskis into one new one.

Well, good news was indeed available and a day later, after many trips up and down the Holiday Highway transporting just one jetski at a time, and the requisite handing over of Pacific Peso’s, I now have only one water jet-powered toy in my now much more spacious garage.

Now as you may or may not know, personal watercraft are regularly ridden by idiots who neither have any knowledge of boating rules and regulations nor common sense, so a few years ago, it was deemed by our masters that a register was needed to keep tabs on them all. Of course, it was sold as a way to identify jetskis if they were stolen etc but the main reason is simply to be able to identify miscreants who drove their craft too fast, too close or too unsociably.

Unfortunately in this region, the job of keeping tabs on all the evil semi-automatic jetskis falls to Auckland Transport, who, although they would be far happier spending their time ruining Auckland’s roading system and antagonising car fascists, are of course more than happy to take fifty bucks from you for the pleasure of being monitored. (Plus another twenty for the stickers).

The fact that no one ever seems to check if the details on the register are correct does not seem to be of any significance. The last time I was stopped by the Water Cops they simply wanted to see if I had numbers on my ski. The fact that I had never got around to updating it from the old owner’s details was never enquired about, nor was the fact that the other ski with me that day simply had some official-looking but random numbers displayed that related to nothing in particular. Sure there is a fine for having an unregistered jetski, but do the cops or harbourmaster even have the ability to check the database?

But anyway, you can’t be a criminal all your life, so I decided that I would register my new ski properly, (although if the database gets leaked and bad guys come to steal my toy, they won’t find it at the registered address in the mountains).

To do this, one has to navigate through Auckland Transport’s website where you can find all about which ferry services have been cancelled today due to breakdowns, just how to get your very own HOP card, (whatever that is!), and all about the joys of cycling. (Unfortunately, there seems to be no information available for users of cars).

Auckland Transport, The BFD’s preferred method for taking a long time to go somewhere we don’t want to go.

But of course, in order to register your jetski, or get that HOP card, you must first register with AT, by creating a MyAT account.

I hate giving local authorities any of my details but there seemed no other convenient way, so off I went, filling in all sorts of details that they should never require of me and being forced to make up some ridiculous password that I will never remember because all my other choices didn’t meet their high standards, then I came to the bit where you have to tick the box that says “I have read the privacy policy”.

Well apart from the fact that when you click on the link for the privacy policy it goes nowhere, (how convenient AT), after much searching, I was able to locate said privacy policy where much to my dismay I found this little cracker.

1. What personal information does Auckland Transport collect?

[…]The previous site you have visited

AT Privacy policy

Why on earth do Auckland Transport feel they need to know which website you visited before heading to their site?

Man, I am glad I had only been looking at cat videos not something nefarious!

What if I had been looking at some sort of Alt-Right Conservative Website? Or maybe checking out supercharging options for my muscle car instead of trying not to vomit after looking at the hideously awful new electric Mustang SUV that will never, ever grace my driveway.

This fuggly 2 door electric monstrosity or a bicycle, hmm, give me a minute.

And what do they do with this information? Do they keep a register of everyone who ‘liked’ a disparaging JAG meme? Do they have bots searching to see if you once cast online aspersions about the viability of cycling to work?

Or is it simply a way for AT staff to figure out which are the most popular public transport based categories on Pornhub!

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