Bewitched, bewooded

I had an intriguing encounter with a mysterious fellow today.

I was doing a session in the NZ On Screen box. It was a cold, wet morning, so there weren’t many people out and about. Suddenly this dude appears, maybe in his late 30s. He had long blonde hair, a backpack and a line on his face that was either a scar or some blue ink.

I demonstrated the interactive wall, and let him have a go. He sounded German, or at least from that region of Europe. Usually most people play a few clips then leave, but he was really engrossed in it. In the “Heroes and Icons” category, he asked where his nemesis was, so the other staffer and I tried to figure out which of the NZ heroes would have been his nemesis, but the guy couldn’t pick one.

The guy then just started circling his arm in front of the wall, which – using the motion-detection controls – would just randomly start playing clips. It went from being weird to hilarious to weird to a serious mash-up live VJ performance art piece and then back to hilarious. It was at this stage I decided he was awesome.

Some other people came in and so he moved away and started talking to me. Things we discussed:

  • A waka on the lake in Rotorua.
  • The difference between ‘boat’ and ‘ship’.
  • He did not remember how long it was since he was in Rotorua and so he would have to go away and think about it.
  • The way a waka in Rotorua was presented.
  • He had passed through Hamilton but would not go there until he had family there.
  • Different ways to use the word ‘built’.
  • “Carter Holt Harvey – do you know this company?”
    “Yes, I think they’re a timber merchant.”
    “Are they a New Zealand company.”
    “I think so, yes.”
    “No, they are actually Australian owned, but I suppose you only know of them in New Zealand so that is all right.”
  • It is a tree when it is growing, wood when it is cut down and timber when it is milled.
  • If you can ‘smooth’ something, can you ‘wood’ something?
  • How he was reluctant to touch the wall because normally he is a very clean person.
  • If you can say ‘bewitch’ can you say ‘bewood’?
  • If you do something with your hat, do you ‘hatten’ with it?

Eventually our conversation came to its natural conclusion, and the guy declared that this was one of the best conversations he’d ever had (same!!!!), but he had to leave to go and do creative things. I do not know his name, where he came from or where he is going, but he thoroughly bewooded me.

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