Never strike a woman, because they bruise too easily. Hey I didn’t say that, the Wiz did. 88-year-old Ian Brackenbury Channell was the official Wizard of New Zealand, until just recently.
That’s right, New Zealand had an official Wizard. In 1990, Channell was invited by Prime Minister Mike Moore, to perform magical duties for New Zealand, Antarctica, and “relevant offshore areas.” This led to a contract in 1998, with the city of Christchurch to perform “acts of wizardry and other wizard-like services.”
And apparently he was a whiz at his job, given that his contract seemed immortal up until a few months ago. His duties included casting spells, blessings, and curses. He also performed rituals to make it rain during droughts, and was met with thundering success.
But alas, Channell’s sorcery was not all-powerful. It could not protect him from cancel culture. Earlier this year, he got on TV and said a few unfortunate things about the fairer sex.
For instance, the Wiz quipped that women use cunning to get men who are dumb. And then he had all the gall to jest, “I love women, I forgive them all the time, I’ve never struck one yet. Never strike a woman because they bruise too easily is the first thing, and they’ll tell the neighbors and their friends . . . and then you’re in big trouble.”
But big trouble was what The Wiz got into, for joking about those things. He realized he’d made a big mistake. He had not yet turned the politically correct crowd into toads, and some of them happened to be watching TV that day. They felt mortified, and proceeded to rent their clothing and gnash their teeth. They raised a stink over his “sexist” jokes about the gentler gender, and the city council of Christchurch responded by firing Channell.
Christchurch spokesperson Lynn McClelland was nice about it, though. She thanked him for his service and told him he’d “forever be a part of history.”
However, The Wiz was not so easily appeased. He stewed about this for awhile, while stirring a boiling cauldron of hummingbird tears and lizard tails, and considering occult messages that rose from the steam. Finally he issued a statement saying that he believed he was being canceled for being a “provocateur,” and because a Wizard no longer “vibes” with the city.
“It implies,” he continued, “that I am boring and old, but there is nobody else anything like me in Christchurch . . . It’s just they don’t like me because they are boring old bureaucrats and everyone likes me and no one likes them . . . They are a bunch of bureaucrats who have no imagination . . . They are not thinking of ways to promote Christchurch overseas. They are just projecting an image of bureaucrats drinking lattes on the boulevard.”
So cackled The Wizard. And none dared argue.
He’s an interesting old fart. If you want to learn more about this eccentric visitor from the shadowlands, here’s a blurb about his life, and the woman of his life. It was produced last March, about seven months before he was commanded by Christchurch to vanish: