A father’s mammoth game of “pinch-punch” with his daughter reached new heights when he enlisted the help of an airline to catch her out.
Actor and writer Bridie Connell and her dad Brin Connell have been locked in the game on the first of each month for 15 years.
As she explained in a now-viral Twitter thread: “So my dad and I are both very competitive/stubborn. We have been locked in a battle of ‘pinch and a punch, first day of the month’ for years. 15 years, to be exact. Neither of us remember how it started.”
“Each month, we each try to be the first to say ‘pinch and a punch, first day of the month, no returns.’ You can do this however you like: in person, in a letter, in a song.”
She explained that “most months it’s pretty low key, but every so often one of us ups the ante”, citing an example when she was at school.
She added: “Once, I organised musicians to serenade him. He’s pranked me on live radio. I’ve got a tour guide to say the magic words in the middle of a holiday tour. He’s used my friends against me. It’s happened in a live poetry reading. It’s happened at a funeral. It ruins New Year’s Eve.”
However, this month Miss Connell, who lives in Sydney but comes from New Zealand, was travelling on a flight home as the new month arrived.
“It was an early flight – too early to call dad before I took off. It’ll have to wait, I thought, as I settled into my seat.”
However, she said that, while settling down for her flight, she was then approached by an Air New Zealand staff member…
… however, it wasn’t quite what she had been anticipating.
The flight attendant, named Beau, then handed Miss Connell a letter reading: “To my most beloved daughter, I do hope you’re sitting back reclining comfortably as you wend your way across the Tasman. I can’t wait to see you and I know you are going to be very excited and thrilled when you see me!
“By the way, while I remember… Pinch and a punch for the first of the month, no returns!!”
“PS Aren’t Air NZ flight staff fabulous? I really do understand why it’s your favourite airline! Lots of love, Brin.”
Miss Connell told the Press Association her father, a company director who lives in Wellington, had “awoken to discover he’s an internet sensation and is more insufferable than ever”.
She added: “We can’t stop laughing, to be honest. We think it’s hilarious it’s taken off. Of course, he’s now trying to spin this into a fatherly lesson of perseverance and creativity over years of work.”
After losing this month’s bout, Miss Connell said she was “already plotting my revenge”.
However, she did claim one small victory, as she received an upgrade to premium economy because the airline “felt ever so slightly guilty for helping papa prank me”.