Firstly, I can't believe that there is a real-life city that has an official wizard. Like that's real life. People don't bat an eye at this Gandolf looking motherfucker walking down the street. It's normal.
Secondly, fuck this guy. While I don't have the precise explanation as to how this guy became a wizard, rest assured it was probably some long spiritual journey that opened his eyes to a whole new world. Almost as if he thinks he is a wizard. No bro, you just wear a pointy hat and walk around with a staff. If anything, he wishes he was a real wizard.
Realistically, this guy is probably the highest man on the planet. Just going around claiming he's some sort of wizard. Yeah, right.
On a sunny autumn afternoon, two wizards in long, black robes and pointed hats sat down for coffee in one of New Zealand's biggest cities.
This sentence alone is already far too absurd for my liking.
It wasn't Halloween, and they weren't on their way to a costume party. And while they attracted attention from passersby, there was no finger pointing or all-out stares.
That's because, in Christchurch, seeing a wizard isn't completely out of the ordinary.
For decades, the city has had an official wizard. Born in the United Kingdom, Ian Brackenbury Channell settled in New Zealand in the 1970s, where he became known as The Wizard. As if to reinforce how serious he is, he even held a New Zealand driver's license issued to The Wizard, although he says he hasn't officially changed his name.
Ah. I see. So this city has an official wizard (old guy who dresses like a goddamn lunatic) all because some guy got a nickname? That's it? Pretty lame in all honesty. Would've been a lot cooler if it was because he had actual magical powers but alas, that's nothing but a pipedream.
You'd have to imagine that the transition from normal life - so to speak - to the wizard life is one of the weirder things on earth. You have to at least try and grow some sort of beard whilst emptying out your ENTIRE wardrobe in order to fit all of the cloaks, robes, and pointy hats. It's a nightmare. So in some aspects I kind of respect the dedication to the role, but the guy still sucks. If he had never been called "the wizard" he'd just be another human. I guess that's just how life works, huh?
Over the years, he became a fixture in the city. On the paved square in front of Christchurch's cathedral, he pontificated on his life theories, wore wizard robes and became such a well-known figure that he earned himself a TripAdvisor rating (four out of five stars). Since 1998, he's been paid 16,000 New Zealand dollars ($10,400) annually by the Christchurch City Council for "wizardry."
$10,400? What an all-time finesse. To wear some cloaks and walk around with a large stick??? Where do I sign up? Don't get me wrong, I still hate the general idea of this whole thing but when the bills come out I'll do most things; including this. Hell, I'd even pretend to shoot lighting out of my fingertips if that'll make em happy.
Making $10,400 is enough to say "I get paid to dress up" which is kind of an all-time flex. At the same time though, ten thousand dollars is just far too preposterous of a dollar amount to be paying a dude who acts like it's Halloween 365 days a year. Yet here I am - like a sucker - working for free. I could be out there honing my craft of becoming a wizard. If I didn't really like my job I'd be out in New Zealand ASAP in order to train. It's not every day you can make a salary by doing literally nothing.
Now age 87, The Wizard spends less time in the public eye. He wants to find a successor -- and appears to have got one in 39-year-old Ari Freeman, who teaches guitar and fronts a psychedelic funk band.
I wonder what this search is like. Like is the current wizard rifling through thousands of applications? Or is the wizard market dry? Either way, it's one of the best hustles - possibly of all time. He just mutters out random shit and takes pictures with people and he's getting 10 g's. Sometimes you just have to sit back and admire how wildly absurd our planet is.
Still, fuck this guy though. More so out of jealously than anything at this point but fuck him.
PS - imagine all the people in that city that are trying to get funding for things only to be denied because the city has $10,000 allocated to this bastard. Unreal.