Air New Zealand helps Bridie Connell's father deliver 'pinch and punch' prank mid-flight

A woman has been left "so annoyed but also so impressed" after her dad went to new lengths to beat her at a long-running tit-for-tat prank, recruiting airline staff to give him an advantage.

Kiwi Bridie Connell, an actor and writer living in Sydney, said in a social media post that she and her dad have been locked in a battle of "pinch and punch for the first day of the month" for 15 years.

"Each month, we each try to be the first to say "pinch and a punch, first day of the month, no returns," the former cast member of ABC comedy show Tonightly with Tom Ballard said.

There are no restrictions on how the message must be delivered - in fact, the most ingenious methods have often proved the most effective.

Called to her school principal's office at age 14, she expected to be told off. Instead she found her equally "competitive/stubborn" father ready and waiting to deliver his pinch and punch.

"My principal was very confused; apparently dad had set up the appointment to talk about my grades," she said.

One month, she arranged for a troupe of musicians to serenade him. On another he beat her to the punch 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."


Flying home on an early Air New Zealand flight on May 1, Connell decided to wait until she'd landed to phone her dad.

When a crew member approached her on board and asked "Are you Bridie?", she thought she was in for another upgrade - she'd just been moved to premium economy.

See also: Airline review: Air New Zealand Dreamliner premium economy

The crew member said she had a "special delivery" for her, handed her a letter and reminded her that phones had to be in flight mode so she couldn't call her dad.

Connell silently screamed. Her dad had done it again.

"To my most beloved daughter," the letter read.

"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?"

Connell said she was "so annoyed but so impressed" by this month's scheme, but lamented having to sit through a family dinner later that night with everyone talking about it "and dad being all smug".

She spent the remainder of the flight plotting her revenge and called upon her followers for ideas.

An update on May 2 stated: "Can confirm dad is more sufferable than ever due to his newfound internet fame. But seriously I'm feeling so heartwarmed by all the unfolding tales of pranks and jokes people have with their families. Dads are the greatest."

Connell's performance of the song Sex Pest on Tonightly won an ARIA award for Best Parody Song (after the show's axing). Take a look below.

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