"Key plank" in New Zealand as PM stands by

WELLINGTON Tue May 31, 2011 8:35am EDT

A pedestrian using a cell phone walks past a sports clothing shop window display of a mannequin planking, in Sydney May 31, 2011. Planking, the fad of lying face down stiff in often bizarre places for a photo op, has become a global craze. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne

A pedestrian using a cell phone walks past a sports clothing shop window display of a mannequin planking, in Sydney May 31, 2011. Planking, the fad of lying face down stiff in often bizarre places for a photo op, has become a global craze.

Credit: Reuters/Tim Wimborne

WELLINGTON (Reuters Life!) - Planking, the fad of lying face down stiff for a photo op, rose to new heights of notoriety in New Zealand after the son of Prime Minister John Key posted a photo of himself planking on the Internet -- with his father in the background.

Avoiding the unusual locations and dangerous behavior that has killed one man in Australia and seriously injured another, 15-year-old Max Key planked on what appeared to be a sofa.

His father stood in the background, tie-less in a long-sleeved white shirt, staring at the camera a bit stiffly.

The photo appeared over the weekend on the "Planking New Zealand" Facebook page. Several commenters quickly called it a "national plank."

"But your dad is doing a vertical plank. He needs to be horizontal," said another.

Key, 49, embraces social media such as Facebook and Twitter. He also takes part in activities some leaders might shun, such as dancing with two pink-clad transvestites at a gay festival in Auckland in 2009.

A spokesman for Key said the prime minister had "nothing to say" about the photo, the New Zealand Herald reported.

(Reporting by Elaine Lies; editing by Ron Popeski)