A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: March 31: Don't do it Dad...

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I was once a teenage ninja (no, seriously)

Mat Kyne spent his summer evenings as a ninja when he was 13. "I made a black suit with a hood, gauntlets, tabby boots and all," he writes on "I carried around a homemade grappling hook that I used to scale buildings ... I would hop fences and run through back yards. I would practice hiding in plain sight. Every night after the family went to bed I went out the window. My patrol would probably cover 6-8km. I would practice being invisible. I would hide in dark corners, just outside the pools of light created by street lights. I would say that I was never seen, but I was caught on camera one time. This was 1988, security cameras were hard to come by. I know I was caught because it made the local news. There was a 15 second blurb about a ninja running through a parking lot and a two second clip of a blurry-shadow running. I remember being on the couch with my mum, little brother (who knew my secret) and two little sisters when it came on the news. My brother could hardly contain himself; but to his credit he never said a word about it ... So I continued my patrol. And in doing so, I think I might have prevented a crime. I was hiding out at a car wash when I heard a man screaming at his girlfriend. He was really angry. His girlfriend was sobbing. I screamed from the shadows (in my best impression of an adult's voice) "Hey! Leave her alone!" They both stopped arguing while I disappeared into the darkness. They got in the car and left.

Years later I admitted to being the Postal Ninja (the video camera was at the Post Office), my mother exclaimed: "I thought that was you!" I asked: "How did you know it was me?" "Who do think washed your ninja suit?"

Like the Pamplona Bull Run, but in Te Kuiti with sheep.

A highlight of the provincial calendar in Waitomo has to be the Great New Zealand Muster (Te Kuiti's celebration at being the Sheep Shearing Capital of the World). It's on this Saturday and as part of the Kiwi country fair is the Running of the Sheep event where more than 1000 sheep are let loose to run down the town's main drag.

Easiest $50K She Ever Made


Picture this: How to market your caravan on Trade Me...

Picture this: Before leaving to study abroad, Dalton Ross gave his mom a cardboard cutout of himself to ease the time apart. Rather than just let her two-dimensional son hang out at home, she decided to take him out for some special mother/son time...

Picture this: Legs or sausages...

Good read: I paid to have my daughter kidnapped...

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at

- NZ Herald

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