Sideswipe: May 25: Friendly staff...

18 comments
See, wording matters.
See, wording matters.

Con game

"I already knew my niece was smart," writes Rachel Sweeny. "But something she did at the weekend pushed her into extreme intelligence for a 5-year-old. We'd had a fun day playing when it was time for her to go home. She asked all of us (around ten adults) to play one last game, a colouring competition. Dealing out a sticker to sweeten the deal, we thought it was a ploy to get an extra ten minutes of play. We learned the rules of the competition: We each had to draw a shape and write at the top of the page what it was, she would then judge the winner. So we all participated, drawing triangles, rhombus, hearts, etc. Then handed them to her. She collects them all up, but instead of judging them, neatly folds them, places them in an envelope, writes her name and 'shapes' on the front and yells, 'Homework done!' while running out the door." (Source: Quora.com)

Payment discount or marketing fiction

A Westmere reader wonders why utilities bills are unique in including what is called a prompt payment discount, but is actually a discount for paying on time.

"My latest bill of $65.09 includes a prompt payment discount of $18.37. So presumably the original bill was $83.46," he writes. "This suggests either that their accounting procedures are extremely inefficient - we're not at the debt-collector stage, just the due date, and sending another bill isn't likely to cost them $20 - or the $83.46 bill is a marketing fiction. My dentist and mechanic don't knock off 15 per cent if I pay on the spot. The rates bill has a small discount if I pay the whole year in advance. But why do just power and gas retailers have this practice?"

Home and Away on Monday night: "Which arm has Maddie actually lost," asks a fan. Photo / Supplied
Home and Away on Monday night: "Which arm has Maddie actually lost," asks a fan. Photo / Supplied

Beast at the wheel

"In the UK I had a 2-year-old Rover 3500 with the number plate V8 BUY666S," writes Rick Galsworthy. "I used to call it the Devil's Buyer. I was driving through the centre of Warrington when the accelerator got stuck and the car took off like it was jet propelled. I stood on the brakes, turned the ignition off and slammed it into park. The gear box and engine seized, the car mounted the pavement and stopped half a metre from a plate glass window. Lucky escape. The car never went again."

Mind the mushroom cloud.
Mind the mushroom cloud.



Good read: Apparently Las Vegas in the mid 1950s you could witness the detonation of an atomic bomb. "At that time - in what might stand as one of the greatest PR campaigns of the 20th century - the American government managed to persuade the public that nuclear weapons were not, actually, that dangerous. And with atom bomb testing happening within view of Las Vegas, there was also the enticing possibility - and subsequent reality - of drawing even larger crowds of tourists and their money to the area. As a result, during the 1950s and early 1960s Las Vegas became Atomic City USA." Read more here.

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Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz

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