The recycling of a recycling bin

Seven Uses for the old Recycling Bin, by Fred Wilson

1. Drill four holes in the bottom at each corner for drainage, fill with earth, plant strawberries or capsicums, or anything else that will cost more in the end than buying them at your local supermarket.

2. Remove the wheels, mount sideways at your front gate, hinge uppermost, as a giant letter box.

3. Sell it to the cafe just about to open in your burb as a trendy decoration. If successful, buy up all the bins in your street and go into business as an interior designer. That's all there is to being one of those.

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4. Remove lid, drill holes in the lip, invert and peg down, as a children's climbing up on and jumping off thing.

5. Drill holes in the side opposite the hinge and screw to 2m lengths of wood. Lay down, wedge lid open, throw in some old towels and tell the dog his new kennel is ready.

6. Paint on a number 23 more than your house number and leave it in the next street for someone else to be blamed.

7. Stash it under the house. They'll come back into vogue. They always do. I've still got my little green box.

Helping hand never goes astray

"Yesterday, I helped someone out," writes Alison James. "I should be feeling good about this, but instead I feel profoundly sad. A man was reclined in his motorised wheelchair, waiting motionless outside at 9pm. He looked uncomfortable and tense, so I stopped to ask. 'Are you all right? Can I help you?' He replied, 'Do you have a cure for MS?' I persevered and we struck up a conversation. He was not feeling well and was waiting for his regular caregiver to arrive. I asked him if he would like a glass of water and he thought for a moment and then nodded, but asked did I have a straw? I searched my memory for kitchen inventory, and replied that I thought I did. I returned with a tall glass of water and a non-bendable straw and he drank the whole glass in seconds. He had not drunk for hours. What upsets me most is how many people must have walked by, how many people walk by every day and how isolated I sensed he had become to expect this. Disability is bad enough, but isolation is torture."

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