John Riley of Edgecumbe writes: "I've been sitting on this photo for a wee while. It was taken one morning during one of my early bike rides. The farmer who owns the land could see nothing odd about the shape of the tree, so I'm wondering if my heart rate may have been slightly elevated when I noticed it. I see it as a cross between a brontosaurus and a giraffe but it could be just a plain old windswept tree!"
A class act in corporal punishment
Otahuhu College in the 1950s had a sadistic deputy principal, writes Adrian Muller of Papamoa. "One morning he decided there would be a blitz on late-comers and sent we prefects out to catch anyone not in class, so they could be sent to him for caning. I caught a couple of tiny third formers and warned them to disappear fast. When I returned and tried to tell the DP I had no one for him to cane he shouted at me, "You are late, bend over!" And he caned me. I had tried to explain and got as far as saying, "But, but it was you who ..." He interrupted as he swung his cane saying: "He who excuses himself accuses himself."
Signs you are getting old ...
1. I walked into a youth label clothing shop last week and the woman giggled and said 'Oh are you just killing time in your lunch break?'
2. I look at Jack Tame on TV and think 'Why is he presenting the news, he is only 10?'
3. I now get aroused looking at houses for sale on Trade Me.
4. My idea of entertainment is watching Q+A on TV.
5. I went to a strip bar on a stag do and instead of my heart beating through my chest I look at the strippers and think, 'Gee she's pretty, I wonder how she ended up here. What's her story...'
Gender stereotyping not really on menu
Matthew writes: "Perhaps your reader who pointed out the sexism in the Mr Men and Little Miss books should read the following less male positive books: Mr Clumsy, Mr Nosey, Mr Messy, Mr Noisy, Mr Lazy, Mr Mean, Mr Muddle, Mr Grumpy, Mr WRONG! And most sad of all Mr Nobody. And for the Little Misses who are bit more positive Miss Giggles, Miss Quick, Miss Wise, Miss Somersault and Miss Fabulous although I think a camp Mr Fabulous would have been far more entertaining. McDonald's have chosen just a small selection of the more positive ones."
(The 49 Mr Men books began in 1971. From 1981, an accompanying series of 42 Little Miss books began. The idea is not so much about gender stereotyping but to create character with a single dominant personality to convey a simple moral lesson. In France other characters including Little Miss Loud, Little Miss Flirt, and Little Miss Pain-in-the-Neck were released).
Euphemisms for the indoor outhouse (aka the toilet) include..."The Parnell Baths. Let smaller towns go to the bog; in Auckland we pop to the Baths to drop the kids off at a classier kind of pool. If that's too tame, the adventurous can add a frisson of excitement to their ablutions and excuse themselves to feed the sharks at Kelly Tarltons."
Video: In case you missed it, here's the Auckland law review parody video, which looks at how an official government apology to Maori for the mishandling of the Treaty of Waitangi would go and adds a little Bieber for good measure...
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Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org