"I was heading into Whangarei, p***** off about the drive north because traffic kept me held up for two hours, when I saw a hitchhiker," writes a reader. "I picked the dude up. We talked for an hour or so about a bunch of stuff - how he worked for four months in Antarctica drilling holes for scientists, how he used the proceeds to travel the world the other eight months of the year, how he doesn't get back to California that often, how at 34 he's starting to feel a bit grown up for the backpacker tribe.
We also talked about the meditation retreat he had been in for 10 days in the countryside just north of Auckland. For 10 days, silence and contemplation - no outside disturbances, no electronics, no nothing except peace and a search for tranquillity of spirit. 'The last news I saw before going in was the inauguration,' he said. 'Trump was just being sworn in as President. I couldn't believe it man - it felt like we were all being punked.' I agreed and said, yes, it felt unreal. But then, I added, a lot which had happened since felt unreal. 'What?' he asked. 'Has stuff happened since he got sworn in?' I dropped him off about 20 minutes later ... 'so then he sacked the attorney general and - get this - put out a press release in which he called her a traitor' ... and the guy had this expression on his face that was awful."
"Anti-homeless" spikes installed in Manchester city centre, aimed at deterring rough sleepers, have been removed following protests by local people, who covered them with cushions.
1. Neighbour Audrey, popping her head over the garden fence said, "I wouldn't plant your spinach just there, dear! Those atheists will jump off it and right on to your roses!"
2. Son, Justin, aged 2, ran through to the bedroom yelling, "Mummy, come quick it's your favourite programme, it's 'The Merry Tamarillo Show'!"
3. Neighbour, when we were planning an outing together said, "Don't worry about me dear, I'm very 'amendable'!"
4. I was present when a little girl came to her father during a rain storm and asked to borrow his "underbrella".
6. Howick Bowling Club tournament for the over 80-year-old octogenarians was announced as "oxygenarians".
7. A couple of employees of ours were having a minor squabble and one said to the other, "It is not my fault that you are 'impotent' at your job!"
8. Full of encouragement, my boss suggested I go for the "juggler"!
9. I had a work colleague go into a hardware store and ask for paint for her "dildo". She meant dado and wondered why the store staff laughed at her.
Good read: You probably shower too often? (Er, not if you are a 13 year-old boy)
Video: With the release of the remake this month you may want to be reminded of the original Goodbye Pork Pie (1981).
Video: In Ten Meter Tower, the Swedish filmmakers paid 67 people $30 to climb to the top of a ten meter high dive for the very first time all while being filmed. Watching each person confront their fear and make the decision to jump, or not is riveting ....
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at email@example.com