Sideswipe: Aug 31: Queasy does it

Queasy does it (left), and the Crying Boy painting (right). Photos / Supplied
Queasy does it (left), and the Crying Boy painting (right). Photos / Supplied

"The ideal implement to get the lumps out," says Terry Smith (picture, left).

Comedian solves crying art 'curse'

In 1985 British tabloid the Sun reported that a firefighter from Yorkshire was suggesting that copies of a painting of a crying boy (picture, right) were often found relatively undamaged in the ruins of burned houses. One fireman piped up that he had logged 50 'Crying Boy' fires dating back to 1973. In the months that followed people began believing the painting was cursed. As the stories accumulated, details emerged that encouraged the idea that possession of the print actually put owners at risk of a house fire. But British writer and comedian Steve Punt investigated and found out that the prints were treated with a varnish containing fire repellent, and that the string holding the painting to the wall would be the first to perish, resulting in the painting landing face down on the floor and thus being protected.

Menacing guy going nowhere

While doing some cleaning at the weekend, Susan Wilson noticed a neighbour a few doors up having a chat over the fence with some guy on the street. "When I went back to the kitchen later the guy was still there," she says. "That's strange, I thought. A couple of hours later he was still there and looking a bit threatening. I was looking up my neighbour's phone number to see if everything was all right when my son came in and I mentioned the situation to him. He told me that the guy was actually a cardboard cut-out of Jonah Lomu (put up for a Rugby World Cup party). I wasn't wearing my glasses."

Bacon jam - spread the word

Bored with marmalade, fed-up with chocolate spread? Then have a big breakfast all in one go by spreading your morning toast with bacon jam. The new barbecue-type preserve is made with smoked bacon, red onion, coffee, balsamic vinegar, garlic, spice - and whisky. The first batch of more than 200 jars - costing £3.75 ($7) for 200g - sold out quickly at the grocery in Walthamstow, East London, where it was launched. Store co-owner Chris O'Connor, who developed the jam, said: "We've always sold homemade jam and crispy bacon so we thought we'd put the two together." His business partner, James Brundle, said: "We really think it will take off ... it's just getting people to try it." The jam will go on sale across London next month and, if it's a hit, will be launched UK-wide. (Source:

- NZ Herald

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