Mum won't think it's funny
A dad writes: "My annual pilgrimage to the shops is at Christmas. All I have to do is to get a gift for my wife, chosen expressly by our 9-year-old son. This year, my son could not be dissuaded from this coffee cup (sorry, dear). He thought the line "be afraid, be very afraid" was funny and probably thought the PMT was the brand."
1. After seeing a brown snake in the front yard of a neighbour's house, Rodney Williams of Glenroi, in New South Wales, Australia, picked it up and bit its head off. Mr Williams, who admits he'd had a few drinks before the incident, said: "I bit its head off first so it couldn't bite me."
2. The Shanghai Daily reported that Shangmao kindergarten in Yangzhou City, China, will be charging a new fee - for parents who want the teachers to hug their kids - once when they arrive and again when they leave. This will cost NZ$15.50 a month.
3. A man was sentenced to nine years in prison by a court in Belfast, Northern Ireland, for having robbed an armoured-car guard.
He made off with the guard's cashbox, but since the guard was on his way into Northern Bank, and not on his way out, the box was - unfortunately for the robber - empty.
That ought to teach him a lesson
The Times' legal section named this yarn the "Least Appropriate Sentence of 2012" ... A judge in Florida ordered a man who had assaulted his wife after an argument to buy her flowers, take her to dinner and then to bowling. A defence lawyer asked the judge, "Does he have to let her win?"
Everything you need for a special night at home - all in one place
An uncle writes: "While I was distracted in the wine aisle, my 2-year-old light-fingered nephew managed to deposit not one but six Durex Vibration Rings (whatever the hell they are!) and some lubricant, which are now conveniently located next to the pinot gris."
Too young to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em?
A reader writes: "I was in the Farmers St Lukes toy department and noticed that they are selling poker sets in the board games section for ages 12 and up. Is it just me or is that really inappropriate? I might expect to see it at Whitcoulls with the grown-ups' board games maybe, but not in the children's department."
Merry Christmas and for your seasonal enjoyment here are some Christmas links for the Christmas cynics and the idealists!
It's a wrap (cynics): Crapping paper - the wrapping paper that ruins the surprise! "From books to socks to those really rubbish mini-deodorant sets you only buy people because they're a bit smelly. Say goodbye to awkward smiles and thankless platitudes forever."
Picture this (idealists): From 1900 to 1945 Anna and Richard Wagner had a photograph taken of themselves in their front room every Christmas Eve, and they sent the picture as a Christmas Card to their friends.
Quick clip (cynics): Christmas ad for funeral services in Guatemala
Picture this (cynics): Santa is scarier than a clown...
Video (idealists): An Unexpected Christmas...Another gorgeous Christmas yarn told by the kids of St Paul's Church, Auckland, made in 2012.
Video (cynics): What do you give an addict for Christmas?
Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at firstname.lastname@example.org