Sideswipe: May 22: Hard-heartedness on the buses

An American multinational's idea of freedom. Photo / Supplied
An American multinational's idea of freedom. Photo / Supplied

"A month ago my 18-year-old daughter was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis," writes Camilla. "A sudden and inexplicable onset, two weeks in hospital, three (unsuccessful) operations, long-term prognosis still unknown. She has trouble walking more than a few minutes without requiring rest and leg elevation. On Monday, in an effort to regain some independence, she attempted a bus ride after her weekly blood test (10 tubes!) from Pakuranga Plaza to Auckland Hospital for an appointment. The bus was full and it took some effort for my normally shy eldest child to ask if someone would please be willing to give up their seat for her. To the two women who said no: things are not always what they seem. To the older gentleman who actually offered his seat: you are kindness itself, thank you ... by the time she reached Greenlane she could no longer stand the disapproving looks and she disembarked and I took her the remainder of the way in the car. Sometimes things are unfair."

Locking us away from our treats
"I am a big strong man," declares William, "but I have huge problems opening Cadbury's new chocolate block wrappers. I am semi-intelligent, so have been able to read the instructions on the top of the packaging, where it instructs me where to put my left thumb and first finger, and also where to put my right thumb and first finger. I have even mastered the bit where it implies that I should slowly move my two hands apart to enjoy the resealable packaging. But, while I am able to eventually get the bloody stuff open, it takes so much effort that I wonder how on earth anyone of a more 'normal' strength would be able to do it."

Keep degrees on hold until loan payments made
This reader has a radical solution to the problem of student loan defaulters: "Why can't we just revoke the degree or whatever qualification the loan was for? If you HP something and don't pay the loan off they repossess it. Well let's start repossessing the qualifications. Next time a potential employer checks up, the defaulter will learn their degree has been revoked and they can be advised it will be given back when their arrears are paid off."

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Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at

- NZ Herald

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