Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: June 15: One for you, Sir Peter

Peter Jackson surely has to buy this King Kong-inspired home theatre set-up, which comes complete with faux wood and stone front, giant ape hands gripping each chair, and Kong himself peeking over the top of the TV. (It's made by Tom Spina Designs in New York.)

Being grown-up

Having a mortgage, kids and maybe some life insurance are sure signs you are a grown-up, but a survey of Brits confirmed some other less-obvious behaviours constitute maturity: Watching the news, owning a lawn mower, taking trips to the local tip, finding a messy house annoying, spending the weekend "pottering", repairing torn clothing rather than throwing it away, washing up straight after eating, enjoying gift vouchers and being kept awake at night by work.

Neat-freaking nightmare

Susan writes: "I once flatted with the most compulsively neat male owner ever. He went away for two weeks and, wanting to be a good flattie, I decided to mow the lawns, do all the housework and have everything looking awesome for his return.

The lawnmower shot a flame out the side and died. It cost me $45 for an urgent mower man to come around. I managed to pull the plug off the cord of the vacuum cleaner and drove 40 minutes to borrow one from a friend. I was too vigorous polishing the coffee table and splattered furniture polish all over his beige suede couch. Hours of stain removal and many panicked calls to Mum. Exhausted, boiled water for pasta - fell asleep and burned bum out of his pot. Worst weekend ever."

Cycling in perspective

Matt Hancock writes: "While I would like to congratulate your reader Jo for waiting semi-patiently behind the cyclists, I wonder if your reader had been held up behind a tractor, or an old man driving at 40km/h? My guess is they would have either passed sensibly or just waited until it was safe to do so. I also bet Jo has never tried cycling on the road, where sometimes riding in a bunch 'two abreast' is safer than riding single file. It forces drivers behind to consider a safe passing move rather than zooming past a single rider with inches to spare."

Question of speed

A reader comments: "Your driver said she had to slow down from 100km/h to 70km/h, but the speed limit on Waitakere Rd is 80km/h all the way through. I also note that the photo was taken opposite Taupaki Primary School; maybe it was fortunate the cyclists were there to slow her progress down outside the front of a school?"

- NZ Herald

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