Sideswipe: April 15: Dining out on fishy tale

Helen writes: "I was charmed to see this surfboard on top of this mobility scooter parked near the sea at Takapuna Beach on Saturday morning." Photo / Supplied
Helen writes: "I was charmed to see this surfboard on top of this mobility scooter parked near the sea at Takapuna Beach on Saturday morning." Photo / Supplied

Alf Hoyle of Rotorua shares this story: "After 53 years in real estate in Rotorua one incident has stuck in my mind. I listed a house for sale in Devon St owned by a Mr Fish. A gentleman came into my office looking to buy a house - his name was Mr Herring. I was almost too embarrassed to take him to the residence owned by Mr Fish but I did and he bought it. When I took the agreements to the solicitors - Sale of Fish to Herring, there were gales of laughter and a strong belief I was having them on."

Town lit way for WWII bomber in trouble
Malcolm writes: "My grandfather, Alexander Henderson, of Raetihi, wrote to the family in Dunedin during WWII and recounted the following story: 'One filthy night during WWII an American bomber appeared circling over Raetihi. People came out of their houses, read the situation and soon a cavalcade of vehicles surrounded a makeshift runway with headlights ablaze. A good landing was made, with the final stop attributed to a fence in darkness acting as arresting wires.

The crew was unscathed, the aircraft not so. Repairs were made over time and the bomber took to the skies.' Is this a war secret?"

Memory playing tricks
"Now I'm really confused!" declares Renee. "I remember a charming couple that were friends of my mother and lived in Waikanae circa 1950s (it seems to fit the timeline) and as a child, I remember them fondly and called them Dr and Mrs Doctor! I have heard the Doctor/Nurse tale and always attributed it to them, but am now in doubt as to Mrs Doctor's true identity. Perhaps she was an imposter ... I am not aware of any children. But have you heard the one about Mr Tuffnail and Mrs Delicate?"

Siren sounds just part of life
Jeremy Hope writes. "Just to clarify [regarding] the alert siren noises in Tairua; a constant sustained siren is a tsunami warning, as the previous writer explained. But the normal siren is a regular occurrence and completely normal for anyone who has stayed in any Coromandel town. Tairua has a volunteer fire brigade, and the normal siren means there has been an accident in the hills, or a fire has broken out, and some amazing local volunteers are rising to the call of duty. The previous writer must be a relatively new bach owner, our family has had our property there since the 1950s. The siren is such a familiar sound now that we barely notice it!"

Picture this: Malaysian artist/architect Hong Yi (who often goes by the nickname Red) has created art works comprised entirely of food on a white plate.

Photoshop meme: Sport Balls Replaced with cats.

Picture this: North Korean female soldiers patrolling in platform heels.

German immigrants wanted: "My daughter thinks that Sideswipe is the first thing people read in the NZ Herald," writes Irmengard Wohlfart. "Could you please help me find respondents for my PhD survey? My research focuses on the consequences of immigration for (originally) German-speaking immigrants over time and across three generations in NZ. I am looking for more answers from the second and third generation of (originally) German-speaking immigrants in NZ. Here is the link to the survey if there are any of your readers who fit the bill."

Video: Waiting for a bus....

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

- NZ Herald

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