Sideswipe: Hand-dryer warning

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Sign on a hand-dryer in a bathroom in central Christchurch.

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Some real estate agents really are vultures: Less than three weeks since Janet's father passed away unexpectedly, her mother received a condolence card from a North Shore real estate agent. It read: "I am sorry to hear of your loss. If at anytime in the future you would like to discuss your options or just ask for advice regarding your property in the market, please don't hesitate to call me." Says Janet: "Enclosed with the card was a printout on my parents' property with details of ownership, government valuation, land area, etc. No one in our family has ever met this agent or dealt with this company before. My parents have owned this property for 35 years and it has never been for sale during this time - or now. The agent's actions have deeply hurt and offended our family. Ethically, does the real estate industry endorse this type of tactic to obtain business?"

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Maurice still has a laugh when reminded of his young friend in Singapore experiencing her first overseas boat voyage to Sarawak.

All went well until filling in the re-entry form asking, "Are you a natural-born resident of Singapore?" Honesty invited the response: "No, I am caesarean."

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A garden centre has suggested men make their wives "feel special this Christmas" by buying a rotary clothesline as a present. UK garden outlet Hillier delivered to 900,000 homes a four-page mailer promoting a range of festive gift ideas for the home and garden. The "Vento lightweight aluminium rotary clothesline" is pictured with the headline: "Make her feel special with a clothesline this Christmas." Managers at the garden centre say they have received about 100 complaints from customers and admitted the "joke" was ill advised. (Source:

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Sherryn Wright of Tauranga writes: "Get Stuffed was the name of a favourite lunch bar when I worked for a large property development company on the Gold Coast. One lunchtime, my boss wandered past my desk with a group of potential investors and said, "Can you get us some lunch - where is everyone going [for lunch] today?" I replied, "Get Stuffed", and he nodded happily and wandered off, with the investors in tow looking shocked!"

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A reader lived in Seoul during the 1980s when South Korea's President was the despised dictator Chun Doo Hwan. "An Australian friend of mine named his boat Chunder 1. Fortunately for him the Koreans did not cotton on."

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See today's Herald cartoon

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- NZ Herald

Today's Webpick: Let’s mount a horse! Another great idea brought to you by alcohol. Go here and check it out.

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