Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: January 25: Hot launch

They may serve rocket fuel at Invercargill cafes but good spelling would help the pun. (Snapped by Melissa Perkin)

Tall tales that grew in the telling

What We Believed When We Were Kids ...

1. My granddad used to tell me that if I didn't dry myself properly after my shower at night, I would wake up stuck to the bed!

2. Before Toy Story, when my youngest son was about 5, I told him his toys came alive at night when he was asleep and for the next couple of months I put his action men out around his room so they looked like they had been fighting.

3. My sister and I used to fly between Wellington and Christchurch for the school holidays. Our lovely dad used to tell us we had to hurry to collect our bags from the baggage claim area because they would only go around the bag carousel three times. After that, the airline would take them out the back and blow them up. I still rush down to collect my bags whenever I fly.

4. When colour television first came out, my nana always said don't vacuum too close to the set as it would suck the colour out of the TV!

5. My friend and his siblings grew up believing their dad's assertion that when Mr Whippy had his music playing, it meant that he had run out of icecream.

6. With the advent of large hay bails wrapped in green plastic, I told my grandkids that they were the cows' sleeping bags. The cows would eat grass during the day, sleep in their sleeping bags at night, and the farmer would put their sleeping bags back in their covers in the morning.

7. My dad told us that if we left our shoes outside, the fearsome Jandal Bird would come and take them away ... And I've convinced my young niece that a sock monster lives in the washing machine, the scourge behind so many odd socks.

8. My dad told me when I was a kid that the bubble in a builder's level was a fish fart. I was impressed at how clever the manufacturers were in being able to collect them and put them in a small tube!

Your sins will find you out

A reader writes: "After four years of organising pamphlet and newspaper delivery in Rotorua my husband and I saw every conceivable method of dumping pamphlets and papers:

* Stacked neatly inside an overgrown hedge by a park (found by council workers), 1 van-load.

* Thrown under a vacant house, half a van-load.

* Down a stormwater drain (angry phone call from council due to flooding caused).

But the prize goes to the child who, with the obvious help of a parent, managed to deposit nearly a tonne of various papers in the Kaiangaroa forest, stupidly leaving all the tags with his name and address. Result - instant dismissal, no pay. Further stupidity when he said he had worked for us when applying for a supermarket job - manager rings us and is told exactly what sort of worker he was."

- NZ Herald

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