Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: February 9: 'Strickly' speaking

Staff door at the Scarborough Fare Cafe in Sumner.

EU rules on prunes

According to rulings by the European Food Safety Authority, sellers of prunes are prohibited from marketing them as laxatives, and sellers of bottled water are forbidden to offer it as preventing dehydration. The commissioners referred to science to defend their decisions, but the rulings were derided as anti-common-sense. One MP challenged a policymaker to a prune-eating contest: "If it's not a laxative, he said, let's see how many you can eat and not have your 'bowel function assisted'." (Source: News of the Weird)

Thimblerig anyone?

Ever wondered what jobs there were in a medieval city? There was of course the military, and religious vocations, but even criminals were given occupations. Examples include:

* Silk-snatcher - one who steals bonnets.

* Thimblerigger - a professional sharper who runs a thimblerig (a game in which a pea is ostensibly hidden under a thimble and players guess which thimble it is under).

* Knifeman - one skilled with a knife; specifically, a soldier trained to disembowel horses.

* Eggler - an egg-merchant.

* Buffoon - publicly amusing person.

* Tasseler - one who makes tassels.

(Source: Via Boing Boing.net)

An audience with Miss Piggy

Miss Piggy will be interviewing celebrities on the red carpet at next week's Baftas. Miss Piggy said: "Imagine the likes of Clooney, Dujardin, Fassbender, Oldman and Pitt achieving the very pinnacle of their careers by getting a chance to speak with the one and only moi - Miss Piggy!" The British awards will screen here on UKTV on Monday, February 14, 7.30pm.

Young and gullible

Leg pull No 1: "When I used to work in a bar, we would send new staff next door for 'ice mix'. Most got the joke, but one guy didn't and came back with this massive container full of water."

Leg pull No 2: "When I worked in dispatch at General Foods in Mt Wellington, we would pass on messages to the drivers. One favourite was to have them call and ask for a Mr G. Raffe ... the number provided was the Auckland Zoo."

Leg pull No 3: "I remember sending an apprentice out to get a fallopian tube when we were doing maintenance on a machine. We rang the place he was heading to and they sent him to the vets who explained to him what he was looking for."

- NZ Herald

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