This adapted road sign accounts for everything except the cranked-up temperament. Murray McElwain writes: "There is a gaggle of cantankerous geese - about 40 - near Manurewa. They have water on both sides of the road and all of a sudden they make up their minds to cross the road! One at a time. It takes 19 minutes sometimes for them to cross, holding up the traffic. If you honk at them, they stop and look at you."

Shoot the messenger

"I recently got a new letterbox which promised to keep my post safer and drier," explains Cameron. "Imagine my surprise when my mail was left hanging halfway out of the box, saturated with rain. Annoyed, I called NZ Post Customer Service. The first thing they asked was if there was a spring on the flap. 'Yes', I said. 'There's your problem,' cooed the nice lady. 'Our staff won't push mail into a spring-loaded flap due to OSH restrictions.' I almost choked. Most amusing of all was that the letter sent by NZ Post telling me the postie wouldn't push mail fully into my letterbox was the first piece of addressed mail to actually be inserted fully into my letterbox!"

Leaving the platform now ...


Grandad said: "Oh, I've lost my train of thought." To which his 6-year-old grandson replied: "Did the train just chug away Grandad?"

Mr M. Iser goes shopping

"I have a friend who is a serial returner," writes Graeme. "He has receipts for everything going back God-knows how long, all scanned into his computer. He'll get normal usage out of everyday household items, then a few years down the track when the appliance is getting tired and some minor fault develops, off he trots with the item, receipt and warranty to get a full replacement. It usually works and he doesn't mind the embarrassment. Retailers must have a name for these customers."

Mrs M. Iser has a shower

A son-in-law writes: "Speaking of tight people, several years ago my husband and I holidayed at the Waipu Cove camp grounds. When the in-laws arrived, my mother-in-law had a cold shower every day to save the 20c it cost for hot water. One morning she found a 20c coin on the ground and spent the rest of the day in high spirits boasting that she'd had a hot shower for free."

Buggy alert

Bernadette writes: "Stupid me left my Phil & Ted's buggy on the roadside on Onehunga Mall about 10.30am on Friday. Some people said they saw it still there at 2.30pm but we've lost track of it since. I'd be ever so grateful if anyone saw it (i.e. has it) to let us know via Sideswipe."

Strong medicine

"I dyed my hair with a top-quality, imported colourant," writes Anthea. "There was some left over, so I put it away in the medicine cabinet for future use (they do warn you against this). After three weeks I took it out. It had leaked. The colourant had burnt its way through three layers of paint to the bare wood. If this is what it does to wood, what is it doing to our brains?"