Sideswipe: December 3: Cereal offender

The front page of Darwin's NT News about a green tree frog, fried alive by a lightning strike. The unfortunate amphibian was hiding in a power box. Photo / Supplied
The front page of Darwin's NT News about a green tree frog, fried alive by a lightning strike. The unfortunate amphibian was hiding in a power box. Photo / Supplied

Roy Temperton of Hastings couldn't believe what he was seeing ... "All this talk about how dangerous it is on a cellphone when driving, well I came out of my driveway on to a busy street last week ... and here's a guy about 18 years old cycling along with a spoon in one hand and a bowl in the other, eating what appeared to be his breakfast!"

Christmas crackers
Mental has compiled a list of quirky phrases they found from various sources over the year. You might like to drop a few into your own Christmas Party small talk ...

1. Off the cob: Corny. 2. Douse the Edisons: Turn off the lights, or close your eyes. 3. On a toot: A drunken spree. 4. The zings: A hangover. 5. Bubble dance: To wash dishes. 6. In the ketchup: Operating at a deficit. 7.Googleganger: The person with your name who shows up in search results when you Google yourself. 8. Know your groceries: To be aware, or to do things well. 9. Scandiknavery: Deceit or trickery by Scandinavians, coined by Irish writer James Joyce. 10. Schlemiel and Schlimazel (Yiddish): The schlemiel is the one who spills his coffee; the schlimazel is the one on whom it's spilled (as featured in the theme song of 70s sitcom Laverne and Shirley for those old enough to remember).

Indignation escalates
A reader writes: "A couple of months ago I wrote to Sideswipe about the ludicrous time it had taken Westfield to fix a stationary escalator in Auckland's Downtown shopping centre ... The escalator is still defunct, but the centre's new owner says repairing it is 'a priority'. Yeah, this is allowed to go on in these days of health and safety vigilance."

Avoid getting chalked ...
The parking wardens won't like this but, in the Spirit of Christmas, I suggest getting a can of WD 40 oil and water-displacing spray. Simply spray your tyres, the evil wardens' chalk won't stick and it's not harmful to tyres or the environment.

Off his dial
A German man was arrested for drink driving - after he tried to use a breathalyser to make a phone call. Police had stopped Bernhard Becker, 41, for a random breath test. "We didn't really need the reading," said a police spokesman. "He thought it was an iPhone ..."

Feeling Xmasy yet? How to make the Beer Advent Calendar.

That's Fairly Interesting: The ice floes in Black Sea near Odessa, Ukraine make this incredible noise as they rub up against each other.

Picture this: The Squeeze T-shirt ...

Video: Christmas carols are only bearable if The Muppets do them. Here they are singing Joy to the Word.

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

- NZ Herald

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