Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: December 30: Safe driving

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Georgee from Karaka writes: "We saw this van on Boxing Day. As he went on to State Highway 20 with the oversized load strapped to the roof, we wondered if it reached its destination in one piece or if the van took off into the sky once he reached 100km/h."

Unfortunate and horrifying 19th-century deaths ...

1. After causing a stir in a London factory in 1875, a mouse killed a man. The man caught a mouse running through a factory, but it managed to scurry up his sleeve. He opened his mouth in surprise - and the mouse dived in. On its way down his throat, it "began to tear and bite inside the man's throat and chest, and the result was the unfortunate fellow died after a little time in horrible agony," a newspaper said at the time.

2. In New York in the 1880s, street lamplighter Sam Wardell needed to make sure he woke up on time. He rigged up a contraption that connected his alarm clock to a 10lb rock on a shelf. When the alarm rang, the rock dropped to the floor. One night, however, he took the furniture out of his room for a party; when he put it back, he unthinkingly put the bed right under the stone.

When the alarm clock went off, the rock dropped on Wardell's head.

3. During a funeral in a Russian village, a coffin opened, and out walked the corpse. In fact, the "deceased" had simply woken from a coma. But the priest didn't realise this as everyone fled, believing they were being pursued by a zombie - which they killed with guns and stakes before the priest figured out the truth. (Source: BBC - 10 truly bizarre Victorian deaths)
Would you credit it

"At 11am on Christmas Day, my phone whistled, 'You've got mail'," explains Mike from Browns Bay. "My friendly bank had sent me what everyone must want for Chrissie. Not. My latest credit card statement had arrived, complete with the cost of gifts for all and sundry. Just the thing to put me in the holiday spirit."

Live ... from the driver's seat

Driving up the Southern Motorway towards Mt Wellington last week in slow moving traffic, Ann Whitehouse watched as a young man driving a car in front of her strummed his guitar. "He only put it down when he noticed the cop car parked ahead of us!"

Unhappy time as gift goes missing

A reader writes: "My son lost his Christmas present - a Seiko watch - at Mission Bay on December 26. It was about 8pm or 9pm when he took it off to play cricket. When he returned he realised his watch was missing. We looked everywhere but had no luck." If someone picked up the watch please contact Sideswipe.

Picture this: After buying the wrong balloons, Shaun saved the day with this Christmas morning amendment...

Video: To mark the marriage of Kay-Leigh and Gervan Diaz had a driver perform burnout donuts around them in a BWM E46 while they pashed...

Video: An epic 10 minutes of local and international news bloopers from Dan News... (NSFW language)

Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz.

- NZ Herald

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