Sideswipe

A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: January 6: Dangerous melons

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How dangerous can a watermelon be, wonders Dorothy Morrissey who snapped this north of Te Puke.

New Zealand - a nation to be proud of

"Depending on who you ask, there are between 185 and 195 countries in the world and I've had the good fortune to visit well over 100 of them," says Tony from the UK. "Which is the best is always a difficult question. Best for food? Best for scenery? Best weather? Best culture? Safest? Most hospitable? All get different answers. I'd never visited NZ and it took a globe-travelling daughter to get me on a flight from the UK to Auckland in late November for four weeks, visiting Auckland, Paihia, Russell, Taupo Bay, Matakana, Whitianga, Lake Taupo and Napier. I now have my answer for "best in the world, overall package" - it is New Zealand. I don't think you know how good your country is. Please, please fight hard to keep it special. Embrace the culture and history and don't give in to open borders, over-population and over-development. Stand firm against crime. Don't let the health and safety bureaucracy take over and continue with good old common sense. Thank you to all of the people I met in the many restaurants, motels, hotels and houses, the man in the street, the man who strapped my ankles together for the bungy and even the policeman who stopped me for speeding (sorry). I loved every minute of my trip. My daughter loved it so much she's staying for another couple of months.

I'll be back later this year."

Triple measure of trouble

Police arrested a woman in Readington Township, New Jersey for drunk driving. They took her back to the police station. She called a friend to pick her up. When that friend arrived, police discovered that she was drunk too. She had driven to the station, so they arrested her. Then the two women summoned a third friend to pick them up. When he arrived at the station, police noticed that he, too, was drunk and had driven to the station. So they arrested him as well. Eventually, a sober friend drove all three home. (Source: NJ.com)

Time Lotto crossed this off

Petrus van der Schaaf of Te Arai Point has a suggestion for Lotto. "Do you think that in 2014 Lotto might consider not displaying the two XXs at the end of the winning wheel number, since they keep telling us - year after year - that they are irrelevant? Maybe?"

Grinch postal service

Ruth Iggulden of Conifer Grove writes: "I just wanted to share this with you because I thought it was really mean of NZ Post to return a letter - sent on December 20 and returned to us on January 3. It was a normal business envelope with Christmas cards from my children to their grandparents in Tauranga. I think the reason they want extra postage is that there's a mini candy cane in the envelope. But it certainly doesn't make the envelope very thick."

Picture this #1: It's pointless buying your dog a camera, they said. He'll never be able to operate it, they said.

Picture this #2: This, my friends, is art. This is what we're aiming for. ..

Facebook: How Social Media Marketing can go wrong.... Simply ask your customers what they really think. KFC asks it's Facebook users to "Fill in the blank: In 2014 I want KFC to bring back ----" and over 4700 dirty bird eaters responded, not all constructively "Decent sized pieces of chicken as opposed to the anorexic carcases being passed off as food. Add to that consistency rather than brown over done chips one minute and then the odd good batch. Keep the bloody grease to a minimum because at present some pieces you can squeeze and perform an oil change on your car. Stop trying to pass off feet, gizzards and beaks as real chicken too because that's disingenuous..."

Video: Usually the sideshow 'impalement arts' involve a knife being thrown by a man at his wife, but in this clip a Texas mother uses her young daughters...

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

- NZ Herald

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