A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: June 12: Major breakdown


"Major vehicle breakdown at Pak'n Save, Pukekohe, last week," sniggers Karl.

A family that stickers together ...

A conversation about stick family car decals ...

"The first time I saw them, my initial thought was that they represented pedestrians, and the driver was keeping score."

"I unabashedly love those stick figures. It's shown me all the different ranges of families that are really out there, as opposed to the two parents, 1.2 kids that is portrayed in the media. One parent? Three kids? Ten dogs? A fish with an angel halo? I love it!"

"Whoa, halos mean the people are dead? Good to know."

"Back when the 'Baby on Board' signs first came out, in the 1980s, we bought my mum a sign that read 'Ex-Husband in Trunk' because, I guess, we all thought murder was hilarious back then."

"Baby on Board stickers aren't trying to say 'please don't hit me, I have a baby'. They're trying to say 'I have a noise and vomit machine that may be distracting me, please excuse erratic/slow driving'."

"Look, I don't care that Jayden plays soccer or that Daddy wears a tie, I care that you don't hit me with that continent-sized SUV you are driving."

"One time in a parking lot, the car next to me had six cat stickers all in a row on the back windshield. At the time, I was single and I felt it was a sobering glimpse of my potential future."

"Given the recent spate of warnings about criminals choosing targets based on their stick families, I expect to see a line of heavily armed stick families accompanied by various breeds of guard dogs and surrounded by razor wire."


First class travel

A reader writes: "In my day a school trip used to mean the whole class would head out for bit of orienteering, a sauna and a sneaky fag in the Catlins bush, but today's kids are being offered international trips away, at a huge cost. My 10-year-old was gutted when she realised we weren't going to be able to pluck out the thousands of dollars required to fund the school trip to Japan she wanted to go on. It was a difficult conversation and one I resented having to have. I haven't travelled far and, as I see it, she has her whole life ahead of her to travel. I guess it is a perfect teaching opportunity to help our children understand the concept of the haves and the have-nots and which side of the ledger they are on."

"This is a note my brother brought to me one morning after my then 9-year-old son had discovered his chicken leftovers from dinner went missing!" writes Lyla Repia.

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

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