A daily look at life's oddities by Ana Samways

Sideswipe: July 17: Take note


Paul snapped this inside a Spanish cab. "Seems the genius driver had found a much better use for his rearview mirror than using it to keep an eye on traffic," he says.

Magazine flirts with danger

Tatler magazine has come under fire after encouraging teens to flirt with their friends' fathers to secure invitations to lavish events. The advice was included in 'Ten Charm Rules' which says: "At some point take half an hour out to flirt (gently) with the parent of the opposite sex and then write a witty thank-you letter - bingo, you're a winner. Soon, word will get out and you'll be invited everywhere - dinners, more country weekends, swanky holidays and so on, and so on ..."A Tatler spokesman said: "If the Tatler feature is read in its entirety it is clear that we intended it to be light-hearted."

How not to use a bidet

A story singing the praises of the bidet prompted readers of BBC Magazine to share alternative ways to use the secondary porcelain bowl favoured by the French and, more recently, Italians as a symbol of hygiene supremacy ...

1. Defrosting the turkey.

2. They make a super [place for] leaving umbrellas to dry.

3. As a child my family and I would always go on a caravan holiday to the south of France. One particular time, my family stopped at a very small hotel overnight. This hotel had a bidet and when I asked my father naively what the toilet- looking sink thing was for he explained it was "for washing your family jewels". Flash forward 10 or so years to a teenage me explaining to someone at a party that "in France they have a special sink just for washing your jewellery". My family has yet to let me live it down.

4. When my daughter was 3 to 5 years old, she and her friend regularly used the bidet as a Barbie swimming pool. Unfortunately one day she put her Rachel doll into the bidet to swim. Normally when Rachel's arms were lifted, she sang "Reach for the Sky". Sadly she never sang again.

5. My friend's family who are "a bit posh" had one. As kids we figured out that the jet was so powerful it would just about reach the ceiling. So we had competitions to catch as much of the jet of water after it was coming back down from the ceiling in your mouth as you could. It wasn't easy.

More stupid arguments

Following yesterday's examples from, Kiwi readers weigh in.

1. "I once had an idiot insist that Voltaren Emulgel contained real emus. He could not be swayed."

2. "Reminds of the time my Mum wanted to mash the potatoes using the food processor rather than just smashing them. My dad didn't like this idea for some reason so he decided to put the food processor on the roof so she wouldn't have access to it."

Tweet Goodness: At 14 I asked John Cleese if he had a fan club. Here's his response...

Picture this: The face of Jesus has been seen everywhere and now the mug of Cookie Monster is also popping up in the strangest places...

Video: Brethren Barbie?

Video: Madrid filmmaker David de los Santos Gil shot this gorgeous time-lapse of different flowers blooming. Just five thousand out of 50,000 photographs made it into the final piece.

NZ Herald app users click here for today's video.

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

- NZ Herald

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