Matter of taste

Q: What was your most satisfying moment of winning an argument?

A: Having been married forever, I eventually learned that arguing was futile; if I lost the argument I lost, and if I won I'd lose but probably in even worse ways. I think we were picking out kitchen tiles or furniture or something. We just couldn't agree, until I blurted out: "I prefer this one, and I have better taste than you!" Clearly a dangerous thing to say to my wife. She looked at me quite incredulously and asked: "What!? Would you mind repeating yourself!!?" I did the quickest thinking of my life. "I have better taste than you," I stated with confidence. "And I can prove it!" ... "Oh? How? This better be good." My reply was golden: "Well, I married you, but you married me." Game, set and match.

Quite unattractorive


"In 1958 at New Plymouth Boys High, we had a caretaker who never went from point A to point B without driving his tractor, no matter how short the distance," writes Nigel Huffam. "One day when we were walking to our next class he happened to drive past. Walking with us was a teacher (Mr J J Stewart, the future All Black coach) who said to nobody in particular, 'there goes the only man in the world with an arse shaped like a tractor seat'. Cracked us all up."

Six of the best

Eric Strickett from Massey was at Otahuhu College in the 50s and remembers the happy-stroppy deputy principal. "He was particularly stringent with dress code infringements - all miscreants were told to fall out after assembly and a core of teachers were assembled to dish out the strap! Each boy in that long queue had to state what he did wrong, and a system of so many whacks with the strap ensued! I was in the older classes and some of us wags joined back in the queue and went round 3 times! All our teachers were elderly and those whackers were getting tired when the DP recognised me. "Strickett! (the teachers never used your Christian name!) How many times have you been round? This is my third time sir! So he belted the hell out of me! Six of the best for being a smart arse!"

Double whammy

"I went to Tongariro High School in Turangi in the 70s," writes Murray.

The DP would tell any students caught doing wrong to go to "The House of Swinging Bamboo", which was the boys' toilets. We then had to bend over and put our heads under the basins. We'd get caned on the backside, would jump and lift our heads, and crack them on the basin above."