Licence plate hits a little below the cam belt

Much like the Altura Cafe's SHTBLK numberplate featured yesterday and the unintended dual meaning of the plate above, a reader remembers when a retired schoolteacher proudly drove his shiny new Daihatsu Applause with the numberplate "CLAP" attached. It was not there long! (If you don't get it click here.)

Strange but true

1. Sydney's Elanora Heights Public School has banned clapping during student assemblies in an effort to help pupils with noise anxieties. To show audience approval, students are asked to "punch the air," "pull [on their] faces," or "wriggle about."

2. Tourism officials in Iceland recently posted "hundreds" of signs at various tourist attractions of a squatting person in silhouette, with a small pile on the ground underneath, with the universal diagonal line through it to suggest doing so was not allowed. However, even critics of the signs admit Iceland has a chronic shortage of public facilities.

3. The word "dude" first appeared in the late 1800s as a term of mockery for young men who were overly fashion conscious - derived from the song Yankee Doodle Dandy in which some bloke "stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni". And macaroni became a term for young British men who returned from Europe with new clothes and a taste for an exotic Italian dish of the same name.


The errand of his ways

"In 1963 I was in a Standard 4 class (Year 6) in Mt Roskill, back of the class, talking to my mate," writes Phil Bates. "Mr H saw me yakking and shouted "BATES, get up here!". Man, was I terrified as I slunk up to the front in full view of the hushed class - shame enough. Mr H reached into his pocket and pulled out a half crown (two shillings and sixpence - 25c in dollar terms). He handed it to me and said 'Go down to the dairy and get me a packet of Rothmans'. My relief knew no bounds."

"I saw this lying in the middle of Great North Rd near Avondale, in the process of being trampled by cars. It flicked open to this page as I passed and I decided it may be precious to its owner. The name inside is Chelsea Towers, no address. Thought you may help trace the owner."

Strapping attempt gets a little out of hand

"In a one-class Maori schoolroom up north in the 40s, my brother Alex had his hand held out for strapping in front of his class and siblings," writes Brenda. "He grabbed the strap out of the teacher's hand and threw it out the window ... 'I am too big for that,' he said, aged 14 and bigger than the teacher. As he was so good at school rugby nothing more was said."

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