Swine of a take-off

"A pilot recently was telling me that although pilots and air traffic controllers are required to learn English, they sometimes don't know non-aviation words. He was lining up on a runway at a rural Thai airport and the air traffic controller (who could not see the runway) advised him to take off. Unfortunately the air traffic controller's English was not comprehensive enough to understand: 'I'm sorry, I can't take off because there are pigs on the runway'. The word pigs must not have featured on their English aviation course."

IRD attitude stuck in the 1950s

"Near my house there is an IRD sign advising that millions of dollars in tax refunds are waiting to be claimed," writes Michael Edgar. "So I phoned the IRD to get an IR3 form ... the man who took my call required my IRD number. He then needed me to identify myself with my age and address. This to get a form! Then he asked me which of my previous IR3 forms I wanted. I explained I did not want one of my old forms, I wanted a new one for the financial year ended 31st March. He told me the forms are not available yet. The IRD is replete with advanced and expensive technology nowadays but the civil service attitude of the 1950s still prevails."

Dress for success

"Sick of school I went for a car painting apprenticeship," writes Brent. "I got dressed up in nice clothes and was very polite ... didn't get the job. Next week decided to go in off the street to the same place, turned up in a T-shirt I had screen printed with 'SMUT' on the front, got the job on the spot."

What goes up ...

News that Dunedin's Fortune Theatre was to close came out of the blue last week and for many from the theatre industry memories of the good times and inevitable mishaps were shared. In the Otago Daily Times actor Hilary Norris recalled an incident when a helium balloon, given out during a production of Winnie the Pooh, got stuck in the rafters ... only to descend during a sombre scene in The Diary of Anne Frank, some months later.

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