Colour me dangerous

"Time to rant I am afraid," warns Heather Lennox. "On May 25 I paid for a parcel to be sent to me via YouShop, paying for the 9-15 day delivery window. On June 1 I received an email saying my parcel was being held for clearance and I would hear within three working days what I needed to supply, if anything, to free my parcel. Odd I thought.

"I waited four working days and then asked what the problem was, then spent the next couple of weeks being shuffled between NZ Post and NZ Customs, each blaming the other for the delay.

"Finally a couple of days ago I was asked for copies of the receipts for the contents, because if they came to more than $400 I would owe GST or if they were prohibited items. Weird. This was sent via a subsidiary of NZ Post and surely prohibited items would never have made it this far? But I supplied it - parcel value $28. I was then informed that the parcel will be checked on June 19 but so far I've heard nothing and my parcel is still being held hostage, now for 21 days. The problem appears to be one item in said parcel and is listed in the Dangerous Goods Act - a packet of 24 Crayola crayons. Who knew."

Neighbourhood assassin

"As I was standing on my front lawn, spraying weedkiller on dandelions, a little neighbour girl asked if I was watering my flowers," writes a reader. "I replied, 'No, I'm killing them.' An expression of sadness washed over both of our faces. We shared a moment in silence. 'That's mean' she offered and peddled off."

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Spoils of war

"At school in England during the war, kids were encouraged to collect bits of German bombs and place them on a special table in the hall," writes David H Fisher of Howick. "Any and All ordinance was welcomed ... but by far the most common was shell fragments from our anti-aircraft guns.

"During an air raid, the guns fired hundreds of shells at German bombers. They were meant to explode near a bomber and riddle it with red hot shell fragments. But most of the pieces rained back down ... on us."

Bitter taste of macaroni and cheese for Jacinda

Dispatched with great care

"As a 5-year-old I would be put on the NZ Railway Services bus at the old bus depot in the Britomart by my mother with a label around my neck, to travel to Kaiwaka," writes Annette Stewart.

"The driver would be asked to put me off at my sister's farm. We stopped in Wellsford for refreshments and when we reached the top of the hill before Kaiwaka my eldest sister would meet me at the farm gate. I always got there safely and enjoyed the journey immensely."

Video pick

A bad lipreading of the Trump Kim Jong-un summit …


Got a Sideswipe? Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at ana.samways@nzherald.co.nz