The best story

"My grand-niece told me today that there was a new boy in her class," writes Heather Levack. "He is from Turkey, and apart from being able to tell them his name, can speak no English. My niece decided it would be good if she learned some Turkish words ... So she and her friend learned a few phrases and then presented a little roleplay to her class where they introduced themselves to each other in Turkish. The teacher then photocopied some words and asked those interested in forming a Turkish Club to give him their name.

"The whole class wanted in. Who can despair of today's kids? Instead of making an immigrant child feel like an outsider they welcomed him. I told my niece this was the best story I had ever heard."

Clean snake comes up smelling of softener

An escaped pet snake that apparently slithered into a suburban Chicago family's washing machine ended up smelling like fabric softener after going through the wash. Sanela Kamencic told a local TV station she was "totally creeped out" when the snake turned up in the machine.

Police officer Pedro Carrasco and animal control warden Jason Pound took the reptile to the Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital. Carrasco said it was "peeking its head out of the washing machine" when they found it.

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Pound said it smelled like softener after surviving the wash cycle. A vet said the corn snake, named Penelope, was in "in pretty good shape". The animal belonged to a 12-year-old boy who lived nearby. They were reunited afterward.

Fruit empties library

Thai durian fruit. Photo / Dean Purcell
Thai durian fruit. Photo / Dean Purcell

A university library evacuated over a suspected gas leak has reopened after hazardous material crews found that a discarded piece of fruit was responsible for the unpleasant smell.

Firefighters in Australia were called to the University of Canberra after a strong smell of gas was reported — with hundreds of students leaving the building within minutes so a thorough search could take place. After an hour, the source of the foul odour was discovered: a durian fruit, which had been left in a bin near an air vent on the second floor.

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