Flash in the pan
A toilet exploded inside a home in Port Charlotte, Florida when lightning struck a septic tank in the backyard which ignited methane gas built up in the pipes causing the toilet to blow up and shatter into pieces. The homeowner said the blast was the loudest sound she has heard. The family involved lost the toilet, their indoor plumbing and the septic tank. (Source: AP)
Preposterous pool police
"We have been amused by the stories of cat flaps and pool inspectors," writes Kerry. "We had a pool for years and found the pool inspections got more and more ridiculous, but this case was probably the worst for us: Our pool used the neighbour's boundary fence as one of its fences — it was regulation height so all-good.
"However, across in the neighbour's backyard there was a 2m high gate at a 90 degree angle to the boundary fence. The gate was constructed with diagonal beams and vertical planks. It was alleged that a child could climb up this gate and then over the boundary fence in order to reach our pool. We reckoned that it would have to be a 2m tall toddler with mountaineering skills! Nevertheless we were forced, with the neighbour's permission, to add wooden blocks to the gate to ensure there were no footholds."
It's possible that whoever designed this part of the new branding for P-town watches too much Netflix ... And while the Porirua Council says the smiley face is just a small part of the rebrand, and therefore the cost, the ratepayer-funded splurge might still be a bitter pill to swallow for residents.
Small world tales
A reader writes: "Many years ago, just before my husband and I headed to London for an extended holiday, I had afternoon tea with a neighbour who confided that she was worried about her daughter in London because of IRA bombings there.
"One freezing morning in London we walked down the street where second-hand campervans were for sale. A young couple invited us in for a coffee in their van. The usual: Where are you from? New Zealand. But where? In the Waikato. Where in the Waikato? Oh, you wouldn't have heard of it, a little place called Parawera. And she listened, astonished, when I said to her: your mother is very worried about you!"