"Seems the Whangarei District Council decided in its infinite wisdom to 'improve' upon the stunning natural beauty of Langs Beach by installing three flag poles," says Sacha. "A local has installed their own banner in response.

It reads:

1. How can our council spend $27,000 on these poles when our footpaths are buggered and rubbish bins overflowing?

2. Please explain their purpose - an enhancement on the natural beauty perhaps?


3. Do they come with dancers?'"

Still a man's world, it seems
"Classic," says Andrew. "A contributor to the Herald online comments section is offended by the use of male names in female hygiene products. 'Even sanitary products are given a male name ... MAX. Come on!' reads the comment on the 'Transphobic' tampon ad' story. Silly me. I thought it meant 'maximum', as in 'heavy duty'."

Pretend war, real consequences
Scar Story #1: "When I was 7 years old, my brother and I were playing soldiers with two other boys while camping," writes Brendan Cook. "We were all up a huge tree, when behind me, one boy threw a 'grenade' (a stick with three pinecones on it) at the advancing enemy. Unfortunately, he hit me on the chin. It opened a vein up and I had to get four stitches. Just goes to show, war solves nothing."

Bleeding obvious, really
Scar Story #2: Rae says that as she unpacked a new knife set she'd bought, she experienced major brain disengagement. "I picked up a particularly dangerous-looking knife and said to my partner, 'I wonder how sharp this is?' as I ran my thumb down the blade. Profusely bleeding thumb was proof that it was damn sharp!"

Parcels, they can cost a leg
Scar Story #3: Mark from New Plymouth writes: "I have a scar on my right knee from the early 90s. I had just received a parcel from the courier and was closing the front door when my knee slipped and went through the glass. There wasn't much blood and I thought it wasn't too bad until I sat down and had a decent look at it. Mum said I went green."

I'll marry you, on one condition
Funny lady Penny Ashton has been applying to be a marriage celebrant for nine years. "But the powers-that-be are telling me I need to prove there is demand for the type of celebrant-ness I would offer. [Ashton must surely be the only celebrant willing to dress up in costume and be in character.] So if you're engaged and want a comedienne celebrant under 40 (who also does civil unions), please send me a brief email saying you'd like me, and then I can maybe marry you!" (Email Penny Ashton)

It's been a gas. No, seriously ...
"Readers may be interested to know that at present usage levels, the Earth's supply of helium will run out in about 30 years," writes Ian forebodingly. "Once it has all been used, we cannot make more. It has critical uses, including for health and science. We shouldn't be wasting it on balloons, sharks etc..."