The perils of painting things on before you say them out loud - spotted in Te Anau, Fiordland.

Crying shame more don't do it

Grant Central Pizza in Atlanta has solved the nuisance problem of the crying baby, printing on their menu: "Dear patrons: GCP is proud of its reputation as a family restaurant, a title we work to keep. Unfortunately some diners have posted unpleasant experiences because of crying and unsupervised children. To ensure all diners have an enjoyable [meal] we respectfully ask parents tend to their crying tots outside". How about raucous drunks and cellphones? (Source:

Training in an OSH-free zone


An elite squad of six Chinese soldiers, performing a training ritual for a public audience in Hong Kong, passed a satchel of live grenades in a circle from man to man, counting the seconds down. At the last possible moment, the soldier holding the satchel throws it, and all dive into a foxhole. Chinese Central Television reported it worked out fine. (Source: News of the Weird)

Dad's wishful thinking

"After becoming addicted to the Aussie chick-drama Offspring, the opening song (When We Swam by Thao and The Get Down Stay Down) became a favourite song in our house," writes a reader. "Dad sang along to what he thought were the words 'open your hips to me, open your hips'. I discovered the lyrics are actually 'oh bring your hips to me', not quite as exciting as we thought.

Council caught out

A reader writes: "Note the Whangarei road surfaces typified by the photo of the car parked too close to a fire hydrant in last week's Sideswipe - they are in 'Third World' condition. This dysfunctional council would rather spend hundreds of thousands of dollars touting a Hundertwasser project than maintain its main arterial roads, a core council responsibility."

What we believed as kids
1. I told my small daughters that they should check the hundreds and thousands on their cupcakes carefully, because the black ones were ant poo.

2. For many years I believed babies were born through their mother's mouth because I heard Mum say to my aunt that she lost three teeth when she had my younger sister. It puzzled me for years, even after the real facts of life became a little clearer - calcium deficiency.

3. As a child my Dad lived up a bush track through morepork territory. His brother, who was three years older, told him you could unscrew a morepork's head by circling the tree under it. The birds would unblinkingly watch his every move but, disappointingly, their heads never did come off.

Special delivery

Andy writes: "Your contributors who bemoan dog turd in their rubbish bins should congratulate themselves on not living in Summit Drive, Mt Albert. Here we have been greeted by such a gift package in our letterbox!"