Snakes and ladders

Firefighters in Conroe, Texas responded to a house fire caused by Christmas tree lights. When they arrived, they were faced with more than 100 snakes. This from CNN: "The reptiles included several five- to six-foot-long pythons and boa constrictors and were in glass cases but still needed to be carried outside the house. With the help of the home's owners, fire crews ferried the snakes to safety ...

"The homeowner wasn't willing to give a lot of information on why they had so many snakes. In fact, they told us the snakes don't like people in uniform," an anonymous firefighter added. 'But as firefighters, we will do anything to help anybody'."

No blunder after all

A reader writes: "The pohutukawas in the photo of the Pine Harbour street trees (yesterday's Sideswipe) look the same as those planted in Mt Taylor Drive Glendowie. They are, in fact, not pohutukawas (which grow enormous), they are hybrid pohutukawa/rata, originally found on Great Barrier Island. They are much more compact and upright in growth so much more suitable for street trees.

Carpark heroes

"I just wanted to express a thanks to all the people who bustled to the aid of my 82-year-old mum when she tripped in the Glenfield mall carpark on Saturday," writes Lisa Dam. "To the man with his young son who rushed over and took the weight of my concern on his shoulders, the security guards who tended to her and held her hands while we waited for the ambulance, the workman in the fluoro jacket who gave us a blanket and pillow, the amazing paramedics, and all the shoppers who stopped to ask if they could help in any way. Mum is fine and recovering in hospital ... you are all heroes."

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Call me by your name

"Recently there was a programme on TV about Buddy Holly," writes Dave Miller of Rotorua. "We have an animated golden retriever called Buddy and during the show the name Buddy was mentioned on numerous occasions. It all got a bit too much for Buddy-the-dog and for the entire programme he was standing up in front of the TV in case he missed anything."

Video Pick

Christmas with the Moonies…


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