Twist the Handel to survive long drives

Wendy has two handy hints for those setting out on long car journeys. "First, get a map (those things used pre-GPS). Show the kids where you are, and where you're going to. Every time you get to a new town, get out the map and show where you are on the map. Because they can see where you are - and where you still have to go - you don't get the dreaded 'Are we nearly there?'. Another suggestion is to make sure you have a recording of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. Promise faithfully that if there is any whining, squabbling or fighting there will be consequences. After two warnings, play the song. Loudly. And sing along with it (doesn't matter if you can sing or not, but back in the day when I was a shrill soprano it was extremely effective) and ignore their pleas for you to stop until you get to the end. Verily, I say to you your problems will be solved."

Brendan saw this strange sight in a shopping centre carpark...

Dumpster cat has landed on his feet


Christine writes: "Just had a letter from my tenant to say he is leaving after seven years of renting my apartment. That's sad but the wonderful part is that he found a cat in a dumpster on Queen St a few years ago, rang and asked me if he could keep it. He lives in a studio apartment on the 4th floor - wouldn't that be difficult, I asked. 'No, no', he said, 'I will look after it'. I thought it was sweet, so let him. I visited after a few months to find the cat lying on the bed, sun streaming through the windows, every cat toy you could think of spread over the floor. Now my tenant is moving back to Japan. Concerned about puss, I emailed to ask what he was going to do. Guess where dumpster cat is going? To live his final years in Japan. One very lucky puss, I reckon."

Customs pulls human hair

Customs at Sao Paulo's international airport impounded a ton of human hair from India worth about US$400,000 ($489,000). The importer declared the value of cargo - long pony tails held together with elastic bands and packed into boxes - "as just US$15,000", a Customs spokesman said. "But during inspection it turned out the true value is US$400,000." Customs also said the importer "was not the real intended recipient of the human hair cargo". He did not reveal who the intended recipient was, but he urged "consumers of this type of product always to ensure if the supplier respects National Sanitary Surveillance Agency requirements" on disinfecting imported hair.

Hope no one with allergies is attending this function:

Got a Sideswipe?

Send your pictures, links and anecdotes to Ana at