A reader spotted this interesting addition to Port Ohope wharf this summer.

Speedy claim, snail-pace settlement

Police 5, Insurers 0. A recent attempted burglary in Orakei received a prompt police response followed by a call from the forensics team and victim support. Within a few days an insurance claim was filed, with photos and the police report, for damaged doors which left the home unsecured. Seven weeks later, still no settlement. The police community constable calls by personally to check and follows with an email. In all this time, no response from insurers. Now, after being told the police are concerned, they finally send an assessor. In one day the claim is approved. Just six more weeks to wait for the doors.

FBI called over drunk's racist fantasy
When a drunk woman went into a shop in Tennessee where Nidal Maghrbi works and asked to borrow $2 to buy beer, Maghrbi politely declined. The woman got increasingly angry and made racist comments to Maghrbi, who moved to the United States when he was 8 years old and is a citizen. The woman then called the police, telling them the shop assistant knew about Islamic State plans to blow up a bridge. Officers noted in their report that the woman was drunk but still alerted the FBI.


Royal woman driver
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia died last week aged 90 and this anecdote which has popped up sheds a new light on the Queen Elizabeth. "In September 1998, then Crown Prince Abdullah had been invited up to Balmoral for lunch with the Queen ... who asked her guest if he would like a tour of the estate. An initially hesitant Abdullah agreed. The royal Land Rovers were drawn up in front of the castle and Abdullah climbed into the front seat of the front Land Rover, with his interpreter in the seat behind. To his surprise, the Queen climbed into the driving seat, turned the ignition and drove off. Women are not -- yet -- allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, and Abdullah was not used to being driven by a woman, let alone a queen. His nervousness only increased as the Queen, an army driver in wartime, accelerated the Land Rover along the narrow Scottish estate roads, talking all the time. Through his interpreter, the Crown Prince implored the Queen to slow down and concentrate on the road ahead."

Healthy lunch shown in this ad for a car lunch-holder contraption.
Picture this: View of the North Island (and a bit of the south) from the International Space Station...

Good read: The devastating impact of vaccine deniers, in one measles chart...

Video: The Kardashians meet My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding ...

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