Gifts gone wrong
1. Christmas, 1993. I was 11. My grandma gave me one half of a pool cue. She gifted the other half to my 8-year-old brother.
Grandma: "See? You can only use it if you two co-operate and share."
We did not own a pool table.
2. A decorative seasonal Christmas pillow with rhinestones that made it impossible to use.
3. A guinea pig. Just the guinea pig, no cage or anything. They gave it to me in a bucket.
4. A book called This is Why You're Single. Thanks Mum.
5. A rape alarm and a pen. Thanks Mum.
6. My first boyfriend gave me a wooden box with a padlock on it for Christmas one year, handed me the key and told me not to open it until I got home. I opened it and inside was a little jar of his blood, and a little jar of his tears. I was 17 and mortified. Also couldn't fathom how he got enough tears to fill a small jar, so I asked him. Turns out he had plucked all his nose hairs and eyelashes to gather them.
One moment, caller
A 71-year-old man in Japan was arrested for calling a phone company 24,000 times to complain about his contract, police said. Akitoshi Okamoto had allegedly pummelled the KDDI Corporation's customer service department with toll-free phone calls over an eight-day period.
What's in a name?
A town in Canada called Asbestos is changing its name because it does not have a "good connotation". The cancer-causing mineral was once used as an electrical insulator, until it was discovered that it can lead to various serious lung conditions, including tumours.
Sideswipe: The definition of a perfect marriage
Sideswipe: Are Cessnas the new status symbol?
Sideswipe: Naughtily brief view of Xmas lights
Flights of fancy
The funny thing about the Pauanui parking photo asking if Cessnas are the new status symbol is the planes are not Cessnas. According to Evan, there are two Vans RVs (homebuilt kit planes), a Lancair (a homebuilt kitplane), and a Cirrus. "Pauanui Airfield is deliberately designed as an air-park with houses down both sides of the runway," he says.