Friday, March 31, 2006


By Ana Samways

Consequences of being rude to the fake President: While a motorcade scene for The West Wing was being shot in Burbank, California, a resident observed the driver of a Mustang honking his horn and giving the finger to the film crew. The driver was then chased by four real cop cars and about 10 real cops, handcuffed and searched. (Source:

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Very strange things seen on Grafton Bridge early on Wednesday: A series of repeated messages, in a fancy font on a piece of paper, stuck the length of the bridge. "A warning to all males. Do not give your heart to Tessa Robinson. She will break it." And "Tessa Robinson, heart-breaker." And "Tessa my love, your reputation is on the line." Guerrilla marketing? Or someone's idea of payback?

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As an owner of a Toyota Prius, Jill Cooper of Hillsborough confirms Tony Waring's suspicions. She writes: "The Prius has a nifty little display which tells you what your km/litre is at any one moment so, once you start driving one, the time it takes to get to your destination becomes secondary to your petrol consumption in getting there. In fact, my husband and I can get quite competitive about it. We also compare our consumption with other Prius owners..."

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Now seriously: By now many New Zealanders will have seen the child cancer appeal week "Fight the Monster" television ad. Some have suggested that describing cancer as a monster is not as sugar-coated as they'd like, but it seems to suit the disease, which attacks 150 healthy New Zealand children each year. The animated story stars real cancer patient 4-year-old Connor Hourigan from Carterton. Connor's monster, a Wilms tumour on her kidney, was an ogre everyone thought she had successfully fought off. But during the campaign the family found out that Connor had a shadow on her liver. After a few traumatic weeks during filming of the commercial, and a CT scan and MRI, the growth has proved not to be cancerous but will be monitored closely. The Child Cancer Foundation has supported my own family for nearly three decades. My sister was diagnosed with leukaemia at age 3. Seventy-six lumbar punctures later, she is 31 years old. The ASB Bank responded swiftly to yesterday's snippet about the collectors outside their Titirangi branch, who were shunted along for obscuring their interest rates, with $1000 for the cause. If anyone else would like to pitch in, send cheques made out to The Child Cancer Foundation to Sideswipe, PO Box 32, Wellesley St, and watch for updates. (Maybe the BNZ might crack open a few of those piggy banks)


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