Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sideswipe

Queen Helen? An easy mistake to make

By Ana Samways

A reader overheard the following conversation about the latest New Zealand Woman's Weekly in his local Starmart, between a boy of about 8 and his mother.

Boy: Mum, that's not Helen Clark, is it?

Mum: No, it's Queen Liz.

Boy: Who?

Mum: Queen Elizabeth.

Boy: Who? I thought Helen Clark was our Queen?

Mum: No, Queen Elizabeth is, she's the Queen of England.

Boy: But isn't Helen Clark the Queen of New Zealand?

Mum: No, she's the Prime Minister.

Boy: What's the difference?

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A reader writes: "Prime Television were so keen to show off their all-new, Eric Young-fronted news service that last week, in the delayed transmission of the Warriors rugby league game, they gave us the result of the game in Headline News, during the half-time break. Obviously not wanting a repeat of that scenario, they came up with a cunning plan: this Sunday they broadcast the game more than 24 hours after it was played so they could be sure everyone would know the final score by this time."

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Pat Donovan of Albany would like to confess ... "I have just buried, with ceremony and flowers, the identical cat to mine. It was found at the junction of Coatesville Rd and State Highway 17 on Easter Saturday. My cat has just walked in large as life, having no idea that her funeral had just taken place. Whoever owns the identical cat to mine, a tabby with cream and tan markings on her belly, should know your cat went to earth in a clean pillowslip with flowers and many tears and now resides in our paddock with the rest of the animals we have lost over the years."

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Homeowners Robin Sutton and Allen Lade, of Cincinnati, Ohio, wanted to put up a 2m-high cedar fence in their yard but the local government denied the request because the fence wouldn't "fit in with the look and feel of the township" and needed to be a minimum of 13.7m away from the street. As a protest Sutton and Lade installed a surrealist display of yard art where the fence would be. They've decorated their property line with 15 toilet planters, dozens of multi-coloured toilet brushes, an array of pinwheels, toy skeletons and assorted other oddities. As Lade puts it: "It's colourful. It's bright. It's humorous. It's pointed ... " For Christmas, they strung 2800 lights in their back yard and invited neighbourhood children to spray-paint the toilet brushes. Sutton said: "It's a reminder of basic property rights. It shows the absurdity of being told you can't put up a fence ... " (Source: boingboing.net)

* * *

Trying a different publicity tack, Tom Cruise is now talking sanctimoniously about sex instead of religion or the myth of post-natal depression. He tells GQ that casual sex is "really horrible and pathetic and lonely. And yech". Sex, he says, "is about the connection. Great sex is a by-product, for me, of a great relationship, where you have communication and it's an extension of that. Where it's just ... free. And that's how it should be. It's spectacular. If you're not in good communication with your partner, it sucks." (Source: nerve.com)

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