Sideswipe: October 20: Honest car ad

When selling a car this bland it helps to give a memorable sales pitch. Spotted on Trade Me, this 2005 Toyota Echo has really lived … “Perfect for stalking serial killers, undeniable parking access in the tightest of locations, fearless approach to bus lane cameras and parking meters. Kerbs? No problem! Complete with two of the original hub caps – the others are (hopefully) in hubcap heaven. Two brand new tyres on the back end. Two keys (electronics had it and need replacing) that manually unlock all doors including the back one. Still uses petrol – just not very much. Regularly transports spare Dyson, extra shopping bags, unreturned online purchases, couple of pairs of good shoes and other general paraphernalia found in most vehicles. These items not included in sale. Irregular servicing previously considered optional for a car of this calibre yet still has its own unique wind whistle audio effect roaring down Khyber Pass, late for school appointments. Perfectly functional radio and CD player – nothing decent has ever been in it … This vehicle knows its way around Auckland’s inner-city suburbs and loves it there. Actually negotiated State Highway 1 heading north this year and survived admirably. Has been lost in any number of supermarket carparks for hours at a time. Numerous parking and bus lane tickets over the years – is well known to AT staff and IT department.”

Fragrance of frog

Amphibia eau de toilette was launched in 1995. It was sold exclusively at Bloomindale’s and was advertised as being “Pour homme, femme, et frog”. The glass fragrance bottle is in its original packaging, which includes a cardboard box also containing a T-shirt with an image of Kermit the Frog lounging on his back and showing off his six-pack abs.

Old school teachers (things get dark)

John from Green Bay had two memorable teachers: “Many years ago, my French teacher wrote on my report: “John and I have come to an understanding; I don’t bother him and he doesn’t bother me.” That worked. On my first day at secondary school, I had a male teacher pointed out to me and that it was rumoured that he had caned a boy in his class years ago, and the boy had bled to death!” He was the only master that didn’t use the cane, but instead relied on heavy sarcasm and fear as instruments to maintain control in the classroom. Years after I left school, I bumped into that teacher. I asked him if the story was true. He said it wasn’t. I asked him who had started the rumour. He said he had.”

Clare (Harris) Wrathall, writes: “In the 1950s my teacher, Mr Ian H Kerr at Highlands Intermediate School, NP, said in my end of year report for PE: “Has a well-exercised tongue.”

Mood of the nation, amirite?

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