Sideswipe: February 18: Hard name to live with…

Sounds like a bad idea all round

In 1960, the Automobile Legal Association proposed that all drivers should learn a code that would allow them to communicate with each other on the road via honks. One short honk would mean “left blinker going”. Three short honks would mean “a light burned out”. One long honk would mean “get over in the right lane”. And so on. Although the honking code never caught on, the idea of allowing drivers to communicate with each other has persisted. The 21st-century spin on it is the various phone apps (such as bump.com, Driver Talk, or PL8chat) that allow you to send messages to other cars by entering their licence plate number. Of course, both drivers have to be signed up with the app for this to work. Which means these apps have, for now, very limited practical use.

British satire at our lockdown

Following the discovery of a handful of local Covid-19 cases, New Zealand is currently halfway through a demanding three-day lockdown. The punishing restrictions demand that Auckland’s 1.7 million residents remain indoors for a full 72 hours, while the rest of the country has been politely asked to follow the alert level 2 rules. New Zealand resident Mary Fisher said: “We all praised Jacinda Ardern for going hard and early with the restrictions last year, but this time she’s gone too far. She’s clearly drunk with power. What am I meant to do if I want to take in the breathtaking natural scenery I’ve enjoyed uninhibited for months on end? Turn my head slightly and look out the window? It’s just not the same.

“We’ve endured hours of these emergency measures and the end is already clearly in sight, but I think people want to lift the lockdown early so we can return to the normality we all vividly remember from last week.” Fisher’s friend in London Tom Booker said: “Sorry, I thought you were taking the piss when you said three days. I’ve had hangovers longer than that.”
(Via The Daily Mash)

Remote schooling is a colourful business

A fine funeral anecdote

A reader writes: “Doug and a friend flatted together while attending university in Wellington. Occasionally Doug would catch a ride to university on the pillion seat of his friend’s BSA motorcycle. He would carry their work satchels under each arm and use his knees to grip the motorbike. On one occasion his friend had stopped at a red light. Doug took the opportunity to stand up to reposition himself. Meanwhile, the lights had turned green and his friend roared off leaving him standing in the morning traffic holding the satchels!”

Search algorithms not always professional

Paul writes: “My overseas vet daughter recommended that her cat (now under my TLC) be referred to a colleague of hers working in Albany. In googling the local vet’s name to check her credentials the only reference my local vet could find was to her entry in the Massey University naked vets calendar 2012!”

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