Sideswipe: March 15: Shetland bus shelter

When the local council removed a bus shelter near the village of Baltasound, on the isle of Unst, Shetland, Scotland, in 1996, 7-year-old Bobby Macaulay wrote to the Shetland Times asking them to replace it — he and his friends had been meeting there to wait for their school bus. When a new shelter appeared, an anonymous donor added a wicker table and a sofa, and a tradition was born. In time a television appeared, as well as a heater and a carpet.

Kids never let you forget

1. One time we had to take money from our son’s piggy bank to pay the babysitter in cash.
2. Drove to ATM first thing next morning to reimburse him. Ten years later, he still talks about that one time we stole all of his money.
3. Asked my 5-year-old what she wanted for dinner and she said “not a burned quesadilla” because in the summer of 2019 I overcooked one side of her quesadilla.
4. I grazed a chin in a coat zipping incident 10+ years ago. It comes up every time a coat is worn.
5. I once showed my nephew a picture of me getting a tattoo (because previously he thought I was just born with a cartoon birthmark) and his only review was a very blunt, “You’ve got a fat back.”

Zoo fraud

A zoo in Xianning, Central China, has sparked outrage on social media after it was revealed that it had tried to pass off a Rottweiler as a wolf. Footage showing a visitor to the Xiangwushan Zoo in Xianning, Hubei province, visiting the wolf enclosure only to find a Rottweiler resting inside went viral on Chinese social media. The man who recorded the video, a certain Mr Xu, can be heard saying, “Woof! Are you a wolf?” to the dog, which doesn’t seem to concerned by the fact that it looks nothing like a wolf. Xu later told Chinese journalists that he asked the zoo staff about the animal, and they told him that they used to have an actual wolf, but it died of old age. Another Chinese zoo did try to pass off a husky dog as a wolf a few years back. And back in 2018, we wrote about an Egyptian zoo that tried to pass off donkeys as zebras, by painting them white with black stripes.

Twitter wisdom

1. I had to log into my wife’s bank account to download tax forms and it asked me for “best friend’s first name”. I tried a few of her friend’s names then gave up and asked her for the answer. She said, “did you try your name?”
2. I reckon an unattended house alarm is the most suburban thing ever, apart from the sound of the sauvignon blanc bottles crashing into the guts of the recycling truck.
3. I was driving and saw a guy lying on the footpath next to a bike. I worried he was hurtso pulled to the side of the road to check. Reality was he was a local science teacher with a go pro video and ant hill for his students.

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