Sideswipe: December 9: Neighbour fell out with the shelterbelt trimmer

Full circle humiliation

A woman can’t find her phone, so she accuses a nearby couple of stealing it. (Yes, this is a common theme in the Karen genre.) The accuser and accused are in a shop, where an employee is trying to help. The employee suggests they call the phone, but the accuser, looking pretty woebegone, doesn’t think that idea will work, insisting throughout the ordeal that “he could have turned off the ringer”. The accused man has even emptied his pockets, but still, the woman is sure her phone is on his person in silent mode, making it pointless to call. But after a pathetic back-and-forth, she finally lets the employee call her phone, and that’s where we get to the punchline: the phone rings. It has been in her purse the whole time.

Lessons in emoji

The vast majority of the world’s population use emoji — but which emoji are we using? Well, it appears that reports of Tears of Joy’s death are greatly exaggerated. According to data collected by the Unicode Consortium, the not-for-profit organisation responsible for digitising the world’s languages, Tears of Joy accounts for more than 5 per cent of all emoji use. The only other character that comes close is Love Heart. Also popular: the Rocket Ship, symbolic of progress being made and anticipation of big changes. Flexed Biceps is the top body-parts emoji and is commonly used to indicate strength, success, overcoming a struggle, exercise, showing off, boasting or rolling up your sleeve to receive a vaccine. The Bouquet is used for all occasions: congratulations, celebrations and relationships of many varieties be they platonic or romantic. Butterfly is the most common animal emoji, representative of change, beauty, nature and transformation. Overall, smiling faces, flowers and emotional symbols are the most popular categories … Least popular? Flags. Read more here.

Looks delicious, but is it structurally sound?

Motorcycle test

Went for my motorcycle test on my 50cc at the local council office in the very early 70s. The officer met me outside at the same time as a chap rode up on an expensive Triumph Bonneville. The officer asked me if I could see the roundabout 300m down the road. I said yes. He said good, ride down there, go around the roundabout and come back here. I dutifully did that while he spent the time admiring the beautiful Triumph. When I got back he dragged his attention away from said Triumph and asked me “did you fall off?” I said no, he said well in you go and get your license then.

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