Welcome to the garage sale of ideas

Bob Irvine's garage sale of quirky stories and sayings has something for everyone, and they're free.

Bob Irvine's garage sale of quirky stories and sayings has something for everyone, and they're free.

OPINION:The difference between collector and hoarder is through-put, I maintain. Every now and then – usually when exits from the house are unreachable – I sell off some of my quirky finds.

The same goes for the oddities I cherrypick from the media and the streets, jotting them down in a 3B1 notebook. They all have prospects, but some just can't find a home.

The hallways of my mind are clogging up. Welcome to a garage sale of ideas.

These objets d'artlessness hail from far and wide. Names and locations often disguised to protect the guilty.

* A glossy "wellness"; magazine carries an ad for "Massage Gangnam-style".

* "Passionate about produce" – stale sloganeering on a fruit-and-vege delivery truck. "Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." – rival trucker claims the high ground.

* The latest "get-away-from-it-all" backcountry tent on display in an Outdoors store features built-in solar panels to charge your devices anywhere.

* Their villa in Ponsonby had no garage, so a hipster couple turned their front room into one, installing a "car stacker" or giant hoist. Two vehicles can now be slotted in, one on top of the other. The street-facing wall of the room has become the garage door, thus the heritage front of the house is preserved. (It's either brilliant or completely bonkers, as George Clarke would say.)

* The golden retriever on his daily beach walk has a GoPro harnessed to his back.

* A Muslim woman drags her medieval headscarf into the 21 st Century by using its tight folds to clamp her smartphone against her ear so she can drive and chat "hands-free".

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* Letters to the Editor 1: (after Timaru's city status had been questioned). "Officially worldwide there are four requirements to be considered a city: a railway station; an institute of higher learning (higher than school); a cathedral. Unfortunately I can't remember the fourth – I think it's a hospital ..."

* Letters To The Editor 2: Your story "What does a burkini ban achieve" fails to acquaint readers with the history of Islam … They wear their uniforms giving notice to the West that they intend to infiltrate and dominate."

* Stabbing reported in a small town: "Another nearby neighbour, who had been living on the street since the beginning of the year, said he liked living on the street. 'So far it's been a good street." One resident said he had been watching television on the Saturday night and had not heard any commotion, but that might be "because I'm so damn deaf".

* Headlines of note:

Gym class helping to improve fitness

Gore farmer helps moo-rooned cows (Never pass up an awful pun.)

Coach keeps mum on team selection (Great to see older players valued.)

Storm wreaks havoc (Only journalists use the word "wreak". It's a professional wreakness.)

Chip firm expands with kettles (Makes perfect sense to snack-food fans, apparently.)

Council to seek answers after freak hamster wheel accident (The "wheel" is a piece of playground equipment, but why spoil the fun.)

* Picture caption of the year: "Opati-Mamakau-Kiwitown-Pinehaven water zone management committee chairman Peter Smith addresses those attending a workshop held by the Opati-Mamakau- Kiwitown-

Pinehaven water zone management committee." 

* The "Why Bother" file:

Chimney smoke concern 

Firefighters were called to a property after receiving reports of smoke coming from a chimney. A Fire Service spokesman said firefighters were called to the address at 4.43pm on Wednesday. No action was necessary.

Fire in farm pit

A fire crew attended a fire at a farmer's pit on Hunter Rd at 11.30am yesterday. A fire communication spokesman said the event was "nothing too significant".

* We know what they mean, but …

"Smith Street Farmers Market, every Sunday 8am. Fresh vegetables. New potatoes, tomatoes and fresh eggs never been used."

"With one owner, 7465 kilometres on the clock and only a couple of minor scratches, the 73-year-old had no trouble finding an interested buyer." (Lucky him/her.)

* And my favourite ...

Fridge door callout

Firefighters were called to a home after its occupants mistook the sound of their open fridge door for their smoke alarm and rang 111 … A Fire Service manager said he did not think the fridge door sounded like a smoke alarm, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

* Finally, Overheard

Opshops are staffed by volunteers, mostly "mature"; and mostly female. Down-to-earth heroines, every one of them.

Store banter blitzes that old "Enjoy the rest of your day" piffle – the conversations are priceless. Like

"You know that man who was in here on Wednesday buying lingerie," said a genteel matron to her colleague as she tidied a clothes rack. "Well, he'd love this dress."


"You have to like old things to work here."

"I've had two husbands who liked old things."

"Really," said colleague. "Do you mean you've been widowed twice? Poor thing. That must make you wary."

"Oh no, I've got Number 3 on the hook. Don't worry about me, dear."


"Worst mistake I ever made. When she skipped the flat she took our cutlery, our crockery. She even took the lightshades. We had to clean the whole place. And guess what I found on the ceiling? Guess?"

"Fly poo?"

"No – butter."

 - Stuff


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