Sydney Morning Herald
Thursday February 1, 2007
We rarely run personal greetings in Column 8, but here's one for Jessica Sheil, of Bondi Junction: "A pinch and a punch for the first of the month - no returns!" Now, this will drive Jessica nuts, as it is intended to, because Column 8 will be able to say that it appeared online at midnight, and so Column 8 got in first (a crucial aspect of such greetings). Most readers will be familiar with the "pinch and punch" bit, but what's with the "no returns"? As far as we can work out, it was an insurance clause inserted by schoolchildren in the '90s to ensure that the recipient was not allowed to reply with anything but the grimace of the outgunned."My partner and I were bridal registry shopping last Sunday at David Jones, Warringah Mall," writes Robyn Leslie, of Crows Nest. "We decided to stop mid-afternoon at their coffee shop, and ordered two coffees and one of their gourmet sandwiches. We were asked if we might be going to share the sandwich - we looked at one another and said yes. The waitress then advised that there would be a surcharge of $2.50 for this privilege, and did we want another plate? Since when is there a surcharge for sharing a sandwich?" Hard to say - DJs has not replied to Column 8's email requesting a policy clarification on this one.Right, back to the Taronga elephant's head (Column 8, for aeons). Yesterday we tracked it down to the Dental Alumni Museum in 1968. Here's part of curator Mark Jolly's description of the decapitation: "A request was made for the skull. This was granted, but only on the condition that we should sever the head and remove it on the same day. A not unreasonable condition, but nonetheless an awesome one for people used to wielding nothing larger than a two-inch blade."Jolly headed across the harbour. "The challenge was accepted. Messrs Neville Smith, Bruce Edelman and I, suitably attired in boilersuits and gumboots, and armed with butchers' knives and saws, set forth upon the bidden day. I shall not labour the details of the task more than to say that we had not overestimated it and it took a full 2 1/2 hours of intensive work to sever the head." But what about the claim that the head was hung by a chain from the Athol Buoy, to allow the fish to clean the skull? And where is the skull now? All will be revealed tomorrow.Deidre Waddington, of Cronulla, would like to reassure Ingrid Cohen that the placement of toilet paper in the MCG ladies' loo has at least improved over time (male-designed fiascos, Column 8, Tuesday). "About 32 years ago, on my first visit to the MCG," Deidre wistfully recalls, "I was astounded to discover that the toilet paper in the ladies' was located on the outside of the toilets. You had to take as much as required before going into the cubicle, so the news that the rolls have been moved inside is quite a relief."