Sideswipe: November 9: Nah, I’m only getting a couple of things

Why car rides make us tired?

So why do car rides tend to turn us into bleary-eyed husks in need of caffeine? According to, drowsy driving is often correlated with “motorway hypnosis”, a term used for drivers and passengers who see their need to pay attention reduced when they’re on a predictable and monotonous route. This can mean staying on a motorway for extended periods without needing to check for exits. The predictability promotes somnolence, or even a trance-like state. You might sometimes find yourself having covered a stretch of road without remembering much of it.Road trips can also fall into a person’s natural circadian rhythms for increased drowsiness – typically in the early morning hours and mid-afternoons. There’s also research into how the vibrations of a moving car can relax the brain and body.

A dictionary of thieves slang, from 1904

Crushing the jungle: Escaping from prison

Cracking the jug: Forcing an entrance into a bank

Busting the tag on a rattler: Breaking the seal on a freight car

Busting the bulls at the big show: Fighting with the police at the circus

Hoisting a slab of stones: Stealing a tray of diamonds

He got whipped back to the Irish club house: He was remanded to the police station

Hitting the pipe at a hop-joint: Smoking opium in an opium joint

He busted the collar’s smeller: He broke the officer’s nose

The stall got his slats kicked in: The thief had his ribs broken

He pigged with the darb: He absconded with the money

Parenting gags

Anthropomorphising your pets.

Q: Today our handsome boy cat went to the vets and was neutered and I’ve never felt so ethically uneasy and awful about making a decision for a pet. I feel like I’ve taken away his right to reproduce.

A: Neutering is always the best option. It will stop him roaming to find a mate and risking fights, disease and even road traffic accidents along the way. The cat and kitten population is out of control so you have prevented more unwanted cats from being brought into the world. Cats don’t reproduce to have a family like humans do, they basically just want to get their leg over!

Sounds too good to be true?

Sideswipe recently reported that Henry Heimlich demonstrated his signature manoeuvre and only got to use it in an actual emergency when he was 96 when he saved a woman in his nursing home from choking on a burger. His son Peter says the story went viral in mid-2016, but it’s false. He explains: “Briefly, the 2016 story was packaged by a public relations company representing the corporate parent of the Cincinnati, Ohio, nursing home where my father was living. The PR company handed the package (which mostly consisted of video interviews they had conducted) to the Cincinnati Enquirer. For obvious reasons, the story took off and turned up in scores of media outlets.”

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