Abbott and Costello switch codes

Finding a gender-neutral term for “third man” (C8) is proving difficult. Clive Burrell of Bondi has concerns that going with the most obvious “third person” might result in an “Abbott and Costello skit”. Conversely, Murray Hutton of Mount Colah thinks we should “embrace the weird and wonderful world of cricket fielding positions. Otherwise we will have to insist that men cannot field in slips.”

“Everyone knows the third man is Harry Lime,” says Steve Cornelius of Brookvale. “If the cricketers are women, then I suggest Harriet Lime.”

Graham Russell’s question on folding fitted sheets (C8) was six words in length. At the present, there are over 40 replies on this subject. Not only that, but the bulk of them say it’s a pointless undertaking. However, some did mention a technique best explained by Sonnie Hopkins of Tascott: “Lay it out with folds showing and a narrow end closest; put a hand in each corner of the close end and then do the same at the far end; remove hands from the now-rectangle; neaten the turned edges and fold.”

The most curious practice comes from Leonie Bishop of Balgowlah: “Fit all your fitted sheets onto the bed in layers and just take the top one off at laundry time. Saves cupboard space and bed-making time.”

Tony Nicod “can assure Wendy Crew (C8) that there are possums in Collaroy. They have devoured many of our plantings and have only been defeated by a special cage covering our herb garden.”

“In the 1970s, I worked for British Airways, writing and producing TV commercials for them,” writes John Flanagan of Mosman. “This often involved flying to London with a small film crew. On one flight, we were seated on the left hand side of First Class and four very British businessmen were on the right. As dinner was served, one of the gentlemen opposite asked the stewardess ‘What’s this vegetable?’ She went to check and returned to tell him ‘It’s called a choko sir. It’s a local delicacy.’ We burst out laughing and when she asked why, we told her that the ‘delicacy’ was usually found growing over outhouses in suburban back yards. She was amused. The British gentlemen less so.”

Louise Brown of Wandella says “down here it is well-known that the only time locals lock their cars is during choko season, to stop people putting boxes of them on the back seat.“

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