Frog tales over easy

January 2, 2022 — 9.00pm

To start off the new calendar year, here is a somewhat disturbing variation on the oft-reported scam-call phenomenon. Alan Smith of Toowoomba (Qld) received a call from a foreign-sounding gentleman from the United Arab Emirates to say that his (non-existent) Telstra account had been compromised and required immediate attention. “When I played along by innocently enquiring, ‘That sounds serious. What should I do?’, the slightly wearied response was, ‘Sir, you should just go and die’.”

Terry McGee of Malua Bay reports that acute name shortage (C8) has also hit Malua Bay. “We have three adjacent Terrys, and Rhonda down the street has an Antoinette on each side. Probabilities?”

At a recent dinner party attended by John Swanton of Coogee, one of the other guests related a cautionary tale for anyone regularly making use of false eyelashes. It started innocently enough, a 19-year-old daughter running late for work desperately searching for her false eyelashes, sure that she had left them on her bedside table when she took them off the night before, and her mum volunteering to help her look for them. “They searched high and low until Mum found them under her bed, being attacked by a large huntsman spider.” Not creepy enough? Imagine if that spider had seen them moving when still attached to the eyelids and decided to launch an attack.

In a small world story, Val Little of Tathra writes that her son and his American wife were in a bar in New Orleans, and while at the bar ordering a drink her son’s wife heard the sound of Aussie lingo from two blokes at the bar. “Excitedly she invited them over, ‘Come and meet my Aussie husband’. They asked my son where he hailed from in Australia, to which he replied, ‘You wouldn’t know my home town, a little place called Tathra’. ‘Tathra!’ they exclaimed. ‘A month ago we answered an ad on the net and have just bought a boat from a bloke, nicknamed Frog, who lives in Tathra’. My son replied, ‘That’s my Dad!’”

Andrew McPherson of Kalaru has been crunching the numbers. “Date palindromes were rare from 1923 through to 2000, but have been plentiful since 2001. 2022 presents close to a dozen, my favourites being 22-2-22 and 22-11-22. Enjoy them while they last because they become rare again from next year until 2101. I wonder if there will be any pedants around by then to care?“

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