When Celebrating A Lucrative Investment I Accidentally Spent Double The Profit

This one time my best mate Scott Newton and I spotted a fantastic Term Deposit rate at the bank.

  • Interest rate: 6%
  • Minimum investment: $600
  • Term: 6 months
  • = Profit: $36!

We could not resist!

We were poor high school students at the time but we scrounged the cash together and we each made our deposits.

We were so proud of ourselves and our sound financial decision making, that we celebrated by spending our $36 profit immediately.

We both bought some clothes and a nice lunch.

6 lean months later we were dismayed to find only $618 back in our accounts!

“Only $18 profit? Surely the bank has made a mistake?! We spent twice that amount to celebrate!” we cried.

But then we realised the error in our calculation. We had forgotten to divide the profit by 2 because of the interest rate being annual, and the term being only 6 months. Oops.

This was a harsh lesson for Scott and he somewhat overcompensated for the mistake by becoming an Accountant and now a Chief Financial Officer.

I Raided Rubbish Bins For Aluminium Cans Because The Comalco Cash-for-Cans Was So Lucrative

This one time my best mate Scott Newton and I raided all the rubbish bins within a 4 block radius of a “Camalco Cash-For-Cans” machine.

The year was 1988 and this “Camalco Cash-For-Cans” vending machine stood outside the BP station at 1275 Amohau Street, Rotorua (the BP station is no longer there).

The principle was simple. You placed a aluminium can into the slot, closed the door, listened to the crushing noice, and then the prize wheel would spin just like on a pokkie’s machine in a Casino.

You could either win:

  1. Nothing
  2. A can of Coke
  3. A Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bar
  4. Or a small bag of plain Bluebird chips

But the thing is, we were winning something every 4 cans!

No wonder the machine was in place for only a few months – they must have been losing money hand over fist.

That’s why we spent most of our weekends fishing coke cans and beer cans out of rubbish bins and dumpsters behind bars.

Yes we got dirty, yes we got old beer on our shoes, but we ate like kings!

I Had A Plan To Make Loads Of Cash By Recycling Car Batteries

This one time I left my car door open overnight and the battery went flat. When the AA came and started it for me in the morning he told me my battery was old and needed replacing that day.

The previous year I had taken an old car battery to the metal recylers I knew that they were worth about $5 each, and just a week previous I had noticed a really big old car battery under the house left here by the previous owner.

I went to the dump the next day, and what do you know, there were 2 more car batteries sitting right beside the pit!  So I put them in the car and took them home (one leaked a bit of acid and burnt a whole in the concrete in my garage).

I now had 4 batteries – about $20 worth!

With a smug look on my face, I drove to work the next day with the batteries in the back of the car, and took them in during my lunch break.

How much did I get?


Not $8 each. $8 total!

Despite the increase in lead price over the last few years (driven by an increase in demand for motorbikes and cars  in China), the metal recyclers had decided to decrease their payout.

$20 is a decent bit of cash, but $8 was an insult for all the time and effort I had put into this project.

Next time, I will just bury my old car battery in the garden.

I Locked My Self In A Locker. It Was Unpleasant.

This one time I thought it would be fun if I climbed inside a locker at The Geyserland Hotel in Rotorua.

There was barely enough room for me. I basically had to contort to fit in there.

The locking mechanism was completely exposed, I was confident there would be no problem opening it once I got inside.

I crammed myself in there and closed the door, and peaked out through the tiny vent and felt very proud of myself.

After a few moments I decided I had enough and tried to turn the latch.

It wouldn’t budge!

To my dismay it became evident that it wouldn’t move without the key!

I started to panic.  It got hot in there very quickly and since I was half way between sitting and standing it was terribly uncomfortable.

I started yelling for help but no-one came.

I kept screaming until someone finally came running in.

It took him a while to find out where I was.

“In here! In here!” I was yelling.

“Where? Where?” he yelled back and I could see him running around the room.

He found my locker at last and tried the handle but it wouldn’t move.

“Where’s the key?” he asked.

“Here” I sobbed and tried to poke the key with it’s huge keyring through the tiny ventilation slots, but it wouldn’t fit.

“I’ll go and get a manager with a master key!”

“Hurry!” I yelled as he left.

Finally a manager came to let me out. I was drenched in sweat, shaking and whimpering, but I survived.

I’ve been mildly claustrophobic ever since.

I Helped Light A Friends Fart And Burnt His Nut Sack

This one time at school camp in a hut on Mount Tongariro, 2 mates and I thought it would be good fun to light our farts.

One mate announced he was ready and got into position with just his undies on.

My job was to hold the lighter in position, but I got too close and burnt a hole in his undies and singed his nut sack.

He howled in pain while we howled with laughter.

Good times. 🙂

Want to see some video footage of people lighting their farts?

I Got So Fed Up With The High Prices, I Abandoned My Shopping Trolley

This one time I got so fed up with the high prices in the neighbourhood supermarket (Woolworths), that I abandoned my half-full shopping trolley in the middle of an isle and drove 10km to the nearest Pak ‘n’ Save instead.

I ended up saving about $15, but spent $4 extra in petrol and 25 minutes commuting.

But I just hate being ripped off, no matter what the cost.

I wonder how long it took for the Woolworths staff to decide that the trolley was abandoned and I wasn’t coming back?

Maybe they checked all the freezers just in case it belonged to an old lady who had fallen into one and couldn’t get out?

I Noticed A Patch Of Dead Grass Outside My Dads Bedroom Window

patch-of-dead-grassThe one time I was walking around the back of my Dads house when I noticed a large patch of dead grass just outside his bedroom window.

It was almost a perfect circle about 40cm in diameter.

I thought it was curious but I didn’t think much of it, until I walked around to the other side of the house and saw a similar, but smaller patch of dead grass.

This window was in the hallway just accross from my dads bedroom…

This really got me thinking.

The answer came to me out of the blue. Piss.

My dads house is actually an old office building that used to have about 10 people working in it. It is very long and between his bedroom and the toilet there are 2 hallways and 2 large open spaces which are at opposite ends. One of the hallways has a cold linolium floor and is lined with concrete block so it can be very cold in the middle of the night.

So Dad was saving himself the walk by pissing out his bedroom window.

I challenged him and he confessed.

“Dad, one thing I can’t figure out though – why the secondary patch?”

He explained “Ah, yes, well I noticed that the primary patch was becoming quite large and thought I better give it a rest so every alternate night I piss out the window in the hallway opposite the bedroom”.

Aha, that explains it!

I Burst My Eardrum On A Hydroslide And It Hurt Like Hell

burst-eardrumThis one time I burst my eardrum on a hydroslide and it hurt like hell.

(Also known as “perforated eardrum” or “ruptured eardrum”)

I was careening down the hydroslide at Waimarino Adventure Park during a Christmas party at work – head first, on a hydroslide mat.

The hydroslide ends with a 1.5 metre drop into the river.

The kayak hydroslide with the 2m drop into the river
The kayak hydroslide with the 1.5m drop into the river

As I was in mid-air I turned my head to the right just before I hit the water (foolish!).

The water shot into my ear at high velocity, I heard a “BANG!!” as I entered the water.

Thank god I was wearing a life-jacket because when I bobbed back to the surface I was in such pain I couldn’t even doggy-paddle.

The world was spinning. It felt like someone was pushing on my head to try and dunk me back into the water.

All I could do was hold my head in my hands and try not to spew.

I yelled to one of my workmates for help, thankfully he was close by on the river bank.

I’m known for my pranks and office shenanigans but thank goodness he took me seriously and jumped in immediately to rescue me.

Perhaps it was the blood that was trickling from my ear that told him I was serious.

Another workmate jumped in too (he’s a part-time surf lifesaver) and they pulled me to the bank.

It took about 15 minutes for the vertigo to subside to the point where I could walk.   But I still felt too sick to eat the huge BBQ dinner that was now ready to eat. I also have a reputation for a big appetite – especially for free food – so it was sad to let the team down on that one.

A trip to the A&E confirmed a perforated eardrum.  But thankfully I healed fast and there was no permanent damage.

A few months later I was in the surf when I turned my head at just the wrong moment when a wave was crashing down on me and “BANG!” I burst it again!

I stumbled back to my wife on the beach holding my head.  I still felt sick this time, but the perforation must have been very small because I recovered in 10 minutes and didn’t feel the need to see a doctor this time.

To prevent this from happening again I always tuck my chin and and “head-butt” waves.  It works. Try it.

I Shoplifted A Keyring From The Polynesian Spa in Rotorua


It’s confession time!

This one time I shoplifted a keyring from the souvenir shop at the Polynesian Spa in Rotorua.

(I couldn’t find a photo of the NZ version, but the American equivalent is shown on the right)

I was about 10 years old at the time.

While I was waiting for the rest of the family to finish getting changed, I was staring at this particular keyring which had all the NZ bank notes as miniture plastic versions.

I think the price was about $4, which was way out of my league (my weekly pocket money was about $2).  So after 10 minutes of sweating and stressing and checking to see if I was being watched, I put it in my pocket and took off.

I kept it hidden in a drawer beside my bed.  I couldn’t show anyone, because they might ask where I got it and I think I would crack under the pressure and confess.

I was racked with guilt for weeks.  Until, finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I buried it deep in the rubbish bin, and tried to forget about it.

But I couldn’t forget.

10 years later, I still felt guilty.

I was about 20 years old when I went back to the Polynesian Spa.  I went straight up to the souvenir counter and said “Hello. Ten years ago I stole a keyring from here.  Please accept my apology and my payment of $10.”  I handed over a $10 note and walked away.

The person at the counter just said “oh… thank you!”

Finally, I was free.

Are you carrying around any guilt?

Don’t let it eat at you for 10 years.

Make it right.  Pay for it and ask for forgiveness.  Be free.