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A wise man once said …

PHIL McCluskey has just returned from a British tour with Texan duo The O's who were supporting Del Amitri.

Says Phil: "One night the lads from Dallas were told that they would have to perform in front of the curtain. They had the "great idea" of each walking from the side of the stage punching the curtain from behind before meeting in the middle where they would stick their heads through the gap. It was only later that night, driving back to the hotel, that one of them asked, 'hey Phil, who's Morcambe and Wise?'"

No breaking the ice

WELL done the Scottish curlers. As Bill Webster told pals: "I used to play curling, but had to give it up on religious grounds - the Bible says 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'. Our team couldn't get started."

Hail the Canadians

AS ithers see us. The Toronto Globe and Mail newspaper was discussing weather around the world and explained: "The Scots have particular fun: on a miserable day, you might say it's 'dreich oot', and if a terrible hurricane tears through the country, as one did in 2011, you might take the name it had been given and change it something a wee bit saucier. Thus Friedhelm became Hurricane Bawbag, and the Scots laughed at it even as it ripped the roofs off barns. (A word of advice: don't say 'bawbag' to your new Scottish friends.)"

So, wise advice there from the Canadians.

Real Pryce paid

TOM Lauritzen reads in The Herald about the Aye Write! literary festival in Glasgow, and an appearance by Vicky Pryce "who was sentenced to eight months in prison with her former husband", and he thought to himself, what a severe punishment.

A corker

WE end our yarns on wine with Stuart Russell reminding us of a classic tale: "My first boss told the story about being out for dinner in the Central Hotel. The wine was off and the waiter was summoned and told the wine was corked. After a moment's pondering he replied, 'A' the best wines is corked, sir'."

Alpine off piste

WE leap from wine to soft drinks, and a warm glow of nostalgia as a reader reminds us of the Alpine lemonade lorries that employed the scariest of people to deliver brightly coloured drinks to your door. He tells us: "Every Friday evening, they would come round the doors asking if we wanted to buy any 'ginger', the west of Scotland generic term for all lemonade. I still recall their sales patter, 'D'ye want rid ginger, green ginger, clear ginger or ginger ginger?' You had to work out the flavours on offer for yourself."

Any other tales of the stout Alpine fellows?

Trouble and strife

A READER says he knew he shouldn't have, but he couldn't resist it when his wife complained about his washing-up skills being inadequate while she pointed out marks on the scrubbed pots. "The problem is that I'm a perfectionist and you're not," she told him.

"That's why we got married," he just had to blurt out.

Ashes to ashes

WE complete our David Bowie album for Scots with:

Sufferin-Eck City (Forbes Smith)

Maybole, Maybole (Douglas Gilchrist).

Ciders from Barrs (Frances Woodward)

Hunky Doric (Mike Ritchie)

Speyside Oddity (Kevin Mullen).

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