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Harping on

MIKE Ritchie was at Celtic Music Radio's Clutha benefit gig in Glasgow where a player of the clairseach - the Celtic harp - told him of being on a late-night train home where a friendly drunk, spotting his instrument, encouraged him to play a tune.

Reluctantly, and to keep the peace, he began removing the harp from its case. The inebriated traveller got to his feet and declared: "Quiet, please. The harpoonist's gonnae gie us a tune."

Elementary mistake

GOOD to see book shops doing their best to drum up business. After the success of the recent TV series, Sherlock, Stephen Evans spots a bookshop which tweeted: "If only there were some sort of books about Sherlock Holmes which everyone could read to bide the time before series four."

Last word

SO farewell then as the pantomimes across Scotland draw the final curtain for the year. Sam Hornell particularly liked the line from Aladdin at Glasgow's King's Theatre where Wishy Washy was talking about chatting up a girl from Dundee. "You're stunning," he told her.

"Naw am no, am sitting," she replied.

Body blow

SCOTS comedian Stu Who was discussing faux pas, and told of some young ladies at a gig at Glasgow's People's Palace who asked for a lift to Cumbernauld in the van. Stu agreed, as long they helped load the gear.

Says Stu: "One of the ladies, a petite thing on high heels, passed me holding one tiny box in one hand, and her handbag slung over the other arm. 'What's wrong wae you?' I inquired. 'Only got the one arm?'

"She put down the box of records, and her handbag, and with a pop, removed an artificial arm, which she thrust into my hands."

Double-take

ERIC Simpson in Dalgety Bay got a shock to receive a Labour Party leaflet with the headline "Gordon is backing Alex". Surely a breakthrough, thought Eric, that former Prime Minsiter Gordon Brown was agreeing with First Minister Alex Salmond.

Eric read on to discover that said Mr Brown was merely giving his support to Alex Rowley, the Labour candidate in the Cowdenbeath by-election.

So not so earth-shattering then.

And the winner is ...

AMID the glamour of the Golden Globe film awards, you might have missed award-winning Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron thank Sandra Bullock, star in his film Gravity, for not taking offence when she misheard his accented voice and thought he had promised her that he would "give her herpes". He had in fact told her he would give her an earpiece.

Lord of the rings

EVER heard snatches of mobile phone conversations that made you smile or made you wonder about the rest of the conversation? So has writer Andrew Barrow who has collected such snippets in The Great Book of Mobile Talk. It includes:

"Darling, there were two hazelnuts in the washing machine this morning! You have to check Otto's pockets!"

"Midnight to eight is the best shift. Nuts calling in, always drunk."

"I'm a bit shell-shocked actually. I hadn't heard back from them for several days then, all of a sudden, I get a text saying it's being delivered today."

Toy story

A colleague wanders over to tell us the latest about being a father. He reveals: "My son said he wanted an Action Man for his birthday, but now he tells me he wants a Red Indian. So I've been trying to put a brave face on it."

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