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"HAPPY New Year!" a friend texted yesterday afternoon. Moments later, another text arrived. "Sorry for that last one," it said. "Apparently I suffer from premature congratulation."
GERRY Gill was once on a flight from Heathrow to Glasgow, which was delayed for half an hour because of the usual "technical problem".
Finally, the pilot came on the intercom to say the problem had been rectified. The airline took safety very seriously, he said, and all aircraft had to be in perfect order before they were allowed to take off.
It was his next words, though, that have remained with Gerry. "I'm sure," he told his passengers, "we'd all agree that it's better to arrive a few minutes late in this life than a few years early into the next."
Picture the scene ...
THE perils of being a press photographer. Nick Ponty, of The Herald & Times, was out on a job in Possilpark, Glasgow. Two old guys were standing outside a pub, puffing away on fags. Growled one: "Don't you point your camera this way!" There may or may not have been a swear-word in there.
Then another man spotted Nick and accosted him: "You fae The Digger, big man?"
Moments later, Nick was sitting in his car, eating his Greggs lunch when he found himself being stared at by a couple of local youths, one in a balaclava. "It went on for a full five minutes," says Nick, "just because I was sitting in a Vauxhall Astra." Needless to say, Nick didn't hang around for too much longer ...
A COUPLE of responses to yesterday's item about offbeat superstitions and, weirdly, both involve snails.
Frazer Andrews and Jim Montgomery both remember, from their respective childhoods, that if you came across a big black snail you were advised to spit on it and declare, for reasons unknown, "It's no' ma grandfaither/granny!"
Any other superstitions?
What's up doc?
OUR story about blindingly obvious questions in hospital reminded Morag Donaghy of her days as a student nurse in the Southern General in Glasgow.
A consultant, watched by student doctors, asked a woman about to be operated on: "How did you sleep last night, madam?" It was all the students could do not to laugh too loudly when she replied: "Wi' ma eyes shut, doctor."
Smoke and mirrors
LABOUR has suggested a fine of up to £5000 for anyone over 18 who buys cigarettes for minors. "That's annoying," tweets Jimmy Carr. "What am I going to get my nieces for Christmas now?"
While on the festive theme, we also liked this joke, from a contest run by the TV channel Gold: Why is it getting harder to buy advent calendars? Because their days are numbered.
Who, me? Sorry!
AND finally ... apologies for being unable to tell a pronoun from a preposition (a most unHerald-like error, though one entirely in keeping with the Diary's freewheeling approach to grammar) yesterday. A couple of readers have emailed to point out the error, as a consequence of which, heads (mine) have rolled.
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