AS Burns Night approaches, reader John Robertson tells us he was in Inveraray's Tourist Information Office where he heard an English visitor ask the assistant: "Do you have a CD of Rabbie Burns reading his own poetry?"

Says John: "After a diplomatic explanation regarding time travel, they left quietly."

Cook up a plan

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OUR mention of retirement being a difficult adjustment reminds Calum Carmichael: "I knew one fellow, admittedly much too used to an affluent lifestyle, who, not until well into his 60s, happened to find himself in the kitchen of his home. He turned to his wife and said, 'Here, this is a really nice room. Why don't we use it more often?'"

Viva Espana

AFTER our picture yesterday of the Seville oranges marked as "civilian oranges", reader David Duncan recalls: "My mother was brought up in Dollar in the early 1900s and told us of the orange sellers' sales pitch she heard in her youth, 'Seville oranges, an' nane o' yer foreign trash here.'"


WE were closing the door on our Jehovah's Witnesses stories, but a reader jams his foot in the door and asks: "Do you think that Witnesses, when talking about someone not very bright, use the oft-quoted phrase, 'The lights are on but there's nobody in'?"

Animal farm

ACRONYMS continued. Bruce Skivington tells us that during the Euro crisis, some economic commentators referred to the heavily indebted countries Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain as "The Pigs".

However, points out Bruce, that since Hungary, Italy and Turkey have been added to the list, using an acronym has fallen out of favour.

Lessons to be learned

THE popular online encyclopaedia Wikipedia closed down for a day yesterday to protest against new laws in America.

"It will be interesting to see tomorrow's homework," a Glasgow secondary school teacher told us.

Play park

A READER pondering on the parking spaces nearest the shops for parents with children asks: "Should they not instead be in the far corner of the car park to give the little pests some exercise?"

Age of reason

A DOOR steward at a Glasgow pub popular with students says he has to check the age of the younger-looking clientele.

One girl not quite clear on the concept was one he stopped at the weekend, and asked how old she was. Holding up a student card she shouted: "My fake ID says I'm 22."

And no, she didn't get in.