BURNS Night this week, of course, and Bob Forsyth in Uplawmoor tells us of attending a Burns supper where the chairman was teetotal.

Says Bob: "He was determined to do the right thing when the piper played in the haggis, and had arranged with the hotel staff to provide him with two glasses – one with the cratur and the other with cold tea. When the moment arrived he gave a glass to the piper and took one himself and duly toasted the haggis.

"The look on his face when he inadvertently quaffed the goodly measure of whisky was nothing compared to that of the piper on scoffing the cold tea."

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Age limit

CRAIG Kennedy in Renfrewshire was out buying a birthday card, and recounts: "Is it perhaps a sign of the deteriorating life expectancy in the west of Scotland that on a recent search for an age 70 birthday card in SemiChem in Johnstone the range of birthday cards did not extend past 30."


AFTER The Herald revealed that disgraced banker Sir Fred Goodwin may have his Fellowship from the august Royal Society of Edinburgh removed, reader John Duffy in Edinburgh suggests: "Could they not just downgrade him to an Associate, just for the pleasure of seeing a more appropriate set of letters after his name."

Emergency relief

ECONOMIC problems are hitting America as well as Europe. A reader in the States sends us a letter in his local newspaper which states: "The USA should invade the USA and win the hearts and minds of the population by building roads, bridges and putting the locals to work."

Pension plan

OUR tales of retirement bring forth the maxim from an Ayrshire reader: "If you can still do at 60 what you did at 20, it means you weren't doing much at 20."

Foodie favourites

READER Ian Tomney in King's Park reads about Communities Secretary Eric Pickles urging councils in England to freeze the council tax this year, but facing opposition from Brighton councillor Jason Kitkat.

Ian couldn't stop himself from telling us: "Will Pickles's freeze be preserved? Will Kitkat break it? Are these echoes of Grocer Thatcher?"

Apologies for that.

Slice of life

TED Williamson is shocked to read on an internet site about cuisine that deep fried pizza is not a Scottish invention, but is in fact from Naples where it is a street food called pizza fritta.

The website states: "It is not a Scottish atrocity but a delicious traditional speciality of Napoli."

Yet another Scottish invention stolen by foreigners, it seems.

Questioning strategy

"DOGS are tough," declared the chap in the pub the other night.

"When I went home last night I interrogated our dog for over an hour, but he still wouldn't tell me who's a good boy."