ALREADY folk are returning unwanted Christmas presents.

A reader waiting patiently in one store heard the elderly chap in front say the slippers he was given didn't fit, and he suspected there was something wrong with the continental size printed on the baffies. The assistant took the slippers to check they were undamaged, then asked the shopper: "Did you take the tissue out of the toes before trying them on?"

Exit one embarrassed shopper.

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Apocalypse watch

IT'S not for us to say the island of Arran is one of Scotland's back waters, but Iain MacLean tells us the Mayan prediction about the end of the world was being discussed last week in a pub in Lochranza when someone declared: "Looks like the world hasn't ended then."

To which someone replied: "Has anybody been over to Brodick to check?"

Fact or fiction?

APPRENTICES continued. Says Alan Couperwhite: "Back in the good old days of the 1960s and 1970s, it was common practice in Glasgow advertising agencies to send new recruits to the Post Office for an Artistic Licence."

Time to rejoice

GRAHAM Smith in Jordanhill tells us he was buying The Herald in his local Asian-owned newsagents on Christmas Eve. Says Graham: "As a matter of course, I wished the shopkeeper a Merry Christmas, adding as an afterthought, that is, if he celebrated Christmas. He said he did.

"I then asked if the shop was open on Christmas Day. 'No', he replied, 'that is why we celebrate.'"

Point of order

NAMES continued. Says Moira Uggla in Sweden: "A propos less well- considered monikers – my aunt once lived next door to a Luke Sharp."

Sticks and stones ...

WE'RE told about the brave husband whose wife had been dropping heavy hints that she wanted a Kindle ebook for her Christmas. When she unwrapped a tightly bound pile of sticks on Christmas morning he blandly told her: "I thought you said you wanted some kindling."

But he wasn't that brave, of course, as the Kindle was next to be unwrapped.

Free advice

DAFT gag of the day? A young lad in Govan told his mum if she paid him a quid, he'd be good for the rest of the day.

"I shouldn't have to pay you to be good," his mother replied.

"You should be good for nothin' – just like yer faither."

Rough and tumble

NOT everyone was convinced by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claiming star striker Robin van Persie was "lucky to be alive" after being hit in the head by a ball struck by Swansea's Ashley Williams.

Remarked reader Jim Evans: "Has Sir Alex not been to a Petershill v Pollok, or Talbot v Cumnock Scottish Junior game recently?"