No hiding place

The Electoral Commission list of donations to political parties contains the information that Tony and Rita Gallacher gave the less than round sum of (pounds) 4999.99p to Labour. Cynics in our midst suspect that the Gallachers kept their largesse to Labour one penny short of (pounds) 5000 because that is the level at which donations to political parties must be declared. If Tony and Rita were indeed seeking anonymity, their efforts were thwarted by a rule in the small print of the Electoral Commission guidelines. If the donation is made, not to the party itself, but to an ''accounting unit'' of the party, then identities of donors of sums above (pounds) 1000 must be made public.

The Scottish Labour Party is indeed an accounting unit of Labour in London. (You know the song: ''For we will arise, now, and be an accounting unit again . . .'')

So, if the cynics' theory is correct, there just remains the question of why anyone would want to keep quiet the fact that they have donated (pounds) 5000 (less a penny) to the People's Party?

l The call-centre industry has flourished in Scotland because of the availability of well-educated and relatively inexpensive labour and the universal appeal of the Scots accent. But sometimes the accents can be a little too local. A TV film crew in a Greenock call centre passing a work station heard the phone being answered as follows: ''Hello, Wan tae Wan . . .''

The finishing line

Any MSPs who attended mass at the weekend will have taken to heart the message contained in the selected reading from the Gospel. Luke, in chapter 14, verses 28 to 30 tells us: ''For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

''Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build, and was not able to finish'.''

Famous last words

The statute of limitations, and the fact that we are getting towards the end of our case of sponsored malt whisky, means this is the last week of the great Glenmorangie Canned Film Festival.

Today's haul of unidigitally altered movie titles:

The Pyjama Gape - Rock Hudson reveals more than he intended to Doris Day. (Julie Marshall, Prestwick.)

Hooray for Holyrood - a joyous musical about architects, surveyors, and other construction professionals delighted with the flexibility of the budget for the new Scottish Parliament building. (John H McColl, Chicago.)

Rust for Life - story of the Lada motor car. (G Lambie, Larkhall.)

Flute - Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda in detective yarn set in Larkhall. (Multiple contributions.)

Bagsy - a group of Glasgow children stranded far from home with few resources discover who is the strongest and most assertive of their number. (Murdo Macdonald.)

*uck Soup - Groucho Marx dining in Rogano expresses wish to omit starter and proceed immediately to main course. (Peter Stewart, Hamilton.)

For Four Eyes Only - James Bond movie for the optically challenged. (Graeme MacKenzie, Isleornsay, Skye.)

Guess Who's Coming to Pinner? - Wimbledon FC's search for a new home down in the London stockbroker belt. (Rab Jenkins, East Kilbride.)

The Vital Shark - terrifying account of a series of attacks on West Coast puffers by a great white. (George McGarry, Airdrie.)

Today's winner of the glorious Glenmorangie (and no arguments, please) is Jim Drysdale of Hamilton for Some Like It Oot - two musicians on the run from the Mob hide out in a nudist camp.

The vole truth

It is good to know that our efforts at The Herald are appreciated by readers. A Bishopbriggs couple

e-mail to say they have just had a wonderful weekend thanks to an article in the news section of Saturday's Herald.

Our man writes: ''So intrigued were my partner and I with a story under the heading, Secret of falling in love, that we decided to carry out some more research into the subject. This led to an interesting weekend far removed from the trauma of the previous weekend watching Scotland in the World Cup.''

The gist of the article was that humans could learn from the humble prairie vole who engage in enormous bouts of sexual activity far in excess of that required for reproduction. Professor Gareth Leng of Edinburgh University said in the article: ''If you were to spend 48 hours of intense sexual activity with a partner something fundamental might happen to your behaviour.''

Our man continues: ''The professor is correct. We took his advice and have now become founder members of the Vole appreciation society. We fully intend to contact Glasgow Zoo and adopt a vole in honour of the professor.''

Our correspondent, who wishes to be known simply as Contented, Bishopbriggs, says reading the Saturday Herald can change your life. We think he's a terrible man for his vole.

l Further high-brow humour: a nose and a brain go into a pub and ask for two pints of lager but are refused service. The nose inquires, quite reasonably, as to the reason. Mine host replies: ''Because you're aff yer face and your pal is oot o' his heid.''