Shopping shivers

ACTOR Martin Compston has played gangsters, cops and Scottish hardmen of every description. Not a fellow to be scared of much, you would imagine. There is one thing, however, that gets Martin’s knees knocking and teeth chattering. “Nothing gives me the fear like watching a queue build behind me before I pack my shopping at a supermarket,” he admits with a shudder.

Natter about scatter

WE foolishly enquired whether the children’s practice of chasing wedding vehicles in order to nab pennies tossed from the car windows was called a scatter or a scramble. This question, asked in all innocence, has led to bitter warfare between Diary readers. Battle lines have been drawn. Weapons locked and loaded. And Patricia Allison bravely wanders into No Man’s Land, scoffing at the very idea of a wedding scatter. “In Battlefield the word scatter had a different meaning entirely,” she reveals, adding intriguingly. “It was an instruction, and usually involved the approach of the police.”

Red scare

A SEASONAL edition of the Twix chocolate bar, answering to the name of the Ginger Cookie, is currently lurking on sweetie-shop shelves. BBC radio producer Chris Quilietti is not amused by this turn of events. Struggling to stifle a groan, he says: “Great. Another thing people will call me.” To explain his dismay, we should probably point out that Chris’s hair is a lively shade of red. (Though his name-calling concerns are probably unfounded as he only vaguely resembles a cookie.)

Joint concern

IT has just been announced that there will be a trial of medicinal cannabis using 20,000 Scots as a test sample, reader Rod MacCowan informs us. “Apparently the trial will only be targeting joint pains,” adds Rod.

Playing for laughs

OUR story about an amusing plea made by a TV writer who was trying to encourage viewers to tune in to his latest show reminds Sebastian Robinson of a play he saw at the Edinburgh Festival a few years ago. After their final bow, the actors told the audience: “If you loved our play, recommend it to a friend. If you hated it, try and persuade an enemy to come.”

Mincing words

THE Diary yarn about a quirky ice cream salesman who spun himself round when asked for a Twirl chocolate bar reminds reader Alastair Patrick of the classic joke about the butcher with a sardonic sense of humour. An eager customer raced into this fellow’s shop and asked if he could have a mince round. To which the butcher responded: “Of course you can, sir, so long as you’re quick about it. We’re closing in five minutes.”

Tabling a debate

BELIEVING he had won a heated argument with his wife about whether or not to rearrange the dining room furniture, John Meikle swanned off to the pub to celebrate. “But when I got home the tables were turned,” he sighs.

Read more: Citizens Theatre, 1952: TV cameras and panto