Pipe dreams

THE Diary has become something of a celebrity stalker of late, tiptoeing after Greg Hemphill to discover what exciting things he’s up to now that Still Game is no more. Once again we aren’t disappointed by news of Greg’s groovy new life. “I have a pipe that I bought in preparation for old age,” he reveals, adding: “I intend to start smoking it once I sense the reaper’s a-callin’.”

Strange stranger story

OUR tale about actor Tom Urie stopping to chat to an old friend who turned out to be a total stranger reminds Robin Mather from Musselburgh of a similar (possibly apocryphal) yarn. A man was strolling down Edinburgh’s Princes Street when he bumped into another fellow. "I think I know you," exclaimed the first man. "I don't think so," replied the other. "Did we not meet in Aberdeen?" asked the first, to which he received the reply: "Can't have been me. I've never been to Aberdeen". On hearing this, the first chap concluded triumphantly: "Neither have I. It must have been two other blokes!"

Crimbo plan’s crackers

CHRISTMAS has arrived! According to retailers at any rate, who are already jingling their bells enticingly and flogging good tidings of comfort and joy. David Donaldson, meanwhile, will celebrate a different kind of Crimbo this year. He’s been inspired by the vocal advocates of ‘woke’ culture, including actress Emma Thompson, who believe it’s more environmentally friendly to rent a Christmas tree then re-plant it after the festivities have concluded. “I’m going one better,” boasts our chap. “The presents I send this year will be rented out for 12 days, then returned to me.” There’s one glaring flaw in David’s plan, of course. Everyone knows it’s Santa who doles out the prezzies.

Five-star funeral

BACK in the 1960s a memorably opulent funeral procession sashayed through Partick, recalls Hugh Steele. Black-plumed horses were trailed by swanky cars, and the pavements were lined with genuine mourners and the merely curious. One member of this kerbside crew turned to his neighbour, and with an impressed nod to the passing plush and pageantry said: "See if I'm spared, that's the way I'd like tae go."

Buttered business

FINANCIAL results for Greggs the bakers have been impressive, leading retail analyst Nick Bubb to remark on TV: “The business is still on a roll.” Seasoned economists, including reader John Dunlop who was brought to a halt by Bubb’s choice of words, will no doubt demand more salient information about this state of affairs. For instance, does the roll come with butter and a choice of yummy fillings?

Goalie trinity

GAG time. Peter Muir manages his son’s local football team. After winning a tournament the goalkeeper invited Peter and son to a celebratory party at his house. “It was the father, the son and the goalie host,” says Peter.

Read more: Why comedian Rob Beckett looks to the Colonel for comfort