Short shrift

YOU could probably keep most of the houses in Scotland toasty-warm over winter by using the heated debates we have in the Diary as a new form of non-carbon-based fuel. This week’s stramash has focused on the footballing acronym VAR, and what it actually stands for. However, reader Moira Campbell guides us away from footballing terms towards another kind of abbreviation. Though like footy, it also involves scoring. “I was reminded of an abbreviation a friend made up years ago,” says Moira. “When asked if she fancied a certain chap at the Palais she said no, because he was VUB, which stood for Very Un-Braw. A phrase that should definitely appear in every Scottish dictionary!”

Profoundly unskilled

WISDOM isn’t just something to be gleaned from books. It’s also what we learn from our elders. Reader Rob King says: “My grandpa always used to say: ‘As one door closes another one opens.’” In a slightly less profound tone, Rob adds: “He was a lovely man, but a terrible cabinet maker.”

The mirror crack’d

THE Diary is always keen on introducing to the general public scientifically-proven methods of prolonging life. And, no, this is not another Save Our NHS story. Instead, reader Gerry MacKenzie has been inspired by yesterday’s tale of a bloke who increased his lifespan by killing his doctor. Gerry informs us that the man could have kept himself alive without recourse to murder. “He should have simply broken 20 mirrors,” points out Gerry, reasonably. “Then he’d have lived for at least another 140 years.”

Telly tussle

OUR seasonal grump, reader Eddy Cavin, has been listing the number of clichés connected to Christmastime that he finds the most irritating. Today he adds to his ever-lengthening list of loathing TV specials recorded last July. He’s also infuriated by Boxing Day sales and TV news items about people fighting over an outsize telly for a fiver, having queued outside Harrod's for four whole days.

The big chill

NEWS reaches us that Boris Johnson has avoided yet another interview by hiding inside a fridge. Surely this is an extreme and far too literal version of giving a journalist the cold shoulder. Though reader Bob Parker has valiantly come to the defence of the embattled PM. “Perhaps he mistook the fridge for a wardrobe, and was trying to visit the magical land of Narnia,” argues Bob, who then adds: “I’m sure Boris would be right at home in Narnia. If I remember right, the White Queen froze the place over and suppressed the population of talking animals. She must have been a Tory as she seemed very keen on austerity.”

Philosophically speaking

WE end with a gag from Andy Tennant. How do you get a philosophy major to leave your front door? Answer: You pay him for the pizza. Of course, some people won’t find this funny, as it’s a Nietzsche joke. (Nietzsche/Niche? Oh, please yourselves.)

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