Better or bust?

SINCE the dawn of mankind our civilisation has been on an upward trajectory. Our ancestors invented the wheel, the telephone, the automobile and the plane. In recent times there have been fewer scientific breakthroughs though we still came up with the disposable drinking straw and the festive bake from Greggs the baker. (Yum!) Those seeking even greater advances will be delighted to learn the Diary’s amassed evidence proving humanity’s on the march again. We recently reported ScotRail is boasting it has improved a certain service by reducing the number of train carriages. Now Rosemary Clark tells us a shiny new computer system’s been introduced at her GP surgery, instigating dramatic changes. “It used to take 24 hours to get a repeat prescription,” says Rosemary, “now it takes 48.” She adds with a sigh: “That’s progress for you.”

Baby blues

JUSTICE Minister Humza Yousaf has been having a taxing time of late. And we don’t mean the strife and strain of fighting a general election. His difficulties are baby-based as his seven-month-old isn’t letting daddy get much kip. “Gets up at one am, three am and five am,” yawns Humza. “At which point she decides to stay up for at least an hour.” The puffy-eyed politician adds: “Sleep, how I miss thee! At least I get a 12-hour break when I go to work.” A break at work? Surely not with an independence referendum to demand, demand (and demand again).

Flushing out the truth

THE Diary regularly provides readers with the sort of earth-shattering scoops that won plaudits for Woodward and Bernstein when they revealed presidential complicity was behind the Watergate break-in. With this in mind we bring you news from Glasgow-based teen novelist Ross Sayers, who hisses in a fearful tone while repeatedly glancing over his shoulder: “I'm not one for conspiracy theories but I do believe that the 'small flush' button and the 'big flush' button on the toilet do the same size of flush.”

Continuing SAGA

WE continue to receive new and improved acronyms for SAGA, the company that organises holidays for grey-haired gadabouts. Alan Crozier proposes Senility Afflicted Geriatrics Abroad. Feeling a tad bad about his suggestion, Alan meekly adds: “Too far?” To which we reply: Too late.

Dire diary

YET another terrible Christmas present received by a reader. An aged relative handed Terry Bowden a gift-wrapped 2015 diary… in 2017. “My memory’s not great at the best of times,” says Terry. “So I had no idea how to fill it. If pressed, I could have written ‘did some stuff’ on every page. Instead, I chucked it in the bin.”


A bit of whimsy for our more scientific readers. “I wanted to tell you a joke about sodium,” says Neil Moers. “Then I thought to myself, Na, most people won’t understand.”

Read more: The Locarno dancehall, 1962 and 1963