Hard to bear

A NUMBER of years ago reader Robert Gardner joined a trek in Yellowstone National Park. For many days the group marched through the wilderness, miles from the nearest town. Food, tents and other supplies were distributed, ensuring every team member was carrying a reasonable load.

The guide also had one can of bear spray, for squirting at any big fuzzy critter who happened to fancy a human-flavoured snack. Robert was put in charge of the spray. Rather disconcertingly he was told this was because he was the oldest member of the group, so probably couldn’t run as fast as the spritely young trekkers. Our hero, who probably would have preferred being handed a double-barrelled shotgun, was left to ponder how effective a spray would be in deterring a charging grizzly. His only consoling thought was that they’re usually pretty effective when dealing with house flies…

Tunnel vision

WE do love a good Twitter tiff, especially when it’s between two intellectual heavyweights such as Elon Musk (wacky tech guru and entrepreneur) and Andrew Neil (snarly Scot and ferocious political interviewer). Elon started the ball rolling, quite innocently, by musing that it might be a good idea to build super-safe, earthquake-proof tunnels underneath cities to solve traffic congestion. Andrew replied in his usual mild-manned way: “Great idea. In London we call that the Underground, in New York the subway and Paris the Metro.” He added, with what we assume was a mischievous glint in his eye: “I wonder if it might catch on.”

Scot free

ONWARDS we go with our challenge to come up with new acronyms for SAGA, the travel company that caters for voyagers verging on the Viagra time of life. Russell Smith from Kilbirnie adds a political dimension to our discussion. He believes that SAGA is actually an abbreviation used by Nicola Sturgeon in her communications with Boris Johnson. It stands for Scottish And Going Away, says Russell. He further suggests that SAGA could be a useful acronym for Boris to use when scolding Nicola for her general demeanour when meeting the UK Prime Minister. Then it would stand for Scottish And Generally Aggressive.

Ding-dong during bells?

RADIO presenter Cat Harvey is having her dad and a few pals round for Hogmanay. Dad asked daughter if she had everything required for the bells. Cat replied that, yes, she’d purchased such key essentials as loo roll, Doritos and, of course, booze. At which point dad said: “Do you have enough Elastoplast?” Scratching her head with concern, Cat mutters: “I’ve no idea what kind of night he’s expecting…” A Cat-astrophic one, perhaps?

Child’s play

GREG Hemphill is struggling with family life. “My 14-year-old just legit beat us all at Monopoly,” he harrumphs. “His journey to monster, now complete.”

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