On a pedestal

INTREPID newshound and art fan Andrew Marr has criticised a French businessman who suggested selling the Mona Lisa. Marr points out that the painting is too important to be punted on the open market. We agree, and would go further. Surely da Vinci’s famous portrait isn’t the only culturally significant work of genius that should be protected by law from predatory salesmen? The traffic cone that sits jauntily atop the statue of Wellington in Glasgow should be guarded for future generations.

We don’t mind if the statue underneath is offloaded. Just keep that inspirational cone.

Pound sign prodigy

OUT for a stroll, Paul Fox overheard people talking behind him. The chat went like this: “It’s a lovely little tax haven. Then there’s the stocks and shares I’m investing in…”

Our reader swivelled his head to see who was talking.

It was a bloke in his twenties, carrying a skateboard.

“I’d been expecting a pinstripe-suit type,” says Paul. “I guess that’s a sign of getting older, when even capitalist kingpins look like they’re still on the zit cream.”

Wife’s woes

THE Diary is nothing if not topical. Which is why we now offer a Christmas story, best savoured while sipping a glass of mulled wine as the turkey roasts in the oven. Though it can also be enjoyed if you’re in a bikini or Speedos, slathering on the suntan lotion.

Standing in the pro shop at his local golf club just before Christmas, Ian Ramsden bumped into a fellow member's wife. In the spirit of the season he asked if she was buying hubby something nice.

Ian was taken aback when she enquired if the pro shop sold personalities along with the golf clubs.

“Ouch,” says Ian. “Though I could see where she was coming from, right enough.”

What a drama

THEATRES face a challenge when they reopen, points out Christine Brooks, with actors and audience having to keep their distance. So what plays should be staged to reflect the situation? Christine suggests that fine Terence Rattigan play… Separate Tables.

Flight of fancy

THOUGHT for the day from reader Don Cameron. “If humans provided birds with binoculars would they become human watchers… or is it just a one-way obsession?”

Dictionary corner

KIDS love to pester parents with difficult questions. Brian Murphy’s son asked: “Is ‘oh’ a real word?”

Our reader responded: “Oh, I think so.”

No longer mystery

OUR run of stories about a certain Great Detective continues, courtesy of reader Gordon Casely.

“I say, Sherlock. What school did you go to?”

“Elementary, my dear Watson.”

Too tight to trill

“MY singing voice sounds bad in my tiny apartment,” complains Terry McDermott. “It’s a little flat.”

Read more: Those were the days