Play hard

The BBC is revisiting the glory days of its anthology series Play for Today with a documentary broadcast earlier this week followed by a transmission of classic episodes.

Those 1970s and 80s dramas, which included the early work of Glasgow scribe Peter McDougall, were often considered too gritty to be classified as escapist entertainment.

George Wishart from Borgue recalls a question regularly asked at the time: “If a play on words is a pun, is a play on television a punishment?”

Dubious double act

WITH another Old Firm match lurking on the horizon, reader Eddy Cavin is mulling over the entertainment value of such occasions. Not that he’s particularly enamoured by the ball-kicking shenanigans that take place on the pitch. It’s spotting cringe-worthy cliches spouted by commentators in the run up to the game that keeps him amused.

For starters, Eddy is looking forward to a gaggle of experts opining that it’s “the greatest derby match in the world”.

Our correspondent scoffs at such uneducated pontificating and says: “Have these people never been to a Cumnock Juniors v Auchinleck Talbot game?”

Quirky query

YOUNGSTERS ask the darndest questions. Reader Julie Fowler’s 13-year-old grandson pitched her this puzzler. “When you blow up a balloon it inflates,” he began. “And when it shrivels it deflates. So when it stays the same size, does it just flate?”

White House woes

Alan Collins's girlfriend threatened to dump him if he continued to be supportive of Donald Trump. Our reader responded: “Okay. Bi den.”

Shouldering the burden

COMEDIAN John Gillick tells us of a tourist who once passed through a Scottish village and, feeling peckish, decided to stop for lunch. Spying a quaint little bakery advertising filled rolls, he went in to order one with cheese.

An elderly woman stood behind a counter, upon which a cat was sprawled.

“Can I help you?” asked the woman.

The tourist, who suffered from a stutter, replied: “I’d like a buttered roll with ch-ch-ch…”

At which point the cat leapt on his shoulder.

Tiers of sadness

IN the past, reader Martin Clements looked forward to holidays abroad, promotions at work and weekend breaks.

All of the above have been replaced by one solitary wish: “I look forward to the day that any discussion about a three-tier system can mean only one thing. A wedding cake is being baked.”

Funny or fowl?

WE conclude with a gag from Sandy Tuckerman, who asks what you call a chicken staring at a lettuce. Chicken sees a salad, of course.

Read more: Those were the days