Dissing the dish

WITH Burns Night and the inauguration of America's new President approaching, Deedee Cuddihy, author of How to Murder a Haggis (a collection of real-life haggis horror stories and Burns supper disasters), wonders whether the outgoing POTUS ever sampled Scotland's national dish. Given his Scottish ancestry, it’s certainly possible.

However, as Deedee reminds us in her book, fellow Republican George W Bush avoided haggis when he attended a banquet at Gleneagles Hotel in 2005.

He told reporters: "Generally, on your birthday, my mother used to say: ‘What do you want to eat?' and I don't ever remember saying: 'Haggis, mom'."

Shelling out

AN East Dunbartonshire resident was flicking through a magazine in a dentist’s waiting room when he spotted a competition that promised bottles of Ned Wine as a prize. He imagined this must be a sprightly little vintage, best served chilled on a street corner, accompanied by deep-fried pizza and the promise of random violence to round off the perfect evening.

How disappointed he was to discover that Ned Wine is a celebrated plonk from New Zealand, with no connection to Scotland’s shell-suit sophisticates whatsoever.

Taking the biscuit

SURFING a diabetes website, reader Maurice Brown was surprised when it asked him if he accepted cookies. “Was that a trick question?” he wonders.

Loafing about

WE continue with our tales of waiting staff whose finesse did not impress. Reader Freddy Gillies tells us of some chaps who were enjoying a meal in a Campbeltown Indian restaurant where the waitress’s whiplash tongue was notorious.

Perusing the menu, one of the chaps asked this lady: “What’s naan bread?”

Rolling her eyes, she replied: “Indian loaf, bawheid.”

Head boy

OUR recollections of Tommy Docherty reminds Ian Noble from Carstairs village of another quick-witted football manager.

Alan Gordon was a university graduate who had the distinction of playing for Hearts, Hibs, Dundee and Dundee United. When he was at Hibs, the manager Eddie Turnbull was outlining a tactic he wanted to adopt. Alan interrupted and suggested an amendment to the instructions.

Turnbull glowered at him, then said: “The trouble with you, son, is that all your brains are in your head.”

Horsing around

MORE mixed messages from the Diary’s resident expert on Scottishisms, Paul H Costello, who notes that confusion often arises using the following phrases:

Nae mare = I’ve had enough.

Nae mare = Take the horse away.

Flaming annoying

THOUGHT for the day from reader Sarah Butler, who says: “Isn’t it sad that dragons can never blow out their birthday candles?”

Read more: Remember when ...