Kirrie cop-out

FIFTY years ago decimalisation was foisted upon a confused and panicked nation, with shoppers and store owners grumbling to each other: “One hundred pence to the pound? Thar be witchcraft, so it be.”

Reader Ethel Fitzgerald's husband tells the tale of being a young go-ahead director in his father's butcher business in Dundee when he was despatched to Kirriemuir to instruct the local butchers in the mysterious ways of the new money.

After the induction, one of the elderly butchers harrumphed: "Aw naw, son. It'll never catch on in Kirrie."

Trampled terminology

GLASGOW solicitor Matthew Berlow gets in touch to reveal some examples of the pithy language used by clients who refuse to accept the rarefied legal lingo that trips from the tongues of their highfalutin lawyers.

Procurator fiscal = Persecutor physical.

Full committal = Full commando.

Conviction quashed = Squashed.

Deserted pro loco = Deserted Acapulco.

Slipped disc

WE’VE been reminiscing about the late singer Sydney Devine, who was hugely popular in Scotland, yet never took himself too seriously, and always enjoyed a joke at his own expense.

Reader Stanley Milton says: “I remember it being said of Sydney that he didn’t release records, they escaped.”

Calendar chaos

THE Diary’s readers are usually sharp as tacks, specifically those tacks that find their way onto a bare foot when one is stumbling around in search of the bathroom at two in the morning.

Unfortunately lockdown has mind-mushing properties which can affect even the most astute of our correspondents.

“I woke up yesterday,” sighs reader Joe Knox, “and I couldn’t remember whether it was Pancake Tuesday or Sheffield Wednesday.”

Hark at them

A DIARY story about religious education reminds Robin Johnston from Newton Mearns of the morning assemblies at his school, which always included a hymn.

At Christmas the lyrics of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing were adapted by the creative pupils to include the lines: "Beecham’s Pills are just the thing, work ye gentle, work ye mild, Beecham’s Pills are meek and mild…"

Au naturel Nessie

YET another of our alternative meanings for well-known locations. With a slight lisp in her voice, Margaret Thomson suggests: Abernethy = An unclad Loch Ness Monster.

A tail tale

PET owner Charles Murphy was recently studying his dog. “Look how easily amused that daft mutt is chasing its own tail,” he chuckled to his wife.

“The dog’s easily amused?” countered the missus. “He’s not the one sat there watching a dog chase its tail.”

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