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STIRLING-based novelist Ross Sayers has a strong feeling of accomplishment. “Just wrote ‘The End’ on my latest book!” he exclaims. With slightly less enthusiasm he adds: “I think it's a really strong opening sentence and I can't wait to write more.”

The cruellest cut

AN Edinburgh reader tells us his wife got a hairdressing appointment for yesterday, which pleased her rather a lot. But what delighted her even more was the discovery that her best friend only managed to get an appointment two weeks from now.

Our reader adds: “My other half’s charitable attitude towards her chum reminds me of that quote often attributed to Somerset Maugham: ‘It is not enough to achieve personal success. One’s best friend must also have failed’.”

Simian similarity

A DIARY tale of schoolboy plagiarism reminds retired teacher Tony Skarratt of the time one of his mischievous young students handed in a short story that was suspiciously similar to the famous movie Planet of the Apes. Our reader pointed this out to the pupil, who was understandably outraged that his artistic integrity had been questioned.

“It’s no’ the same at a’,” grumbled the aggrieved author. “Ma story’s called Planet of the Monkeys. An’ monkeys urnie apes.”

Doubling down

MUSICAL combo The Proclaimers have come out in support of Alex Salmond’s Alba Party, which strikes reader Nick Pattison as a tad unfair. “Craig and Charlie Reid have always been ardent nationalists,” points out Nick. “But being twins, couldn’t they have spread the tartan love around a bit, with one supporting the SNP and the other going for Alba?”

Watch the birdie

AND talking of Scotland’s newest bagpipe and gripe party… Michael Dickinson from Falkirk rather cynically claims the Alba Party won’t further the cause of independence, but will instead stymie it.

Our readers adds: “I bet Nicola Sturgeon calls it the Alba-tross Round My Neck Party.”

Wood block

FRUSTRATED reader George Grant tells us: “I tried to find a pun about carpentry. But nothing wood work.”

Green day

WE’RE devising jingles based on famous songs to promote local businesses once lockdown ends. John Little from Suffolk believes garden centres could see the green shoots of recovery with an advertising tune based on the catchy 1985 song by Billy Ocean... When the Mowing Gets Tough.

Tip-top trimmer

ONE of the visitors to those centres mentioned above will be reader Dennis Simpson, who needs a gizmo to do some snippety-snipping in his garden. “I want the most modern implement there is,” he says. “It has to be cutting hedge technology.”

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