Hard-core haggis

DIARY Towers is a proudly Scottish abode. The wallpaper is tartan; deer antlers are affixed to the top of every computer screen; and over the Tannoy system a bootleg version of Lewis Capaldi singing ‘Donald Where’s Your Troosers?’ plays on a continuous loop.

Most importantly, our office doesn’t enjoy a solitary Burns Night. We celebrate Burns Year, which happens to be every year.

This helps explain why we’re still publishing yarns relating to the bardic revelries, even though the 25th of January is long vanished.

Says Gordon Casely: “Some years ago in Garlogie village hall, I was in mid-flow, and brought down the dirk, intent on slashing open the beastie. The dirk not only bounced back, but in blunted form.”

Adds Gordon: “Naebodie had telt me that I was addressing a deep-frozen version.”

(His dirk never regained its composure, and remains in traumatised shock.)

Worm’s-eye view

A DIARY reference to an old adage inspires Russell Smith from Largs to ponder the following…

“I was brought up to believe that the early bird catches the worm,” he says. “Strangely nobody mentions that it’s the early worm that gets caught.”

Initially confused

WE mentioned that Perthshire thespian Alan Cumming returned the OBE he was awarded by the late Queen, having realised – exceedingly late in the day that OBE stands for Order of the British Empire, and that the British Empire was a rather controversial enterprise.

We’re now positing the theory that Alan must have originally assumed the initials OBE meant something entirely different.

Says reader Kym Dunne: “He probably thought they stood for Oh! Bling from Elizabeth.”

Mind your language

FRUSTRATED reader Mary Fraser gets in touch to say: “The fact that some people can’t distinguish between etymology and entomology bugs me in ways I can’t put into words.”

Read more from the Diary: All fired up for a birthday celebration

Will witterings

MORE fun with the English language. Reader Barry Shaw spotted a fox in his garden. His teenage son wanted to go out and pet it.

“You can’t do that,” explained Barry. “It’s a feral animal.”

His son looked at him in confusion, having never heard of such a thing.

So Barry explained what he was talking about.

“Oh, right,” replied his son. “I thought it had something to do with that Hollywood actor. Y’know, Will Ferrell.”

Dreaded dessert drama

WE advise you to clasp the hand of a loved one at this point, for it’s time for a truly terrifying tale: “I spotted my yoghurt floating across the kitchen,” says reader Helen Graham. “Must have been paranormal Activia.”