Saucy remarks

DOUGLAS Stuart won the Booker Prize for his gritty Glasgow novel Shuggie Bain, though he long ago flitted from Scotland to the high-wattage dazzle of New York.

However, Douglas admits that the Big Apple’s high watt sometimes turns into a: “Hey! What?!”

For example, he recently ordered a sandwich in a deli. “They ladled HOT ketchup all over it,” he shudders. “Like ketchup they warmed in an urn. It made the whole thing taste like it had been pre-chewed by someone else.”

No doubt dreaming of the more dignified splendours of a poke of chips, Douglas concludes haughtily: “Not cool NYC.”

Debunked deities

OCCASIONALLY the Diary attempts to burrow inside the head of our glorious leader, who is also an avid reader, by checking out the literature on Nicola Sturgeon’s nightstand.

We hear she recently purchased a copy of Edith Wharton’s novel The Gods Arrive. With a title like that, perhaps Nicola assumes the book is about the momentous occasion when the mighty SNP first exploded on the scene.

Though a more cynical scholar of recent events might conclude that if the book was about the SNP, its title would be The Squabbling, Back-Biting and Tearing Themselves Apart Mere Mortals Arrive.

Sporting fella

COMEDIAN Fred MacAulay has been immersing himself in the televised political debates that have showcased the talents of our magnificent Holyrood representatives, and he’s ever so impressed.

“Regretting the cancellation of my BT Sport account,” he grunts.

Devilish destination

WATCHING the TV news, Bill Hutcheson from Paisley was intrigued when the subtitles claimed Anas Sarwar was campaigning in Merry Hell.

This report was confusing for two reasons. First, it suggested that the chaps running Hell might be slacking when it comes to pitchforking the local population.

Second, it implied that Hell is a Scottish constituency, winnable by Labour in the forthcoming election.

It transpired that the subtitles should have read Maryhill, not Merry Hell.

Though it remains to be seen if that particular location is more winnable for Labour than Hades…

Bavarian boos

A TALE about rumbunctious French rugby fans reminds Barrie Crawford of playing a season in Bavaria, where the German fans were (slightly) more considerate than their Gallic counterparts. The shout of displeasure at a referee’s decision was: “Schiri, ans Telefon!” i.e., “Ref, you’re wanted on the phone!”

Falling in love

AN unlikely tale from reader Ted Marshall: “I met my wife on the net. We were both bad trapeze artists.”

Painful pause

INTRIGUING reader Graeme Jones says: “There’s only one thing worse than leaving someone in suspense…”

Read more: Remember when ...