Shopping's a scoosh

HOW is your Christmas shopping going? Amy Kinnaird in Ayrshire tells us: "The stress of Christmas shopping must be taking its toll. I was on the train to Ayr at Glasgow Central when two harassed women loaded with shopping bustled into the seats across from me. One proceeded to remove her anorak, revealing a sleeveless blouse. Then, having settled her various bags around her feet and on the rack, she then raked about in her commodious handbag and brought out a tin of deodorant which she then scooshed liberally under her arms.

"Her facial expression did not change, although the same cannot be said for the other passengers as the spray permeated all around them."

Mum knows best

AND a reader in Partickhill found himself saying to his seven-year-old son who asked if he could help decorate the Christmas tree: "Of course you can. First we string the lights on it, then we call mummy through who then tells us how we did it wrong."

Hoe hoe hoe

DAVID Stubbly passes on: "I guess Christmas has reached its ultimate commercialisation when this morning I received an email from ebay headed 'Decorate your hoe this Christmas'. I assume this is an exhortation to cover garden tools in tinsel."

In the driving seat

THE DRIVING test was changed this week to make it more in line with modern driving methods. We receive a helpful explanation from Oonagh Keating who says: "The new driving test is far more realistic. It includes 'Moving off double yellows as you spot a traffic warden', 'Stretching for food when you pull up too far from the drive-thru window', and 'Pulling out of a supermarket parking bay whilst rummaging for your drive home treat'."

Stag at bay

BOOKMAKERS Paddy Power have placed Edinburgh at 14/1 to be where Prince Harry holds his stag night. We should perhaps remind him of the Groom's Guide published by the magazine You and Your Wedding which stated under Stag Nights: "When your bride innocently asks afterwards about the stag night, don't tell her much. If it wasn't debauched enough, she'll lose all respect for you and, if it was, she'll hurt you, regardless of how debauched her hen night was."

See you, Jimmy

SAD to hear of the death of portly former Lanarkshire Labour MP Jimmy Hood, one of the "Jimmies" English MPs referred to when making disparaging remarks about working-class Scottish MPs. We recall that, when his ever-changing constituency included the more middle-class enclave of Bothwell, his election posters there referred to him as Jim Hood rather than Jimmy.

Fellow MP Dennis Canavan once described a colourful House of Commons scene: "When I stood for the Scottish Parliament, the Labour Party expelled me but I still occupied my usual seat in the Commons. However, on my final appearance, the Whips tried to unseat me by stuffing the entire bench with Labour MPs. I tried to perch myself on a tiny patch of green leather bench between Dennis Skinner and Jimmy Hood but Dennis and Jimmy closed ranks and I found myself sitting with one buttock on Dennis's right knee and the other on Jimmy's left."