Collar felt

FURTHER to our tales of unexpected foreign exchanges, reader Gerry MacKenzie sends us his experience. “I swear this is true,” quoth he, though, as we shall see, he might mean: “I menswear this is true.” Says Gerry: “Some good few years ago, my wife and I were on holiday in Cyprus. Walking past a restaurant in Limassol, the proprietor approached and enquired: “English?” I replied: “No, Scottish.” The gentleman then asked: “Whereabouts?” I replied: “Glasgow”. He then ran his thumb and forefinger over the collar of my shirt and said: “Ah … Ralphie Slater.”

Dope for dope

POOR old Woody Harrelson. The coming to power of US President Donald Trump reminded the Hollywood star of a “brutal” dinner he had to endure with the hirsute intellectual back in 2002. The only way he could survive it, he says, was to go outside and smoke some marijuana. Says Woody: “I came up through Hollywood, so I’ve seen narcissists. This guy was beyond. It blew my mind.” Isn’t it the marijuana that’s supposed to do that?

Oot the car

INSPIRED by moves to ban hands-free phoning in cars, retired MP Sir Brian Donohoe wants to take things further: “I have suggested that they should extend the ban to mothers-in-law and grandchildren.” Where will it all end?

Still puffing

TALKING of smoking, 16.7 per cent of people in Scotland still smoke, the second highest rate in the UK (after Yorkshire and Humber). That’s some way short of the five per cent rate that the UK Government wants to see by 2030 (even if health is really our business under devolution). Any Diary readers out there remember smoking and the joys of giving it up?

You are offal

HEARING that the United States might unblock haggis sales in exchange for us taking their chicken, a Fife reader sees a business opportunity in opening a chain of KFH restaurants: “Kirkcaldy Fried Haggis.”


THE dreadful business surrounding the nefarious activities of newly-deceased billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has attracted much speculation, not all of it helpful. As comedy writer Charlie Skelton observed of his death in a New York correctional centre: “It’s crass and pointless to engage in conspiracy theories about it, as we’ll probably never know who committed Epstein’s suicide.”

Hold the web page

THIS tweet from lawyer Smita Jamdar is spot-on: “What reading a web page used to be like – find page; read page. What it’s like now – find page; accept cookies; decline newsletter; turn off weird video that’s randomly started; close pop-up ad; decline survey request; get fed up; leave without reading.”

Straight talk

A LOT of fancy PR being put for plain-speaking comedian Frankie Boyle’s forthcoming tour of Scotland, which starts next month. Frankie’s own enticing invitation on Twitter was distinctly more succinct: “Here’s my Scottish tour, come see the b******d.”

Bit tied up

FOLLOWING yesterday’s item about ploys with which to deter cold callers, Robin Gilmour, in Milngavie, passes on this suggestion from a friend in the judiciary: “Not just now … I’m still in handcuffs!”

Well oiled

CRITICS are panning Gwyneth Paltrow’s new £2.35 alkaline water as “snake oil”. But what’s wrong with snake oil? We used to love when these salesmen came to our village. Marvellous stuff for the old halitosis. Also fence-coating.

Read more: 1956: ‘Good old Satchmo’, a lone voice called out at the end