Shirley some mistake?

THIS is the time of year for strange occurrences and mystic moments, as any passing gang of three wise men will happily testify. Faithful readers of this column will recall last year’s Christmas miracle, when we reported that large woollen tea cosies were mysteriously appearing on top of Scottish post-boxes.

This year we have been provided with photographic evidence of a stray emu munching from a bin next to a bus stop in Livingston.

Locals have been debating whether it is Rod Hull’s former colleague, now fallen on hard times after the passing of the double act’s senior partner.

Others speculate that it is an exotic Christmas treat, replacing the more traditional turkey, and now making a bid for freedom like Steve McQueen in The Great Escape.

The most likely scenario is provided by one witness who says with some authority that it is owned by a local cattery, and its name is Shirley. (Which the Diary thinks is a rather delightful name for a wandering emu.)

College calamity

A TALE of dashed dreams and academic ineptitude from River City and Still Game star, Sanjeev Kohli, who says: “I didn’t get into the College of Hypnotism. I failed the entrance exam.”

Legging it

CULINARY-MINDED reader Melinda Hodges gets in touch to say: “If most spiders were as big as lobsters people would eat them in posh restaurants and get charged an arm and a leg… or four arms and four legs, I should say.”

Crimbo crocked

IT has been another difficult December, with government restrictions once again hovering over would-be revellers, like a tinsel-wrapped sword of Damocles.

With a resigned shrug, reader Julie Daniels says: “This year my Christmas tree lights have gone out more times than I have.”

Food for thought

CHARLOTTE Mountford, the co-director of the Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness, says it’s “that time of year where we discuss what everyone calls a 'buffet style meal'. In my family it's 'picky tea'. But my fave is my brother’s partner, who calls it 'stuff on a plate'.”

No laughing matter

FORGING a successful career in this current era of uncertainty can be difficult. Reader Harvey Benjamin says: “My boss always laughed at my jokes when I was in the office. But when lockdowns started he never laughed at them during Zoom chats.”

Harvey enquired why this was the case. His boss replied: "Because your jokes aren't remotely funny."

The numbers racket

MATHEMATICALLY-MINDED reader Ian Noble tells us: “4/3 people don’t understand fractions.”

Read more: A word to the whys