Initially interesting

CONGRATULATIONS to crime scribe Ian Rankin, who has been made a knight in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. There’s a proud tradition of Scottish writers of detection fiction bagging the Big K, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle being a notable example.

But surely Ian is the first who can boast that the award means his title now matches his initials.

For being Sir Ian Rankin makes him both Sir and S.I.R.

(Ian’s middle initial is J for James, but it’s probably best to keep shtum about that, as it ruins the point of this story.)


SCOTLAND has given the world many great inventions. The bicycle. Television. Penicillin. Anybody who has ever ridden on a tandem with a TV balanced on the handlebars, while a doctor perches on the back saddle administering a jab of antibiotics has our nation to thank for the experience.

But will we rest on our laurels? Never!

For as we recently mentioned, Scotland has invented an exciting new terminology to denote the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee… Platty Jubes.

Even the English are taking up the phrase, though it seems it is not without controversy, for Edinburgh novelist Ross McCleary has noted that some philistines are spelling it incorrectly.

“Platty Jubes, not Platty Joobs,” roars Ross. “Come on, people, have some self-respect.”

Qatar too far

SOMETHING else to take pride in. It transpires that our nation’s moral standing towers above all others, for Scottish travel writer Stuart Kenny swaggeringly states: “A bold and admirable decision from Scotland to boycott the Qatar World Cup.”

Up in smoke

WE mentioned that King Olav of Norway visited Glasgow in the 1960s. Kenny Maclean from Giffnock attended Shawlands Primary School at the time, and recalls several classes being marched to Auldhouse Road to loiter for ages in order to cheer His Majesty as he was driven past.

“What an anti-climax,” sighs Kenny. “He went by so quickly we didn’t see him… and we had to buy our own fags.”

Marg’ mauls

A TRAGIC tale. Reader Margaret Connolly dropped a tub of margarine on her foot six months ago and is still limping.

“I can’t believe it’s not better,” she says.

Pick me up

WE hear of a Scotland footy fan who found himself visiting Scottsdale Arizona. On asking for a liquid refreshment he was promptly handed an amber ale called Kilt Lifter.

“Must have known I was arriving,” he concluded.

Creepy coat

“MY friend has a bizarre fear of spiders in raincoats,” says reader Lynn Spence. “Anorakaphobia.”