THE Diary has no time for fanciful digressions or imaginary nonsense. We are a professional and unsentimental news operation, painstakingly reporting evidence-based facts. Which is why we have, of late, been discussing that magnificent Scottish creature, the lesser-spotted unicorn (Second only to Nessie in popularity on these shores).

Rather than hunker down at a bus stop, waiting for a double-decker to trundle us to work of a morning, Diary staff prefer to gallop a unicorn through the rush-hour traffic.

Though reader Gordon Casely is not persuaded by our love of this elegant and energy-efficient animal.

“The problem with unicorns,” he says, “is there’s no such beastie as the female unicorn. In other words, no unicornetta.”

With a dismissive shrug of his shoulders, he adds: “Exactly how unicorns breed, therefore, is an art lost on me.”

Stand-up put down

WE’RE discussing that pesky problem faced by performing artists… the heckler. Eric Begbie, from Stirling, recalls an Edinburgh Fringe show compered by a lacklustre comedian.

One audience member decided to leave, and was shuffling towards the exit when the comic shouted after him: "Got to get home to mummy and daddy, then?"

Retorted the chap: "No. Just going to see if the comedian has arrived yet."

Nero or zero?

ON the subject of professional gagsters… Politically engaged comedian Mark Thomas is playing the Edinburgh Festival.

He’s also been thinking about the chap who, rumour has it, is still in charge of our nation (When he isn’t building sandcastles on his summer hols, that is).

Mark says: “The only reason that blond, blubbering Etonian sh**e is not playing a fiddle while the country burns is because playing a fiddle is a discernible skill.”

Concentration curtailed

“I READ an essay that claimed there are five signs a person is struggling to focus on anything,” says reader Jennifer Hughes. “When I reached number three I decided to do the Hoovering, so I guess I’ll never know if I’m afflicted or not.”


SHAME-FACED reader Oliver Spears notes that: “‘Welcome back everybody!’ is apparently not a good way to start a speech if you’re the best man at your friend’s second wedding.”

Scholar scolded

MANY school pupils recently received exam results. Reader Henry Linford wasn’t a great student and recalls getting his grades years ago.

As he nervously ripped open the envelope his unsympathetic father muttered: “I see you can handle stationary. So you’re not a complete wash-out.”

Punctuated planet

ASTRONOMICALLY minded reader Clive Bruce has devised a way of colonising Mars. “It’s M:a:r:s,” he explains.