LIKE an immense shiny bauble, wobbling on a fir tree in the corner of the living-room, the Christmas season looms most threateningly, bullying folk into buying presents they don’t like for people they like even less.

So why not break the cycle of abuse and purchase a delightful Crimbo pressie, instead, for someone you genuinely adore?

For instance, this year’s edition of the Diary Book is now on sale, including many amusing snippets, such as the following…

The news that a stage musical version of Irvine Welsh’s novel Trainspotting is planned has reader Robbie Franklin wondering what songs to incorporate. He suggests adapting a classic lyric from The Sound Of Music…

‘Raindrops on noses and whiskers of jakies,
Rusty auld needles, cheap lager from Aldi’s,
White powder packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favourite things.’


IN the 1970s a Forfar friend of reader James McGovern found himself signing on the dole.

Back then unemployment benefit was paid via a Giro cheque sent to the claimant’s home, to be cashed at the post office.

On taking his Giro to the post office, this chap discovered a former schoolmate working as a teller.

The two men chatted affably about old teachers and fellow school pals.

Finally, the Giro was handed across the counter, prompting the teller to say: "Do you have any ID?"

The response was, of course: "If ye dinnae get mah buroo money up pronto they'll be needing someone tae identify you!"

The friendship did not survive this pleasant conversation, alas.

Education, education, education

A GRATEFUL Jim Hamilton says: “I’m glad I learned about parallelograms in high school maths instead of how to do my taxes. It really comes in handy during parallelogram season.”

(Almost) Dry humour

ONWARDS we go with our cunning plan to depluralise famous movies. Euan Marley admits he would love to sit with a bucket of popcorn and watch a new version of Gene Kelly's most famous musical, which would be called… Singin' In The Droplet.

Deity demands delivery

THE teenage son of reader Belinda Harvey undertook an important rite of passage into adulthood by phoning his first Chinese takeaway order.

Beaming proudly as he put down the phone, he said: “This must be what it feels like to be a god. You ask for something to happen… and it happens.”

Digging the fun

“I WENT to an archaeologist’s party to celebrate the discovery of a caveman’s legbone,” says reader Nigel Harrison. “It was quite a shindig.”