Tam Cowan: Let’s hear it for Quiz Akabusi, 3 Mustgetbeers and Fire! Fire! Fire! – Tam Cowan

Health chiefs have warned just how quickly Covid clusters can emerge after a number of cases were reported at the Fairmont Hotel in St Andrews after a Take That tribute night.

A spokesman said: “It only takes a minute…”

My team were caught up in the crisis on Sunday when – courtesy of some Coronavirus confusion – the Motherwell FC players and staff travelled to Celtic Park in 35 cars!

Sounds bonkers, but what a result for the wee snottery urchins outside the stadium who watch your motor for a quid.

My favourite Covid story this week? Well, the quiz team names at Boris Johnson’s “alleged” party that didn’t take place were revealed – including Professor Quiz Whitty, Next Slide Please and Beaver Fever (I’m guessing that was Matt Hancock’s team).

Ironically, there was another one called Wisemen & Women.

Aye right!

As a veteran quiz-master (throughout the 90s, I was the man with the mic at The Bentley Hotel in Motherwell and the Town Snooker Club round the corner) I’ve always enjoyed a right good team name.

Unforgettable favourites include Quiz Akabusi, Jason and the Argos Catalogue, Norfolk ’n’ Chance, Quiz Team Aguilera, The Beating Chastards, Magners Magnusson, The Cunning Linguists, The Three
Mustgetbeers and The Champagne Cork Suckers (always a hard one to get your tongue around).

One name that never failed to make people sit up and take notice was Fire! Fire! Fire! while two that threatened to cause a great deal of confusion were This Week’s Winners and The Runners-Up.

Imagine how that might have panned out?

“This Week’s Winners are the runners-up with 85 points, but this week’s winners are The Runners-Up with 92 points…”

Pass the Anadin Extra!

Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas Is You
Mariah Carey’s Christmas classic could be a dangerous choice.

You cannae beat a good pun – especially in Christmas cracker season – so my tail was wagging this week when I read a report that revealed 90 per cent of our dogs love listening to music.

A few festive favourites immediately sprung to mind: All I Want For Christmas Is Chew, I Saw Mummy Sniffing Santa Claus.

And let’s not forget Jingle Bells – doesn’t that begin with “Daschund through the snow…”?

Recorded by Spaniel O’Donnell, Shirley Basset, The Pointer Sisters, Boney M, Collie Murs and The Beagles, how about these pop classics?

I Want To Bark Free, A Little Yelp From My Friends, Daydream Retriever, Walkies On The Moon, First Mutt Is the Deepest, Please Re-Leash Me, All You Need Is Ruff, I Wanna Hold Your Hound, Pit Bull Wizard, Another One Bites The Postman, Pearl’s A Springer and You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful And We’re Having You Put Down…

Talking of puns, hello to regular reader Bob McFarlane, a man I dubbed “Hamilton’s No.1 Punster” in this paper many years ago.

Bob’s been in hospital for most of 2021 – he’s asked me to mention all the brilliant staff and nurses on Ward 9 at Hairmyres in East Kilbride – but he got in touch this week to say: “Satsuma, clementine, tangerine.”

Yep, during lockdown, he’s been learning to speak mandarin.

After reflecting on this week’s news that the majority of prison inmates are overweight – Bob reckons this gives a whole new meaning to “Roll out the Bar-L” – he offered his sympathies following my recent

“My pal got one last year,” he said, “and it completely rectum.”

Bob’s top tip for a pain-free procedure?

Next time, go for the little known semi-colonoscopy. It’s done under an induced comma.

Lovely to hear from you, Bob. I hope you – and your jokes – get well soon…

PS. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Boris gets done for drink-driving.

Just to see if Ant & Dec – particularly Ant – are still as quick with the wisecracks.

PPS. Spoke to a young anti-vaxxer in an Edinburgh pub this week who explained he didn’t get his jags as he’s terrified on needles.

You’ll understand why I could only shake my head, dear reader, when I tell you he was COVERED in tattoos…

Dropping a few Clangers

Children’s TV favourites the Clangers had potty-mouths

It’s been revealed that 1970s TV legends The Clangers regularly swore a lot – but their strange whistling meant it was impossible for viewers to know what they were saying.

(How funny to think of all those kids glued to the box while they were calling the Soup Dragon a f****** ****!)

Anyway, folks, I’m away to dig out my old Roger Whittaker albums to see if he was another potty-mouth…

● A Bristol man got stuck inside his washing machine last week after a game of hide and seek with his kids went wrong. Good news? The fire service got him out safely three hours later.

Bad news? One of his socks was missing…

No, not mein…mine

I suppose it was an easy mistake to make, but I LOVE the wee video I was sent this week of a young boy opening one of his presents last Christmas – a copy of Mein Kampf.

What he’d asked his grandpa for, of course, was the video game Minecraft… D’oh!

Stand well back from the Brussels sprouts taster

What about the taster at Asda who’s been eating 50 Brussels sprouts a day?


All together now: “It’ll be lonely this Christmas…”

A word to the wise for his pals (if he’s got any left) with the big day just over a week away – DO NOT get him any scented candles as a present.

Sure, it might seem like the perfect gift, but this fella shouldn’t be allowed anywhere NEAR a naked flame.

PS. A list of the Top 25 Xmas “must-haves” was revealed this week – roast potatoes were at No.1, then it was turkey followed by pigs in blankets.

Incredibly, no mention whatsoever for those proper Christmas essentials – Rennies, air-freshener and a number for a good divorce lawyer…

● Congratulations to the lone hawthorn in Kippford, Dumfriesshire, that’s been crowned the UK’s Tree of the Year. A hugely prestigious honour and very well deserved – but I’m told its acceptance speech was a bit wooden.

● Eight out of 10 women say they wouldn’t fancy a date with a man who has facial hair. And 10 out of 10 men say the feeling’s mutual.

Home from home

Nice wee bit on the Record Sport Instagram page this week revealing that Celtic striker Kyogo is loving life so much that he now refers to Scotland as his second home.

I think he’d REALLY like Airdrie – it’s a dive.

One person’s treasure…

What’s better? A Nobel prize coin or an Off the Ball mug?

Delighted to report that Nobel prize winner and fellow North Lanarkshire lad Professor David

MacMillan has kept in touch. A big fan of the most petty sports show on radio, he’s the chap who said: “Winning the Nobel prize was my pathway to Off The Ball…”

Some accolade, eh? Anyway, folks, David sent me this photo on Tuesday – the day after the official Nobel awards ceremony – and he described it as “a picture of my two most treasured possessions”. That’s amazing.

And what a dilemma for any one-armed burglars, eh…?

My fave funny photos of the week

If Jesus was born today.

But first let me take a selfie

When Santa went on a diet, divorced and joined Tinder.

Santa Corr

On this day in 1987, U2 released The Joshua Tree.

Youse 2

Whatever happened to Sister Sledge?

Sisters are doing it for themselves

A Christmas tree for anti-vaxxers (no needles).

Branching out

“From midnight on June 11, 2047, we will move to Tier 74. You must only communicate by Morse code and we strongly recommend holding your breath for as much of the day as possible. We will beat this.”

Testing times

Text jokes of the week

● Boris Johnson denies hosting a quiz at No.10 and says it was actually an emergency Cobra meeting to determine which Irish singer-songwriter had a 1990 hit single with Nothing Compares 2 U.

● Wearing a face mask saved my life last week. I was in the pub with my girlfriend and my wife didn’t recognise me…

● Strange experience at a Christmas lunch yesterday when my serviette started singing “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”. Turns out it was Napkin Cole.

● Elton John has put on a lot of weight recently. Goodbye normal jeans…

● The bus driver for John O’Groats FC has resigned after a heavy defeat at Land’s End Utd. When asked why, he said he’d taken the team as far as he could..

● I’ve got a mobile phone contract with Bob Marley. I got the tariff but I didn’t get the texts for free.

● I’ve got a friend who writes music about sewing machines. He’s a Singer songwriter – or sew it seams.

Kids didn’t get a say…

Great night out on Tuesday at my second panto of the festive season – Aladdin at the SECC in Glasgow – starring Greg “Gary Tank Commander” McHugh, Sanjeev “Navid” Kohli and Leah “her oot of River City” MacRae.

Alas, due to social distancing and the cast being in their own wee bubble, no kids were allowed on stage – a great shame as I still fondly remember the antics at the same venue a few years ago.

Four weans were invited up and one wee boy might have got the best laugh of the night when he was asked: “What do you do for a living?”

“I’m no’ 11 !!!” he shrieked.

Meanwhile, a young girl almost made a grown man cry.

“Did you have a favourite bit in the panto?” asked the star of the show.

“No,” she replied.

And finally

I’ll sign off this week with a wee message for all you insomniacs: only two more sleeps ’til Christmas…!

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