Tam Cowan: I’ve seen bigger queues at petrol stations – for last minute Valentine’s


The new James Bond movie No Time To Die is released today and – SPOILER ALERT! – I’m told cinema-goers will be neither shaken nor stirred.

Apparently, there’s not a single decent car chase as 007 couldn’t get any petrol for his Aston Martin.

What a carry-on, eh?

Our very own crimefighters – Police Scotland – have been gearing up for the COP26 summit (I take it I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a Scooby what COP26 means?) by engaging in public order training involving riot gear, batons and shields, and police dog exercises.

All of which should come in handy for any officers called out to a petrol station forecourt.

I feel a bit embarrassed even mentioning the police – and so would you if you’d just been arrested for siphoning petrol from your neighbour’s car.

OK, I’m only joking, but desperate times call for desperate measures and, earlier this week, I genuinely considered selling a kidney and filling my tank at a motorway service station.

I keep hearing people saying they’ve never witnessed queues like it at their local petrol station but that’s nonsense.

What about the REALLY big queue we see once a year – on the night before Valentine’s Day – as a long line of panic-stricken married blokes try to get their hands on a last-minute card?

The recent madness was best summed up for me yesterday when I received an email from the organisers of a charity lunch I’m hosting next week.

Among the list of raffle and auction items – and I honestly don’t know if they’re joking or not – is a four-litre can of diesel. Tell you what, folks, look up the word “smug” in the dictionary and I reckon you’ll see a photo of someone who owns an electric car.

If he’s looking down on us this week, I bet the recently-deceased Sir Clive Sinclair will have a wry grin on his face. How many of us right now would LOVE one of his Sinclair C5 cars?

I travelled back to the 80s yesterday by rummaging through the cupboard below our kitchen sink and digging out my old SodaStream.

After all, it’s not just fuel that’s in short supply – and the CO2 cartridge is now on eBay for £800!

The CO2 crisis really alarmed the good people of Scotland the minute it was reported a shortage of the gas could have a big impact on the production of Barr’s Irn Bru.

NOOOOOOO!

Yep, it’s fair to assume the whole nation would be fizzing if there was no CO2 for our Irn Bru.

Flat cola is OK (come on, who didn’t love a Kwenchy Cup?) but Irn Bru without the fizz is like, well, the rogue “Iron Brew” sold in two-litre plastic bottles at every supermarket.

Thankfully, this potential disaster appears to have been averted and good old Barr’s have avoided their worst crisis in 50 years.

Who remembers the great girders shortage of 1973…? Seriously, though, the real problem right now is not a shortage of CO2 or fuel – it’s a shortage of HGV drivers.

Inspired by an old pal from Airdrie who’s now a long-distance lorry driver on the Isle of Mull, I actually thought about training for my licence.

But I don’t think I could afford the seemingly obligatory 500 lights for the front of the truck.

Good luck – and sincere thanks – to all our lorry drivers.

One of my mates reckons it’s only a matter of time before we’re out clapping them on a Thursday night.

PS Loved this little ditty (to the tune of the Only Fools & Horses theme) passed on to me by regular reader Ian Arnott:

Stick a pony in my pocket,

I’ll fetch my fuel can from the van,

Cos if you want some petrol,

And you don’t ask questions,

Then brother I’m your man.

Where it all comes from is a mystery,

It can’t be Esso and it can’t be BP,

The panic buyers are driving me berserk,

Why do only bikes and electric cars work?

PPS Here’s one to ponder – between the CO2 and the fuel shortages, is it still possible to go into a pub and get a pint of diesel?

Tartan Army will be familiar with staggered entry



.Stevie Clarke Scotland manager

Ahead of the Scotland v Israel qualifier on October 9 – by which time, of course, vaccine passports will have been introduced – it’s been confirmed the crowd will only face spot checks.

Very sensible for a huge game – described by Stevie Clarke as “our World Cup Final” – that’s already a complete sell-out.

My Off The Ball pal Prof Jason Leitch had suggested another option at Hampden was “staggered entry”.

I think you’ll find the Tartan Army have been doing that for years.

By the way, I have to agree with my big mucker Stuart Cosgrove and all the other angry Perth punters this week – how the hell is keeper Zander Clark not in the latest squad?

I mean, come on, is there ANYONE who’d be more at home at Hampden these days than a St Johnstone player?

Staying with the beautiful game, the Scottish Cup – famously the oldest trophy in football – appeared on The Antiques Roadshow last week and was valued at £1million.

If the board release the funds, I reckon this is Ange Postecoglou’s best chance of getting his hands on a trophy.

Incidentally, folks, did I ever tell you who won the Scottish Cup in 1991?

Furlough on a hunch

Notre Dame Cathedral is finally stable and strong enough for the start of work to rebuild it, more than two years after a devastating fire – and the French president wants it re-opened by 2024.

So, another three years on furlough for Quasimodo.

Cream of comedy

According to a wee radio snippet I heard last week, the Queen prefers jam first on a scone – then cream.

This is apparently Cornwall-style rather than cream first – the Devon way.

But before any readers yell: “Who cares?” I only mention this story as it reminded me of one of my all-time favourite jokes.

This year’s Cornwall and Devon music festival was cancelled as organisers couldn’t agree whether Cream or The Jam went on first.

If my punchline won’t wash, this lot certainly will

A couple of weeks ago, dear reader, more than £25,000 of mouthwash was stolen from a compound in Lincolnshire and I almost went out of my mind trying to think of a half-decent punchline.

The best I could come up with after WAY too long scratching my head?

Police caught the thieves after stopping the getaway car and breathalysing the driver.

Cue the tumbleweed…

So I challenged my Instagram followers to come up with a better tag for the gag and here’s the pick of the bunch.

● Police have been carrying out door-to-door and mouth-to-mouth inquiries.

● Locals described it as a breathtaking robbery.

● A police spokesman said they’re finding this news very hard to swallow.

● It’s believed the mouthwash in question was a new brand named after Scotland’s performance at the Euros.
It’s called “Huge Disappoint Mint”.

● Police are looking into a fresh lead after a gargled message was left on their voicemail which lasted 30 seconds.

● If the robbers get caught, they can say tartar to their freedom.

● Anyone who witnessed the crime is encouraged to plaque up the courage to come forward.

● After a brush with the law, the minted thieves were eventually rinsed out of their hideaway by the local force’s canines.

● In court, the robbers were told to tell the tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth.

Not bad, eh?



John Lennon and Yoko Ono outside the old RBS in Shandwick Place, Edinburgh

My BBC pal Grant Stott – presenter of the Vinyl Collective on Radio Scotland every Friday – re-posted this photo of John and Yoko outside the old RBS in Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, and revealed it’s now a branch of Greggs.

But what songs would the legendary Beatle have performed at the bakery?

A Day In The Loaf, Strawberry Tarts Forever, Give Piece A Chance, Bacon Roll Over Beethoven, Baguette Back, Let It BLT, Paper Bag Writer, Lucy Having Pie With Doughnuts and Merry Xmas (War Is Apple Turnover). Disclaimer: I got a little help from my friends.

My fave funny photos of the week

A Jehovah’s Witness training camp.



Doorway to heaven

Someone’s overdone it with the gravy.



Where’s a gravy boat when you need it?

Just been for a pee in Wetherspoons.



Stair we go

Incentive scheme launched for HGV drivers.



Keep on Truckin’

When you can’t afford parking sensors.



Tam Cowan column pics

Text jokes of the week

● Looking for a couple of gallons of petrol. Willing to swap for a doctor’s appointment.

● The Government has announced a post-Brexit return to imperial measures. To put that into perspective, shops will now have 0lbs of fresh produce instead of 0kgs.

● I was born male and I identify as male but, according to Sainsbury’s Deluxe Sticky Toffee Pudding, I’m actually a family of four.

● Petrol prices are now so high it’s actually cheaper to buy cocaine and run everywhere instead.

● What’s the difference between a politician and a flying pig? The letter F.

● Which of the Spice Girls can still get petrol? Geri can.

● I’m going to order a load of bubble wrap – just to see what it’s delivered in.

● I lost my job at the hospital when they accused me of stealing neck braces but at least I can walk out with my head held high.

● Sperm banks in the UK are now running low as every tosser in the country is at a petrol station.



Sir Elton John suffered a nasty fall

I’m not still standing

I see Sir Elton John has postponed his forthcoming Scottish gigs after suffering a hip injury in a fall.

I’m still standing? Better than I ever did?

Don’t think so, mate.

Meanwhile, Britney Spears has taken a break from social media to concentrate on celebrating her recent engagement.

Her boyfriend went down on one knee and popped the question a couple of weeks ago… and Britney’s dad said: “Yes!”

And finally

Notebooks used by Sylvester Stallone to write the first four Rocky films are set to sell at auction for a whopping £40,000.

That’s amazing.

Who knew the Rocky movies had a script?





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