Tam Cowan: While my Cattarh Gently Seeps was one of the Fab Four’s nicotine hits – Tam Cowan

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Forget June 24, 1314, when we defeated the English at Bannockburn, and I can’t even consider November 24, 1942, when the funniest man to walk this planet – Billy Connolly – was born.

No, I think the biggest day in Scottish history was March 26, 2006 when we introduced the ban on smoking in public.

In fact, when the law was introduced, I almost celebrated the news by lighting a big fat cigar.

And I hate to smoke.

I grew up in a house where my mother smoked like a lum. Included in the personal bits ‘n’ bobs we placed in his casket at the funeral last December was a pack of 20 Lambert & Butler.

Of course, I got my throat tied at the wake when my little girl said, “Hope Heaven has a smoking section for Granny Isa …” But I ALWAYS hate smoking.

My legendary Kirkcaldy correspondent, Wee Jimmy, has been blowing for 60 years and refuses to give health warnings at the time of day.

“Look, he told me one day, I’ve been smoking since I was 12 and there’s nothing wrong with my lung…”

It was also the little man who insisted that it is very easy to give up queers. “I have done this hundreds of times …”

Anyway, ladies and gentlemen, the only reason I’m mentioning this topic is because I was tickled by the rather “awake” warning at the start of the brilliant three-part Beatles documentary Get Back on the channel. Disney Plus.

Viewers are cautioned that the programs contain explicit language, mature themes and… SMOKE!

A little bit OTT, surely, considering that John, Paul, George and Ringo were all avowed drug addicts?

I wonder how many longtime fans of The Fab Four would have been shocked and offended to tune in and see one of the boys fly drag on an Embassy Regal?

Of course, a few of The Beatles’ biggest hits were all about smoking.

Who can forget Twist and Snout, Get Baccy and While my catarrh oozes gently?

And if you think that’s just an excuse to bombard readers with other smoking-related songs, well, you’re absolutely right.

Recorded by George Benson & Hedges, The Bay City Roll-Ups, Puff Daddy, Ciggy Pop, Sonny & Cheroot and Patsy Kensitas, take a deep breath and inhale that little bundle…

The first silk cut is the deepest that’s why I’m hissing, hissing like Sunday morning, I can’t get a full power capstan, I get scented menthol on you, I left my lungs to San Francisco, how much did that bit of dog in the window, I heard it through the Woodbine, breathtaking, in the year 20 Fags 20 Fags, it smells of nicotine alcohol, The Blue Golden Virginia’s Ridge Mountains, Aberdeen’s Marlboro Lights, his latest Phlegm and – not to mention – Rick Ashtray with Never Gonna Give You Up.

Och, stop moaning in the back. It’s almost Christmas.



Sanjeev Kholi arrives for the Pride of Scotland Awards at Hopetoun House in South Queensferry

There’s nothing wrong with a good pun (although they’re even better, of course, if they’re rotten) and my old mate Sanjeev Kohli – aka Navid from Still Game – is a good exponent of art.

On Twitter this week, he gave us three crackers.

-I wouldn’t say I was mad at my Peruvian ancestry. Glowing is the word I would use.

-Need your engine to disappear? Simply sprinkle it with caraway seeds.

-At my nursery, none of the children were allowed to be an animal. We all had to be trees or hills. Apparently, children were meant to be a stage and not a herd …

OK, you have every right to whine at that one.

Tell you who else likes a good / bad pun – my colleagues at our brother newspaper the Sunday Mail.

I mean, what about the front page last week – the Elvis impersonator who received a £ 5,000 Covid grant, despite having a full-time job as a police officer.

Admit, guys, this story was just an excuse to plague the place with proper puns on the king!

The title was Cop In A Trap.

The caption was A Little Less Compensation.

But my favorite was in the editorial – the culprit was asked to “return the check to the sender” …

Brilliant!

Getting a Brazilian

Happy Birthday to my great friend – and PLZ Soccer colleague – Alan Rough.

The legendary Scottish goalkeeper was 70 last Thursday and his wife Maggie threw a surprise party at Oran Mor in Glasgow which was teeming with football celebrities.

But if you think it was special enough, I am reliably informed that November 25th has in fact been declared a national holiday in Peru, Iran and Brazil.

Isn’t that lovely?

Roasted or grilled?



Say “cheese”

Memo to anyone looking for a quiet life: do NOT put a photo like this on your Instagram page and

ask your subscribers what it’s called. I almost started WW3 yesterday.

I don’t know why, to be honest. It’s not even up for debate.

It’s RTI cheese, right?

This polar bear has been hit.

It has been revealed that almost half of pet owners leave the central heating on for their pets.

This will likely explain why I was reported to the RSPCA.

I will really miss Peter the polar bear …

Tell yourself who REALLY got in trouble lately – the man from Suffolk who reportedly had sex with 400 tractors!

But I understand that he was only thrown in jail after admitting to a similar offense with a combine harvester.

He has to be released on bail tomorrow …

PS. When he switched to combines, did that make him a fan of a puller ???

PPS. My buddy Ian the plumber says his dentist was doing half-price teeth cleaning last weekend.

A special offer for Plaque Friday.

PPPS. Last Friday at the Braehead shopping center in Glasgow my companion saw a woman crying. The poor soul had lost all the money she had saved for Christmas presents, so he gave her £ 20.

“Normally I wouldn’t do something like that,” he said, “but I just found 500 pounds in the parking lot.”

What’s in a name?



Amanda Holden is swimming

In her 50s next February – and she looks fabulous – Amanda Holden says her friends call her Mandy Button because, just like film character Benjamin Button, she seems to be aging inside out.

It’s pretty decent, but it doesn’t beat my two all-time favorite nicknames.

What about the Glasgow drug dealer known as Sellagram Tam?

What about the little Coatbridge school keeper – all 4’5 “from him – the kids called Janny de Vito?

Say whatever you want about Storm Arwen, but it kept I’m A Celeb off TV for three nights.

Telling you what I couldn’t bring myself to watch this week – on That’s TV Xmas satellite channel (probably as the name suggests, filled with programs full of festive glee) Monday night ‘highlights’ included a documentary titled – wait – Whitney Houston: Autopsy.

Oh Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way …

PS. Is there any chance that CBeebies could show off something called Santa Claus: Autopsy – and save us all goddamn fortune?

Good luck Adam

Good luck to Adam Black, 20, of Dunblane at the Rubik’s Cube World Championships later this month.

Believe it or not, he can solve the famous puzzle in under FIVE SECONDS!

Me? Well speaking as a chronically color blind I would be even slower than Abu Hamza.

My favorite photos of the week

VAR is introduced in amateur Sunday leagues.



Big belly

Delicately spiced crumbly gingerbread … soft fondant icing, black leather … it’s not just Christmas food, it’s S&M Christmas food.



M&S or S&M?

Rare photo of a television remote control from the 70s / 80s.



An old television remote control

Raise your hand if you think Boris Johnson could tell the difference between these two wines?



Raise your hand the one you love the most

When you can’t let the cat out just in case



Scary feline

Text jokes of the week

– I can’t believe people are upset by a Norwegian TV commercial featuring a gay Santa Claus. It’s claustrophobic.

– You know it’s suddenly cold when you trip over dog poop instead of walking in it.

– When one door closes, another opens. When one door closes, another opens. When one door closes, another opens. When one door closes, another door opens. Yes, that was me on the first day of the chocolate advent calendar.

– I accidentally dropped a handful of Viagra pills on the floor after taking one. For the next half hour, I crawled over all five to try and find them.

– Yesterday, passing by the YMCA, I saw a teenager stroking a duck. I said, “Young man, there is no need to feel depressed …”

– I took my car to the garage last week because it was making a terrible noise. The mechanic took a look and advised me to remove the Justin Bieber CD.

– Do you think Hank Marvin is fed up with being offered a sandwich every time he shows up?

– I just learned that there is a nudist convention this weekend. I could go if I don’t have anything on it.

– Music is like candy – best enjoyed when you throw in the rappers.

– My boss arrived at work yesterday in a brand new Lamborghini. “Wow!” I said. “What an incredible car! And he said, “Look, if you work really hard, if you put in every hour and if you live for excellence, I’ll have another one next year …”

Something old

Unearthed in a Polish cave, a 41,000-year-old pendant made of mammoth bone is believed to be the earliest example of a piece of jewelry.

Pah! And the first alliance of Joan Collins?

Thought for the week: isn’t it really sad that dragons can never blow out their birthday candles?

and finally

My apologies to the ‘offended’ reader who contacted me following last week’s column in which I suggested that the Queen’s Christmas speech this year will likely be given by Alex Scott.

Sorry I made a mistake.

Now that I’ve had time to think about it, I think it will actually be Bradley Walsh.

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