June 24, 2012

These days, shopping has become a leisure pursuit. But there was a time, believe it or not, when it was a chore. As a boy, I’ve had many a precious Saturday morning ruined by being sent off with a long shopping list and a leather message bag that was so big I had to drag it behind me.

Maybe that’s why I loathe shopping to this day. But I suspect many men of my age detest being hauled to the shops by their nearest and dearest. Well, gents. I have a few suggestions for ways to make it more tolerable… actually, to make it fun!

Ladies, look away now.

Did you know you can buy a watch that is also a multi-TV remote control? It even works through glass! I’ve had hours of fun standing outside various electronic outlets remotely increasing the volume of the display TV’s. It causes havoc – with sales staff running everywhere trying to turn them down again. Of course, as they switch down the volume of one and move onto the next, you just switch it up again!

Ah, but you say your partner insists that you accompany her to clothes shops. No worries. There’s plenty of fun to be had there, too. For example, you can go into an empty changing cubicle and wait till somebody goes into the one next door, then yell: “Hey! There’s no toilet roll in here!”

Or you can try on a pair of trousers but put them on back to front, then ask the sales person: “Be honest, does my bum look big in this?”

More? Another good one is to hand a load of trousers to the assistant, loudly announcing that you’re not going to buy them because “none of them are leak-proof”.

Oh, and if it’s grocery shopping that needs your attention, setting out a trail of orange juice down the aisles and into the toilets should create a bit of mayhem to amuse you.

Unfortunately, this is a family newspaper, so I can’t tell you the fun to be had with a little scoop of peanut butter on the heel of your shoe – but I’m sure you get the idea.

Gents, it has been my pleasure to offer some suggestions as to how to take your least favourite activity, and turn it into something fun. Just try not to look too excited the next time your partner suggests a shopping trip!

Okay, ladies, you can look back again.

Drew McAdam



June 10, 2012


Laughter, they say, is the best medicine. Mind you, I wouldn’t want to be suffering a heart attack and hear somebody say: “You’ll be okay… I’m a comedian!”

I doubt very much if a good belly-laugh is truly the best medicine, but there is scientific evidence to suggest that having a giggle is good for your health. It can do everything from lowering your blood pressure to reducing stress hormones and defending against respiratory infections.

So, here, try this… I was at the local swimming pool and decided to have a sneaky pee at the deep end. I think the lifeguard must have seen me. He blew his whistle so loud I almost fell in!

Or how about this: At an after dinner speech the speaker got to his feet and opened his talk with the line: “All West Lothian Councillors are incompetent fools.” One of the audience members jumped to his feet and announced that he found the statement offensive. The speaker apologised: “I take it you’re a West Lothian Councillor?”

“No,” replied the man. “I’m an incompetent fool.”

(And, yes, that IS the polite version.)

One pioneer in laughter research (and what a great job THAT would be!) claimed it took ten minutes on a rowing machine for his heart rate to reach the level it would after just one minute of hearty laughter. So, besides all the health benefits, you’ve just had a work-out, too!

Here’s another couple: I wondered why the Frisbee was getting bigger; and then it hit me. 

Or: my boss told me to follow my dreams… so one day I turned up naked at work.

According to the experts, that little chuckle just boosted your immune system.

And if that is working for you, then this will have you in tip-top health: a report in the local paper told the story of a roofer who somehow managed to shoot himself in the head with his nail-gun. Amazingly, he was unaware of the fact, and only found out when he tried to take his hat off!

So, there you go. If it’s true that laughter is the best medicine, then you should be feeling as fit as a fiddle by now. I know I am.

Drew McAdam