We had barely ordered a drink after entering the West End Bar, which is one of our local pubs, when the comical banter began.

You see, the previous week my friends Christine, Mae and I had attempted horse riding, and as soon as the guys in the pub got wind of this, the roll of endless puns began.

“I’ve never met herbivore,” Richie referred to my pal Mae.

“Let me ask you another equestrian.”

“Did you manage one mare jump?”

This week however, someone just happened to mention their pet dog and next minute.

“How are you feline this week Mae?,” Richie and Mae’s banter was instant.

“I’m feline a little bit ruff now that you ask,” she replied.

“Well perhaps we should cur-tail this conversation,” Richie added.

“Yes,” Laughed Mae.

“Because I think I’m going mutts.”

And to be honest, so was I!

An hour later Mae and I caught up with our girl pals and we filled them in on the banter with the West End Bar Sunday Club guys.

“Sounds like you had a right good laugh,” Julie suggested.

But Mae was now on to other matters.

“I never told you about the brilliant day I had at the Bionic Gardens,” she turned to the group.

The girls looked at each other and though they had misheard our pal.

“Where were you?,” queried one.

“The Bionic Gardens,” she repeated.

“You must have heard of it.”

Mae looked at us as though we were the confused ones.

“It’s in the West End of Glasgow.”

“I take it you mean the Botanic Gardens Mae,” I pointed out.

“Yes that’s what I said.”

And before any of us could get a word in.

“Three hours I spent in the Bionic Gardens and…...”

There seemed no further point in adding to the confusion as Fiona tried to explain our pals’ language mix-up.

“I think that sometimes people get a word into their head and there’s just no way of changing it.”

We all nodded.

“For instance, we attempted to correct our mum every time she referred to Oxo Tube," she added.

“But to this day she still calls them Oxo Tubes and she even writes Oxo Tubes on her shopping list!”

The girls all seemed to have similar stories.

“Every Friday my mum would see us off to school and say ‘remember tonight I’m making your favourite corrugated chips,” laughed Julie.

“Corrugated chips?”

“We never got corrugated chips,” Mae seemed miffed.

“No wonder,” Julie explained.

“Because she was getting mixed up with crinkle cut chips and, funnily enough they did taste better than flat chips.”

One of my friends reckoned a lot of the time we mix our words up is because we are nervous, and I supposed she was right because I recalled the night my son-in-law Tony was coming home from work and out of the blue got pulled over by the police.

“Sorry officer,” he attempted to explain.

“It really wasn’t my fault.”

And before the officer could get a word in Tony added.

“The woman in the car in front of me was driving erotically.”

“Really?” the officer seemed bemused.

“And was she in a state of undress?”

Susan then told us of her mum’s recent hospital appointment.

“Quite innocently she informed all of her friends that she was going to hospital to get her autopsy results," Susan went on to explain.

“She meant to say she was going to get her biopsy results, but got the two words mixed up.”

‘No difference eh?” I thought to myself.

“Autopsy or biopsy.”

Still unaware of her previous verbal blunder Mae added.

“I know where your mum is coming from Susan.”

According to Mae, she told everyone that following her lung condition diagnosis she would now need to use an immobiliser for a few months.

We shook our head but said nothing, and as if that wasn’t bad enough apparently she confirmed that her condition would be exasperated by further smoking!

“You don’t seem to have a problem with your words Janice,” Fiona pointed out.

“Perhaps that’s because you work in a newspaper environment.”

“Well………” I thought I should set the record straight.

“I may not mix up my words, but I have certainly said some very inappropriate things in the past.”

My friends were all ears as I continued.

“I asked a lady in a queue in front of me if she needed a hand and when she turned round she only had one hand!”

“I told a guy next to me to keep an eye out for the next bus, and he only had one eye.”

“I asked a new start in my office if she was finding her feet.”

The girls were silent.

“And she was in a wheelchair and paralysed from the waist down.”


“Bloody hell Janice, you make me sound normal.”

And coming from Mae that did make me wonder!