Tam Cowan: I tried saying 50 is the new 30 but it never worked with traffic cops – Tam Cowan


Don’t be fooled by the boyish good looks at the top of the page, dear reader… today I celebrate my 53rd birthday.

Yep, in much the same way I’d celebrate getting my hair cut by Boris Johnson’s barber.

Three years ago, I tried telling anyone who’d listen that 50 is the new 30 – but it never worked. Particularly with those two traffic cops on Merry Street in Motherwell.

Right now, I’m in worse nick than Liam Gallagher. Grey, receding hair, varicose veins and morbidly obese with the sort of voluptuous man-boobs that would make me odds-on favorite in any wet T-shirt competition.

Tonight’s birthday meal in a local restaurant might be the first time I ask my daughter to cut up my steak…

Talking of family, I don’t think I’ll see my 54th birthday if I keep up my chronic snoring as my wife & wean – tortured by the deafening din throughout last week’s motorhome break in Blackpool – might find ANOTHER use for a steak- knife…

I reckon we’re talking 250 decibels when I doze off (I must apologize to everyone who sat next to me at Fir Park this season) and, by Day Three when the snoring had REALLY kicked in, so did the crabbitness.

“I want to go home in the morning!”

“I’m never going on holiday with you again!”

“I want to sell the motorhome!”

And that was just my wee lassie…

(The one and only night when my snoring wasn’t an issue? Last Thursday when the chef’s special was a spicy Mexican chilli…)

As you can see from the sneaky snapshot taken by my daughter – and that’s probably NOT the photo I’ll use when I apply to be the new James Bond – I tried a DIY cure by shoving two plugs of rolled-up toilet paper up my hooter. (Fair play to my missus who insisted on calling them ‘Tam-pons’…)

But it didn’t work. Worse still, after taking this course of action eight hours a night for a full week, I’ve now got a bugle like Jack Klugman fae Quincy.

With hindsight, I’d have been better off stuffing the paper plugs in my wife and wean’s ears.

Friends and colleagues were quick to offer advice. My pal Andrew has annoyed all of his wives with his snoring from him and he insists the only answer is weight loss. “My doctor advised getting into a collar below 16.5 inches,” he said.

(Ahh, that’s where I’ve been going wrong – I’ve been wearing a 17-inch collar to bed. Perhaps if I loosed my tie…?)

“Nothing else works,” he said. “except an anti-snoring plastic tongue retainer – but that’s a pain in the a*se.”

Aye, especially if you swallow it!

One of my BBC Scotland chums – the lovely newsreader Laura Maciver – says she stopped her hubby snoring by gently pinching his ears in bed, so I might give that a bash.

Can you come round tonight, pal…?

Back in 90s, when I was a young, fit man on my first trip to Las Vegas with the boys from Motherwell, I shared a room with the one who turned out to be the heavy snorer – but I soon put a stop to it.

On our second night, I gave him a kiss on the cheek and said: “Night night!”

He never slept a wink for the rest of the week…

. Another personal health issue – I’ve only got one kidney. Yep, after stopping at a motorway service station on the M6, I had to sell the other one to pay for the fuel.

Tebay or not Tebay? That is the question. And I now know the answer after paying 189.9pa liter for diesel.

I was smiling again, however, when one of my Instagram chums informed me that “Tebay” is where a Yorkshireman buys his tat online…



BoJo banjo’ed by Tam’s daughter Sophie

PPS. Highlight of the holiday? My wee girl Sophie planting one on Boris Johnson’s chin. (A big target, to be fair, as the Partygate PM is notoriously two-faced.)

Before she’s awarded the Freedom of Scotland, I should point out this took place at Madame Tussaud’s in Blackpool where the waxworks were excellent (apart from the Simon Cowell dummy which was less synthetic than the real thing).

Sophie was disappointed she couldn’t find her favorite band – One Direction – but I understand they were recently melted down to create Ant McPartlin’s forehead.



The Two Ronnies.
The Two Ronnies. Undated handout photo issued by the BBC, Tuesday October 4, 2005, of Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker during filming of The Two Ronnies. TV comedian Ronnie Barker has died after a long illness, his agent confirmed today. The TV legend, famous for his hugely successful show, The Two Ronnies, was 76. Barker is thought to have been ill for some time. See PA Story DEATH Barker. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Photo credit should read: BBC/PA Warning: Use of this copyright image is subject to Terms of Use of BBC Digital Picture Service. In particular, this image may only be used during the publicity period for the purpose of publicizing THE TWO RONNIES SKETCHBOOK and provided BBC is credited. Any use of this image on the internet or for any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising or other commercial uses, requires the prior written approval of the BBC.

I loved The Two Ronnies – and I love this 2022 spin on their most famous sketch.

Ronnie B: Four candles.

Ronnie C: Fork handles?

Ronnie B: No, four candles. Have you seen my f*****g electricity bill?!?

PPPS. According to the latest poll, Lake Windemere in the Lake District, The London Eye and St.Ives in Cornwall are among the top contenders… but, come on, surely THIS is the best view in England?

Ally best forget



Pundit Ally McCoist
Pundit Ally McCoist

A skiing holiday in the Swiss Alps sounds VERY nice – unless you’re trying to watch the fitba’…

My mate Simon – a diehard Celtic fan – was desperate to see last week’s Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers, but the barman refused to switch channels from the ice-hockey.

What the puck is that all about?

Simon, perhaps it’s just as well you missed it. Celtic were honking – and you were dangerously close to the Dignitas Clinic…

My old pal Ally McCoist says Rangers’ confidence has surged on the back of that victory but, looking at the league, he admits Celtic need “the biggest collapse of all-time”.

I think he means the SECOND biggest. Who can forget December 2014 when the mighty Alloa Athletic came from 2-0 down to beat Rangers 3-2 in the Petrofac Challenge Cup?

Poor old Coisty – the Gers gaffer that night – is still trying to…

. Bobby Madden appears to be taking most of the blame for Celtic’s defeat (rather unfairly, I think) but Willie Collum is still the referee football fans LOVE to hate.

A few weeks ago on Off The Ball, our Team of the Week was The Toilet Roll XI (Andrex Robertson, Loo Macari, Ian Flush, etc) and one listener suggested Willie as an official match.

why? Well, he’s the tube in the middle…

Will’s fighting chance

So, Will Smith has been banned from the Oscars for 10 years?

To make sure he has absolutely no reason to break the curfew, perhaps he should spend the next decade ONLY appearing in films co-starring Gerard Butler…

off the boil



Tam with Professor Jason Leitch
Tam with Professor Jason Leitch

A delight to have the new Beechgrove presenter – 23-year-old Calum Clunie – as a guest on Off The Ball the other week.

At that age, I was more interested in bogies than begonias.

If you didn’t catch the young gardener’s appearance, it’s available on our pea-podcast…

. As a thank-you for his efforts on the show throughout the pandemic, I took Professor Jason Leitch out for a curry last week and, sure enough, the minute I posted our picture on social media, the usual trolls dismissed him as “ to dentist”.

Yes, guys, that’s what he USED to be – but he’s now Scotland’s National Clinical Director for heaven’s sake.

If they had Twitter in Biblical times when Jesus fed the 5000, raised a man from the dead and turned water into wine, I guarantee one or two anonymous muppets would have sneered: “Ach, he’s just a carpenter…”

. Don’t talk to pearly kings or pearly queens about their pearly whites – a UK-wide survey has revealed Cockneys are most scared of the dentist.

Yeah, terrified at the thought of not being able to talk for five minutes…

Hamilton’s No1 punster

Spent the first week of the Easter hols in the East Neuk of Fife where regular reader Bob McFarlane – Hamilton’s No1 punster – says his crabbit wife’s favorite spot is St.Moanings.

Bob recently spotted Rishi Sunak and his missus in a local curry house. “They didn’t order starters,” he says, “as they have non poppa-dom status.”

Yesterday, Bob met a Rangers supporter who’s a big fan of Michael Jackson – in fact, he was even wearing King Billie Jeans.

My fave funny photos of the week

Can it really just be four months since Hibs chairman Ron Gordon unveiled Shaun Maloney as the new boss?



Mr Roarke and Tattoo welcome you to Fantasy Island
Mr Roarke and Tattoo welcome you to Fantasy Island

Makes you feel old seeing this pair all grown-up, huh?



Just look at who the test card girl and her clown look like now?
Just look at who the test card girl and her clown look like now?

My girlfriend asked me to spice things up in the bedroom.



hot dog
hot dog

When you sneeze so hard your mustache ends up on the other lip.



facial flair
facial flair

Just bought a copy of Wayne Rooney’s autobiography.



Not bedtime reading
Not bedtime reading

Text Jokes of the Week

Covid-19, food price hikes, the cost of fuel through the roof, gas & electricity unaffordable, war in Europe, airport chaos, climate change… I sometimes wonder if this is all happening because I didn’t forward that email to 10 other people.

When I was young I was scared of the dark. Now when I see my electric bill, I’m scared of the lights.

Did you know it’s now cheaper to have a night on the p*ss in Wetherspoons than stay at home with the heating on?

I booked an Uber yesterday and, due to the petrol prices, we used my car.

Pulled out a nose hair today to see if it hurt. Judging by the reaction of the man asleep next to me on the train, it seems pretty painful.

My wife says I treat our house like a hotel. Ella could n’t believe what I was hearing, so I gave her a bad review on TripAdvisor.

Congratulations to my niece – school trampoline champion yet again! That’s three years on the bounce.

My granny bought one of those large TV screen magnifiers to sit on her lap. She then cremated herself watching A Place In The Sun.

Remember, folks, if you don’t sin, Jesus died for nothing…

And finally

Strange experience last weekend, folks.

I was invited to a house-warming in Airdrie. And, when I got there, three neds were setting fire to a house.




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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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