Susan Morrison: Your country needs you, Nessie, so don’t be shy

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A team has returned from one of the most inhospitable places on earth, the Kemerovo region, with proof, they say, of the existence of the Yeti. Admittedly, that proof is a bit on the vague side.

Apparently it’s footprints and a “probable” den. And hair samples. There are always hair samples. And usually droppings. Yeti, Sasquatch, whatever you want to call them, seem to be remarkably messy in their toilet arrangements.

This is extremely worrying. If other nations are getting better at monster marketing, where does this leave Nessie?

We must be honest here – at a time of austerity and cutbacks, our chief tourist asset north of Perth is rather letting the side down.

There’s been nary a sighting of our monster for years, as far as I can tell. When was the last time you saw a fuzzy photo of what could just be a large lassie having a swim, or heard an over-excited coach trip pensioner from Yorkshire give a graphic description of “it just came out of t’ water and looked at us for a second before it sank back down under t’ waves.”?

When was the last time an over-confident American tipped a mini-sub into the loch?

And yet, Nessie, Queen of Lochs, remains elusive, dangerously so for the people of VisitScotland. Where is she, whilst her supremacy is being challenged? Is she having a crisis of confidence? Has she hit the bottle? Perhaps she’s let her figure go.

Is she lurking in Castle Urquhart guzzling gin and chocolate, crying, watching her old hits on DVD? Oh, The Surgeon’s Photo! The Taylor film and let’s not forget the Rines Flipper Image!

Come on, Nessie! Your country needs you! We need a team of craggy- jawed explorers to brave the icy waters, midgie attacks and some seriously dodgy cream teas. Or perhaps, in a change of tactic, we need to send in Lorraine Kelly with a comforting hug and an encouraging word, to get our girl right back where she belongs, on the front page, dominating the monster world. I know the Kemerovo region sounds remote, scary and frightening, but get yourself a photo-friendly beastie that leaves telltale doodah and before you know it, you’ll have bus trips from Rochdale elbowing Americans from Idaho whilst they both trample Chinese students to get to the gift and tea shop.

Drumnadrochit will be abandoned, slowly sinking beneath a mountain of unwanted scones and jam, a Highland Atlantis drowning in unsold speciality teas and filter coffees.

Oh, then you can frolic all you like, Nessie, but is that what you want, a solo show on an empty stage? The Norma Desmond of the monster world? Get out there, girl. Show these upstarts how it’s done. We’re ready for your close-up.

Something stinks about this new doggy doo game

There’s an ad on telly for a game called Doggy Doo. Believe it or not (and you’ll probably think I’ve been at the gin again) but it’s exactly what it says. It’s a game about picking up doggy doo. There’s a little plastic hound you feed at one end, and then, well, you clean the mess up from the other end.

I like this attempt to make doggy doo cleaning-up competitive. Here in Leith, of course, we veer to the other extreme, where dogs appear to be encouraged to leave as much doo as a doggy can do.

Mind you, it could be a plot to con scientists into thinking that Big Foot lurks in Leith, thus boosting the tourist trade to the Shore.

The men have been sitting pretty on earth-moving shopping trips

There’s a brand new shiny factory in Livingston for tractors and earth-moving machines. I was there the other day when the owners were showing off their state-of-the-art workshop and their big boy’s toys to their customers, all of whom were men. They had pulled out the stops, believe me. They had a barbeque, a bar, a golf range, and a grand piano inside the hanger, not to mention comfy couches and cakes.

This, my sisters, is how men go shopping. I can’t believe we’ve let ourselves down like this. I’m going to start demanding sofas and muffins in Marks.

What’s it called? The Moon!

School holidays are fast approaching, and so we’re off to London for a few days. It’s the lad’s choice. I offered a sunshine destination, but no, he wants to see the Science Museum. He’s been watching a lot of Discovery Science. He’s developed a bit of an obsession with the Apollo missions – hardly surprising, since that’s about 50 per cent of the channel output. The other 50 is Yeti footage. Nessie take note. My boy said he’d really like to go to the Moon. I said we’d need space suits. Yes, he said, with tremendous authority, the Moon’s got a dead atmosphere. In that case, I said, we could just go to Cumbernauld.