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Careful, he'll banjo you

SPOTTED in a taxi rank in Glasgow city centre:

a cabbie with sheet music folded over his steering wheel while he played a ukelele. Any other unusual musical hobbies out there?

Herd it

A FORMER colleague now in Australia was ordering a Christmas turkey at the market when the man next to her took her aback by ordering a whole lamb to roast on a spit - "a small one if you have it," he added.

Christmas, our ex-colleague notes, is a very different affair in a hot country.

Chuffed with trains

A GLASGOW City Marketing Bureau/Virgin Trains promotion to tempt people in Carlisle to do their Christmas shopping up here has upset some Carlisle traders, who talk of "deserters" abandoning the town.

The story was covered by the local newspaper, but not every reader readily grasped the traders' concerns. One promptly posted the breezy comment online: "Thanks for that - didn't realise you could get to Glasgow so cheaply ... booked my tickets for Sunday, thanks."

Now we're in stitches

IT seems that the author of The Plague and The Outsider also invented a type of surgical thread to treat injuries sustained during enthusiastic - how can we put this? - marital relations. Thus it can be said that modern surgery advanced with the use of the Camus Suture. Today's intellectual joke-teller: Barrie Crawford.

Having the last word

MORE on prepositions, and feel free to insert your own word in place of the asterisks at the end.

George Macleod tells us of a Glasgow boy who arrives in Oxford on a scholarship. Lost, he asks a fellow student: "Where's the Dean's office at?"

The other student replies, sternly: "At Oxford we never end a sentence with a preposition."

Glasgow boy: "Okay - where's the Dean's office at, ******?"

Who's counting?

WHILE we're on the subject of grammar and language, Alex Harvey remembers a Radio Scotland sports reporter in the mid-1970s, telling his listeners about Clydebank's unexpected defeat of Rangers. "Five adjectives describe the performance of Clydebank at Kilbowie Park this afternoon," he enthused. "Courage, skill, tenacity and determination."

Recalls Alex: "The pedants immediately spotted that he had only used four words not five - and that not a single adjective was included. See grammar, see numeracy. Who needs them?"

Waiting in the wings

PLANE tales. Ian McLean recalls a Glasgow-Heathrow shuttle that landed in fairly dense fog. With pride, the captain announced: "That was an Instrument Landing as practised by British Airways." At which a wee wumman in the back loudly said: "Thank Goad they practised!"

Banking on it

AND finally ... a tale from Graham Sharpe's Fan-tastic Sporting Stories, which looks at fans who have made the news. In 1991 an American admitted having staged raids on 24 banks and said he'd only done it so that he could finance his trips to watch his favourite football team. Their name? The Los Angeles Raiders, naturally.

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