WE asked for your belt stories, and a former teacher tells us of an occasion when he was a student teacher in the East End of Glasgow in the 1970s, and the PE head stopped a playground rammy.

"The miscreants were lined up in the playground, and the belt was used along the line until reaching one vociferously protesting youth.

"There were to be no arguments though, and he was duly belted and dismissed. It was only established later, after a call from the bread company, that the protesting youth was in fact the apprentice van boy who was delivering rolls to the dinner school."

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Under cover

DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says an independent Scotland will have its own intelligence agency.

Reader Tony Sykes in Glasgow asks: "Will it be called Scotch Spies, and will it be based in Greggs?"

Mistaken identity

DUNDEE author David Aitken, whose new detective novel A Dundee Detective, has just been published, wonders if fact is stranger than fiction after he was threatened by two men in a highway underpass while visiting Hong Kong. Suddenly an old woman appeared, chopped one of the potential muggers on the jugular, turning the chap's legs to rubber, and blowing on a whistle which immediately summoned two police officers who grabbed the second mugger.

The old woman then removed her disguise, explained she was actually a young policewoman and added: "I was the one who was supposed to be mugged." David just wonders why they thought he was an easier target.

Old favourite

THIS week's Celtic Connections highlight was the tribute concert on Monday night to recently-deceased singer Michael Marra, whose song about an inoffensive chap, entitled Hermless, was seen by some as an alternative Scottish national anthem.

Morag Jones in Edinburgh tells us: "As the almost-full Citylink bus from Glasgow to Edinburgh was just about to leave Buchanan Bus Station on Monday evening after the concert, a rather lovely and spontaneous rendition of Hermless was sung by the majority of the over-60 bus-pass holders on board."

Michael would have liked that.

Knock, knock...

A DELIVERY man swears to us he knocked on a door in Glasgow's South Side and told the chap who answered: "I've got a parcel for your next-door neighbour."

The puzzled chap replied: "You've come to the wrong house then."


A GLASGOW reader was in his local at the weekend when a chap who had dodged in for a pint announced that he had only got out as he told his wife he was taking the dog for a walk.

"Where is it?" asked the barman.

The crestfallen toper realised he was no mastermind as he then muttered: "At home with the wife."