OUR tales of ordering wine remind Tony Sykes: "In a friendly wee pub in Dumfries I had to advise the waitress I had ordered a bottle of the 1977 but she had brought me the 1978.

With impeccable logic she said, 'Well it will be fresher then.'"

A city divided

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HOWARD Tindall reads the just-published book about Poland during the Second World War, The Eagle Unbowed, which quotes a Russian schoolbook from the 1940s describing Glasgow from a somewhat biased Communist point of view. It stated: "The population consists of 95% exploited proletarians and 5% bloodsucker bourgeois. Every evening the bourgeois drive in their limousines, bespattering with mud the proletarians who look for the leavings of food in the gutters and dustbins."

Remarks Howard: "Certainly brings back memories of growing up in Bearsden."

One-track mind

JIM Foy, once of Glasgow, but now in Newcastle, was proudly telling his dad he had managed to visit the Subway systems in Glasgow, London, Paris and Moscow.

Says Jim: "My dad thought about this, then said, 'Son, I hope you realise your life is going down the tubes.'"

Black humour

THE acclaimed National Theatre play Black Watch, about disillusioned Scots soldiers, is on at the SECC from March 28 after playing around the world. At one point in the production the soldiers joke about who would play them in a film, with one of them told, much to his annoyance, that for him they would need "the b****** who played the Elephant Man".

The cast still have a card that was sent to them by John Hurt after a previous performance which reads: "Loved the show," signed by, "The b****** who played the Elephant Man."

That's seriously funny

IT'S tough trying to help schoolchildren with their homework. A Glasgow father tells us: "Helping my son with his English, I explained to him what an oxymoron was. When I asked if it made sense, he replied, 'Clear as mud.'"

In the know

THE death of Mr & Mrs host Derek Batey reminds Glasgow writer Brian McGeachan of seeing a live theatre version of the show in Blackpool in the 1980s when then Celtic manager Davie Hay and his wife were coaxed from the audience to take part.

Says Brian: "Derek Batey innocently asked the occupation of the man standing beside his wife, Catherine. Given the high-profile nature of his occupation, it must be the only time that audience members were shouting out the answers."

Heavy threat

SORRY about this, but Rod MacCowan sees the news that organised crime bosses could be involved in the horsemeat fraud, and he wonders if they will threaten anyone they suspect of dobbin' them in.