CONGRATULATIONS to Glasgow's Larry Dean for winning the Scottish Comedian of the Year contest.

We liked the story Larry once told of sitting his mum and dad down in the kitchen and telling them he was gay.

"My father stormed out of the room," recalled Larry. "I was standing there thinking I had ruined the family and how would we recover from this when he came back in and handed my mum a tenner."

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Iron brouhaha

LANGUAGE difficulties continued. John Speirs tells us: "I remember an article for sale in a local paper which was described as a 'Rot Iron paper rack'. I wonder how long it lasted."

Courting disaster?

OUR mention of the menswear firm Slater's reminds an Ayrshire reader of the occasion he was shopping there and heard a chap trying on a suit say to his pal: "What do you think?"

"Not that one," said his mate, who elucidated: "To me, that says 'guilty'. Take the other one, it's more sober."

Such a boar...

SAD to hear of the death of doughty QC Jock Thomson, who was a well-liked figure in the Scottish courts. We recall when he was a young procurator fiscal in Glasgow prosecuting a chap selling blue movies. A sample film was being shown to the jury which involved a couple who were accompanied on screen by a pig. The jury were eventually becoming bored with the movie as one jury member was heard to mutter: "Has naebody telt them it's mare fun wi'oot the pig?"

Pitching in

GRANT Young, who we mentioned was cycling across Europe for charity, ended up in the Serbian city of Novi Sad where Scotland were beaten in a football international earlier this year. The locals were recalling that members of the Tartan Army took their tops off to help clear the snow off the pitch so the game could go ahead.

Added one Serbian: "You Scots might not have been much good on the pitch, but by God you can clear them."

Innocents abroad

GLASGOW crime writer Robert Jeffrey is just back from Venice where, strolling across the Rialto, he heard an American say to her spouse: "Honey, what came first, the water or the bridges?" Back in his local, he told this to a friend who replied: "That's nothing - I heard an American tourist in the West Highlands who asked her husband, 'Is that the same moon we see in Texas?'"

Dirty humour

WE must end our swimming baths stories as Cora Snyder has told us one of the oldest ones ever. Her grandfather once told her of a bather who had filthy ankles where the dirt had gone through his socks, but his feet were white as a milk bottle below the shoe line. As he was about to walk through the wee pool of disinfected water before taking the plunge, the attendant reproached him: "Haw Jimmy - nae spats in the pool!"

I know. Spats! Don't worry, back to internet stories tomorrow.

Bullet train

A READER notes that on the First ScotRail website in the section where it gives advice to travellers using sleepers, it states that if they are carrying firearms or ammunition they should advise the telesales staff at the time of booking. ScotRail then adds the perhaps superfluous advice for firearms carriers: "Customers should have single occupancy of a cabin or be sharing with a person known to them."