CLYDE, the Commonwealth Games mascot, receives a rock star-style welcome from children wherever he goes on the Queen's Baton route.

It was, however, a slightly different story at the Ravenscraig Athletics Stadium in Greenock earlier this week.

A toddler was hoisted by her parents up towards Clyde. The toddler took one startled look at the giant thistle with the beaming, ever-present smile. And she started screaming the place down.

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"No prizes for guessing that Clyde will figure in her nightmares for a long time to come," observes The Diary's man on the spot.

A strange line

SPEAKING of the Games, a Diary colleague researching a story received an email from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. It gave the phone number of its Director of Communications. Our colleague rang it.

The very last thing she expected to hear was a recorded message saying that the number did not accept incoming calls.

Hop to it

THEY do things differently in Australia.

US blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa was taken aback, while on tour there, to see a certain item on a restaurant menu. There, amongst such combos as surf 'n' turf, was Croc and Roo - chargrilled kangaroo fillet topped with crocodile tail fillets.

"A couple of items you don't normally see on a menu," tweets Joe - who, sadly, doesn't actually reveal whether he ordered the dish.

Help the aged

STRANGE excuses, continued. John Macdonald says a pupil in his daughter-in-law's class was pulled up for not doing his homework.

The boy claimed he had left his homework on a chair in the sitting room and went out. When he came back his granny was sitting in the chair fast asleep - and he didn't have the heart to wake her.

Colourful night

THE SSE Hydro, which has just taken third place in a worldwide poll of entertainment venues, has the ability to change the colours of its exterior at will.

Sanjeev Kohli, one of the stars of Still Game Live, speaking to the venue's head of public relations Kirsten McAlonan, suggested it might be an idea to turn the venue silver and red, like a giant Tunnock's tea cake, for the opening night.

Kirsten thought it sounded interesting. Until she remembered that opening night, September 19, coincides with the results of the independence referendum.

"I'm not entirely sure that red and white would be entirely appropriate that day," she said yesterday.

Fast exit

ABSOLUTELY the last word on the World Cup final (unless something new crops up tomorrow). TV viewers were puzzled by the presence of air hostesses at the medals presentation. Comedian Janey Godley saw them, too, and took to Twitter to ask: "Are they showing everyone the exits?"

On the right track

AND finally ... a reader writes: "Why is it everyone you see running for a train with 30 seconds to go seems to be carrying a cup of coffee? If they know they're pressed for time, why do they not forego the caffeine fix?

"They're so addicted that, when they eventually arrive in the office, they probably say something like: 'Sorry I'm latte, I missed the 8 o'clock espresso.'