Tea without titters

WE’VE been reporting this week on a disappointingly dismal one-liner that was awarded the prize for best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Our readers will no doubt be wondering why the Diary has never fumbled the ball in a similar fashion, for every single rib-tickling anecdote we publish is hilarious.

Our secret is that we run all our copy past the Diary’s 93-year-old tea lady, Ethel, who is very hard to please when it comes to humour.

For example, we once experimentally showed her an episode of Only Fools and Horses. “Well that wisnae oany gid,” she opined. “Nae hoarses.”

An episode of The Simpsons was similarly dispatched. “Awe those poor wee folk ur yellie,” she sighed. “An’ there’s nothin’ funny aboot jaundice.”

Even Ricky Gervais’s esteemed sitcom, The Office, failed to receive her stamp of approval. “They should focus oan the activities o’ the office tea lady,” sniffed Ethel. “That’s where you’ll git awe yer glamour an’ sex appeal.”

The following classic tales from our archives all received, at the very least, a dry chuckle from our almost titterless tea lady.

We think you’ll like ‘em too…


Sweet tooth sinner

A READER on a Glasgow train at Hallowe’en heard a chap tell his pal: “The wife’s going out tonight and told me to look after any kids that come to the door.

“So a night in with the lights off, watching the football on the telly, and scoffing a huge bowl of sweets by myself. Magic.”


What’s the crack?

AN expat reader in Singapore was looking forward to the home-made tablet his wife was bringing back from Scotland.

He gave some to his uninitiated American boss who, once he had tried it, concluded it was Scotland’s version of crack cocaine.

You could become totally addicted, and it makes all your teeth fall out.


Rabbiting on

A RADIO Scotland football commentator once rather confusingly described a young nervous player as being “like a rabbit caught in the limelight.”


Tough love

THE stress of shopping can lead people to have a fuse as short as Danny DeVito’s inside leg measurement. Case in point. A reader at Glasgow’s Silverburn centre heard a mother say to her complaining daughter: “You’re forgetting mummy is mummy and not daddy. Daddy is the one who cares.”


Missing in action

COMEDY great Andy Cameron once got in touch to tell us: “We used to play a game in the tenements called CDRA (Chap Door Run Away). Nowadays it’s called Parcel Force.”


The bitter truth

A HARD-PARTYING woman in Renfrewshire was heard complaining to friends: “I think that Scotland is awash with toxic lemons. Every time I have a drink with lemon, I’m ill the next day.”