The numbers racket

SCOTLAND has always fielded the mightiest football team on the planet, which explains why we rarely deign to take part in the World Cup, a piddling little competition beneath our dignity and levels of ability.

This week we once again proved our dominance of the sport when we kinda beat Spain. And when we say "kinda", we mean that our lads were a mere three goals from victory.

If they had bothered to score 20 more goals they would have been celebrating a rout.

The Diary will not bore you with the actual statistics of the game. Numbers, facts and concrete evidence are for lesser creatures, such as accountants and historians.

We specialise in ambience, colour and spinning a thrilling yarn, as is proven by the following classic tales from our archives…


Politics for beginners  

WE recall the late Tory councillor and MSP John Young, who first canvassed in Gorbals in the early 1960s.

Striding up a tenement close, he knocked on two doors without getting an answer, then knocked on the third door which was opened only enough for a man to keek out and ask gruffly what he wanted.

John handed in an election leaflet and made the short prepared speech about hoping to get the chap’s vote.

The man behind the door opined vociferously that Mr Young would not get far in politics canvassing cludgies.


Whoops apocalypse

JOHN retained his sense of humour when elected as the oldest Tory in the Scottish Parliament. When he was patiently waiting to speak in the parliament, the presiding officer controlling the microphones got in a bit of a fankle and announced: “I’m sorry. I pressed the wrong button.”

John replied: “Well, I’m glad you’re not president of the United States.”


Lazy boy

AN idle young fellow once told the Diary: “The biggest problem with doing nothing is you don’t know when you’re finished.”


Divinely awful

A MAN of the cloth played the Old Course at St Andrews, and was surprised when his caddy asked if he happened to be a minister.

As he wasn’t wearing a dog collar as part of his golfing attire, he asked the fellow how he knew.

Replied the caddy: “I’ve never seen that much bad golf without any swearing.”


Reality bites

MORE from the magical world of golf. (Or should that be tragical?) An Ayrshire reader told us a truism he heard in his club. A member at the bar declared: “Chaps who do imaginary golf swings in the office never break 100 on the course.”


Tough love

A ROMANTIC reader told us he went on a blind date with a lady boxer. “At the restaurant,” he added, “she, of, course, went for the ribs.”