THE latest Harry the Polis compilation of tales from the police force, Up Tae My Neck in Paperwork, by Harry Morris, tells of the young girl employed in CID to file case reports who perhaps wasn't the sharpest.

This was brought home the day that she filed the theft of a Silver Cross pram under the heading "Jewellery".

Marathon man AUSTRALIAN stand-up Dave Thornton, appearing in the Edinburgh Fringe at the Gilded Balloon, goes running to keep himself fit between appearances.

Hurtling down the road in Edinburgh the other day, he was stopped by a lorry driver asking for directions.

"I'm sorry," Dave told him. "I wish I could help you, but I'm not from around here."

The chatty lorry driver asked where he was from, and when Dave replied, "Australia", the driver remarked: "Bloody hell - how long you been running?"

Sticking point LARGS Viking Festival begins on Saturday, August 29, with a parade and a Viking village on the promenade.

Viking re-enactor Robert Low tells us they have had many strange questions over the years from visitors. He recalls when blacksmith Einar the Black was asked: "Did the Vikings and Romans have nails?"

Believing the question to be somewhat foolish, the blacksmith replied: "Naw, son, they gaffer-taped Christ to the cross."

Into the breeches OUR story of the woman described as "East Ham" as she was "one stop short of Barking" reminds a Stirling reader of when a friend said his trousers were "a bit Cowdenbeath".

When he asked for elucidation, he was told: "There's no ballroom in Cowdenbeath."

And it seems local dancers do indeed have to travel to Kirkcaldy or Dundee.

Rule of thumb "HE'S that daft," we hear a chap describing a mutual friend, "that if he was going hitch- hiking he'd get up early to avoid the traffic."

Order of the day WE mentioned the serving Gurkha soldiers on a charity march across the Scottish Highlands.

One of them was asked why he wanted to do the walk, and he replied: "I was told to volunteer by the CO."

Our Army contact tells us: "Some things never change."

Great chieftain THAT newspaper of record, the New York Times, heard about the spat over whether haggis was originally a Scottish or an English dish. So the NYT asked Edinburgh author Alexander McCall Smith for his view on it, and as he elegantly put it, opting for Scotland not England: "Blithely attributing our haggis to a people who already have lots and lots of dishes - most of them terribly stodgy - in their national cuisine seems, if nothing else, to be gratuitously cruel. It would be like eating a mockingbird, if I may be permitted a literary allusion."

Well said, Sandy!

Goodness gracious! READER Norman Brown in Barassie writes: "Regarding the poor bloke who had sambuca thrown over his nether regions while on holiday in Malia and then set on fire, is there any truth in the rumour that he just been giving a karaoke version of one of Jerry Lee Lewis's hits?"