Yule be sad

IT’S with a fatalistic sense of doom that the Diary acknowledges there will be a General Election in December. We now know how turkeys feel at this time of year. Though at least they get a bit of shut-eye, come December 25th. For the poor, benighted voters no rest is in sight. With this in mind, we recall some of our favourite past tales focusing on life’s gloomiest moments. Such as the poor chap who found himself up before the beak on a breach of the peace charge. The fiscal put it to him that at the time of his arrest he’d been in a boisterous state. “In fact, you were full of bravado,” added the fiscal. “No,” came the reply. “A wis oan the cider and wine.”

Beggars belief

AN aged Glasgow beggar approached two youths, requesting they help improve his parlous financial predicament. The teenage tough-guys replied (oaths deleted): “No way. You’ll just huv tae go oot and steal like the rest o’ us.”

Life’s a beach

ONE thing worse than a Christmastime General Election is all-out war. Which reminds us of the Royal Marine corporal who was asked for his memories of the Allied invasion of the Normandy beaches. To which he replied: “They were noisy, dirty and overcrowded. The weather was terrible, and, worst of all, the Germans had got there first.”

Clocked by wife

FEW things are as depressing as marital strife. Though it does have its amusing side. Such as the husband who, returning in a terrible state at 4am, so infuriated his wife that she threw the alarm clock at him. As his colleagues remarked the next day: “It’s amazing how time flies when you’re enjoying yourself.”

Glas go now

PERHAPS the city of Glasgow, itself, is a source of doom and gloom. A book called An Australian’s Guide to Britain was once published. Of the west of Scotland’s most magnificent conurbation it remarked: “Glasgow is not well supplied with good accommodation and in any case is not worthy of an overnight stay. However, a visit of a few hours will probably be judged worthwhile.”

Dead happy

A FEW years back we were told about a chap whose task it was to arrange the transport at a family funeral. He contacted Strathclyde Buses to provide a coach to take mourners from the church to the crematorium. Strathclyde Buses carried out the contract with the utmost professionalism. The only tiny criticism was that some of the passengers felt that a Wee Happy Bus, complete with cheery face painted on the front, might not have been the ideal choice of vehicle for such an occasion.

The long goodbye

MORE funeral fun. An artist friend of the Diary decreed that when his time came he wished to be laid to rest on a faraway hillside. Inaccessible by road. The mourners having to take turns carrying the coffin. In the pouring rain. Then they would sing all of Psalm 119, which runs to 176 versus. “If I’m not having fun, they’re not having fun,” was the logic of our artist chum.

Psychic and psycho

MARITAL relations continued, this time in joke form. Desperate to know her future, a woman visited a psychic. Gazing at the tarot cards laid before her, the psychic whispered: “There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll be blunt. Prepare to be a widow. Your husband will die a horrible and violent death this year.” Visibly shaken, the woman took a deep breath, met the psychic’s gaze and steadied her voice. “Will I get away with it?” she asked.