Monkey business

BORIS Johnson has spent the week ducking, diving and dodging questions that political broadcasters were eager to ask him. The Diary, of course, never avoids the important debates of the day. We are happy to field even the daftest of inquiries, though admittedly we can’t always provide an answer, sensible or otherwise. We look back now on some of those puzzlers posed to us in the past. For instance, a reader once enquired if man evolved from apes, why do we still have apes?

Pulling a cracker

A SEASONAL head-scratcher… Question: Why is Santa so jolly? Answer: Because he knows where all the bad girls live.

Pure steaming

A QUESTION of interest to women hoping to raise a family. Does the potential father of your baby have to be smart? An apocryphal tale we were once told may provide an answer. A chap was required to take a sperm sample to a fertility clinic in Glasgow. He was advised by telephone that he should put the test tube in a warm pocket. The patient decided to take no chances. He arrived and handed the receptionist a foil-wrapped package. When opened the contents emitted a quantity of steam. The staff were certainly surprised, as they had never before seen a test-tube sample nestling in a baked potato.

West is best

READERS often enquire if a certain area of Glasgow is as chic as legend would have it. For an answer we recall this scene set in a West End garden, where a spot of afternoon tea was being taken outdoors, the weather being awfy clammy. The man of the house was stung by a wasp but was taking it all quite calmly. He called through the open windae to his dear wife to pass him some vinegar to treat the sting. “Do you want ordinary or balsamic?” his West End lady replied.

Pilfered petals

A QUERY regarding our educational system. Are our school children out of control, or just misunderstood wee scamps with a twinkle in their eye? A Port Glasgow teacher provided us with an answer. She reported that she was once supervising the line of pupils, first thing in the morning. A ten-year-old boy pushed half a dozen bedraggled daffodils into her hands with the words: “Here, miss, these are fur you. Ah would huv goat mair but the wumman banged on the windae.”

Menu mix-up

READERS often want to know if pubs are becoming far too swanky. Perhaps. Though we’re not so sure about the clientele. We once heard a tale about a wee wumman of advanced years who entered a pub in Cathcart and asked a member of staff: “Whit’s your special?” The chap glanced at the blackboard and began to recite: “Our special today is breaded lobster tails on a selection of salad leaves with a marie-rose dip. It’s served with carrots julienne and baby sweetcorn and a choice of potatoes, croquettes, hash browns, or French fries.” At that, the woman put on a pained expression and said to him: “Naw, your special. Is it Tennent’s?”

Experimental medicine

A MEDICAL enquiry: If doctors want us to trust them, why do they call what they do "practice"?

Read more: The fire at the St Andrew’s Hall, 1962