Winds of change

ANOTHER mega storm – the third in a row – slammed into Scotland this week. The Herald will soon have to report, as highly unusual news, any week that doesn’t contain at least one brush with meteorological Armageddon. Woeful weather is the new normal.

In an attempt to keep readers’ minds off such matters, we’re recalling some classic Diary tales where stormy incidents were only metaphorical. Such as the lousy lady golfer who was kicking up a storm of grass, though never quite whacking the ball in front of her.

After her third fresh-air shot, she turned to the party of schoolboys waiting their turn and apologised for the delay. “That’s all right,” one boy replied. “We started our school holidays today.”

Snippy talk

ONE Christmastime, years ago, a Bishopbriggs gent avoided the gnashing and crashing winter weather by ducking into Stobhill Hospital. Although this fellow successfully avoided the gales outside, he still had to prepare for storms down below, as he’d checked in for a vasectomy. (The medical staff were preparing to batten down his hatches.) Our trepidatious hero awaited his fate in a room with a number of other chaps, all of whom became alarmed when a young nursing auxiliary arrived clutching a cardboard box and asked the sister: “What do you want done with these balls?”

The box contained, of course, Christmas decorations.

Patchy advice

MOTHERS give their children guidance to protect their charges from the stormy events that will overtake them at some point in their lives. For instance, a man once proudly told his mother he was on the nicotine patches and had given up smoking. His mum inspected the patch and recommended: “What you should do is put on all the patches and get that nicotine out of your system in the one go.”


HORSE-RACING can be a stormy sport, especially if you like a bet. We once heard a Runyonesque tale of an OAP called Tam who went to Hamilton races with only a tenner. He put the lot on his choice for the first race, which duly romped home at big odds. He then put his winnings on an outsider in the second race, which also won. By the last race, Tam had £40,000 in his pocket. Being a true punter, he put the lot on the favourite, a horse called Lucky Tam. It was beaten in a photo-finish. Back home, his wife asked how he fared. “No bad,” he replied. “I only lost a tenner.”

Boozy brouhaha

ALCOHOLIC beverages can provide a stormy experience for the imbiber. One of Dundee’s most famous politicians, Edward ‘Neddy’ Scrymgeour, was well aware of this. He was the Prohibition candidate who unseated Winston Churchill from his Dundee seat. Being a fierce critic of the demon drink didn’t make life easy for Neddy. He suffered continual barracking from sundry drunks at his election meetings. Undeterred, he would warn these shouty sots that, come prohibition, all the ales and spirits in Dundee would be emptied into the River Tay. Equally undeterred, a gang of the said imbibers reacted to this news at one meeting by singing the hymn: “Yes, we’ll gather at the river…”

Disorder of the garter

LANGUAGE can be stormy at times. And confusing. For instance, there was the angry woman who once said of the object of her fury that she: “would have his heid for garters”.