In the rough

THE death of colourful American golfer Doug Sanders reminds Robin Gilmour of this perhaps apocryphal tale. An American golf correspondent had discovered where Sanders was staying while practising for the Open at St Andrews. Visiting the boarding house, the reporter asked the lady manager if Doug was staying there with his wife.

“That is not correct,” came the curt reply.

“Sorry, ma’am, “ said the reporter. “Is the lady accompanying him his fiancée?”

The manageress, tiring of this interrogation, began closing the boarding house door. Just before it slammed in the reporter’s face she uttered these parting words: “I don’t think she’s his fianceé either, son. She has a strong Methil accent.”

Auto didactic

OUR (rather fanciful) tales about ice cream companies battling it out in biblical times encourages Gordon McRae to reward us with further revelations. He informs us that the earliest record of someone driving a car is found in the Bible. “It happened when Moses came down from the mountain in his Triumph,” he adds.

Passport to prayer

MANY of reader Ken McLean’s Catholic friends are sad to be missing out on their regular church attendance. Luckily they’ve discovered that churches are performing online services which can be enjoyed on social media. Ken’s pals now discuss the best ones to watch. A service from Coatbridge, one from Falkirk or maybe even the Vatican? “This is what we now mean by mass tourism,” adds Ken.

Munching minutes

AN unlikely story. “I tried eating a clock yesterday,” says reader Rob Peake. “It was very time consuming.”

Dung beetling

WHEN people talk fondly about the past they often forget the bad old things that happened in the good old days. Not Kate Hunter, who recalls the indignities of youth. “When the ragman, the coalman, in fact any man with a horse, passed up our street, we kids were sent to shovel up the dung for dad to use in the garden as manure,” she shudders.

“Sometimes it was still steaming,” she adds. “Mortification personified.”

Footballers cash in

A QUIRKY quiz question in the Diary reminds Sandy Tuckerman of this sports puzzler: Name three 1990s Scotland-based footballers with names associated with gambling. The answer is Jim Bett, Campbell Money and… Mixu Paatelainen.

Non-specific pacific

OUR run of misheard song lyrics continues. Russell Smith from Kilbirnie once believed a certain Rodgers and Hammerstein ditty from South Pacific was a romantic ode about an incanting politician. The song was, of course: Salmond chanted evening.