Scot… ish

SEVERAL years ago Chris Ide from East Renfrewshire was invited to Romania to present a scientific paper at an international firefighting conference. At the dinner, the entertainment was provided by gypsy musicians who strolled between tables playing tunes appropriate to the delegates’ nationalities. Thus the French were serenaded with Paris in Spring and the Dutch got Tulips from Amsterdam.

Emboldened by the liberally dispensed wine, our reader caught the eye of the bandleader and requested: "Scottish music, please!"

The band members went into a huddle for a few minutes. Then the bandleader turned towards Chris and flashed him a beaming smile as the musicians burst into Mack the Knife.

Old king coal

THE coalman who supplied the street where Robin Gilmour lived in the 1950s would trundle into view on his horse and cart, announcing his arrival with a cry that concluded: “Coal briquettes, 7/6!”

Robin recalls one occasion when a woman shouted to the coalman from her first floor window: “Tommy, son! Two bags of that 7/6 up here, toot sweet! Okey dokey?”

Came the reply: “Okay, missus B. Do youse want’ em cul-de-sack or a la kart?”

Playful puzzler

A LITERARY lesson from reader Ramsey Barlow. “Why did Shakespeare write in ink?” he asks. “Because pencils posed an issue: 2B or not 2B?”

R you serious?

ANOTHER foolish football fact from John Murphy of Edinburgh, who reveals he can name four Scottish football teams with names beginning with R. They are, of course: Rangers, Ross County, Raith Rovers and… Arbroath.

Driven to distraction

A CHUM of reader Robert Gardner had been teaching his nephew to drive, so Robert asked how the lessons were progressing.

“Never again!” groaned the chum. “Half the time I was totally scared. The other half I was totally scared and my bum was chewing the buttons off the car seat.”

No doubt Robert’s pal is glad the lessons have ended. As are the buttons of his car seat.

Harvest havering

ANOTHER misheard song lyric. John Young from Neilston says his wife, Joyce, was involved in the harvest festival when she was five-years-old, where she would sing: "Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, here will come wee Joycey, bringing in the sheaves."


FEELING bored, reader Frank Ballard started playing with his son’s train set. Then his wife entered the room. Embarrassed at his childish endeavours, Frank tossed a blanket over the train set. “I think I covered my tracks,” he adds.

Read more: Glamour and spectacle at the Alhambra