Bonkers bankers

ROGER Daltrey, the singer from legendary 1960s band, The Who, said this week that the downside of superstardom was not being able to hang out with normal people anymore. Anyone who has read the Diary will know that Roger’s wrong, because there are no normal people, just peculiar personages of every possible permutation. Which is lucky for us, because without rampant eccentricity we’d be forced to record thrilling adventures involving people sipping a nice cuppa. Or tying their shoelaces. Instead, as these tales from our vault prove, we have goofiness galore. Such as the reader who once asked if bankers can count, why do their counters have six windows but only two tellers.

Mercantile mendicant

GLASGOW has always been a hub of entrepreneurship. We recall the beggar in Central Station who proved that not all his get up and go had got up and went when he accosted commuters with the words: “Gies a pound. I want tae start my ain business.”

Mind your language

THE Gaelic and English languages both have their uses, as a Highland gent once explained to us. He said that the daily tasks in his household were split between the two tongues. When he was taking the weans for a nice walk in the park or some other treat, conversation was conducted in Gaelic. When he had the unhappy duty of scolding a child, it was done in English.

Fair play fellas

FROM darkest Midlothian came a tale which illustrated what a trusting lot bowlers are. Loanhead Miners Welfare were drawn to play Rosslyn at the neutral venue of Rosewell bowling club. To save travelling, it was agreed over a telephone call between the respective skips to play the match at either Loanhead or Rosslyn. “Where will we meet to toss the coin?” asked the Loanhead man. “Let’s do it over the phone. I’ll trust you,” replied the Rosslyn man.

“Ok, call.”


“Sorry, it’s tails.”

We can’t see it catching on in less trustworthy pairts than Midlothian.


GREAT Tannoy Announcements of Our Time. A dreary Monday morning on the Glasgow Underground at Govan was greatly enlivened by the following announcement: “Would driver Singh please phone control and we’ll tell him where his train is.”

Malady malapropism

SOME Glaswegians go to great lengths to avoid speaking a’ wrang. Occasionally they mangle perfectly good words. Like the woman who had been off work suffering from the bile. Or “the boil”, as she informed workmates.

That sinking feeling

WE recall when Harland and Wolff of Belfast were building six ships specially designed to carry ore and coal around the difficult waters of the Cape of Good Hope. They were to be called Capesize-class ships. At the time we thought it wasn’t a very safe sounding name, especially when pronounced in a Kelvinside or Morningside accent.

Wynd up merchant?

A CUSTOMER phoned a mail-order company and gave his address as: “Smith - seven oblique four Castle Wynd, Edinburgh.” He duly received a parcel addressed to “Smith, 7 O’Bleak 4, Castle Wynd Edinburgh”.