Fuming foody

GRUMPY chef and professional shoutyman Gordon Ramsay is bringing his TV show Hell’s Kitchen back to the UK. For the last 16 years it’s been broadcast in the States, where the Renfrewshire-born rage merchant has been forging a career. The Diary has never tasted Gordo’s grub, though we enjoy his ability to instigate disharmony. After all, disharmony is also one of our selling points. Our readers often provide us with tales involving daft and disputatious behaviour, as the following classic tales underline. For instance, a frustrated correspondent once enquired: “Why can’t we shuffle the letters in anagram to make any other words?”

Buffet buffer zone

ANOTHER tale involving tension and food. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, was due in Dundee to officially open the second phase of the city’s Verdant jute museum. Organisers of the state visit were surprised when a Bangladeshi security official asked what arrangements had been made for a food-taster to be on hand. One seasoned observer of Dundee civic beanfeasts remarked: “They needn’t worry. There’s bound to be a few councillors into the buffet before her.”

Plucky lawyers

AN apocryphal story, we hope, from Lanarkshire, where two neighbours fell out in a dispute over a boundary wall. Eventually one of them goes to his lawyer. This prompts the neighbour to do likewise, but he inadvertently chooses the same lawyer. The solicitor patiently explains that he cannot act for both, but gives him a letter of recommendation to another lawyer. Although the letter is sealed, the neighbour opens it out of curiosity and reads an account of the dispute with the added paragraph: “These two are turkeys. You pluck one, and I’ll pluck the other.”


THE scene is the carpet department of a high quality store in Edinburgh. A salesperson, verging on the hoity-toity, asks madam (a wee Edinburgh housewife) if she likes this or that carpet.

Finally, one to the customer’s liking is revealed. The housewife says: “I can see that in my lounge,” and bends down to touch the carpet.

As she does so, she involuntarily passes wind. Embarrassed, she apologises.

The salesperson replies: “Don’t worry, madam, when you hear the price you’ll soil yourself.”

Married alive

WE received the following cynical suggestion for men about to get married. “Save yourself some time and aggravation. Find a woman you don’t like and buy her a house.”

Lean times

A CHAP’S strict diet had been successful, and he lost many stones. But the transformation was not achieved without facial evidence of a certain amount of strain. Or as a pal put it: “I’ve seen healthier faces keekin’ oot a coffin.”

Phone-y fact

THERE was once stuck to a window of a telephone box in Plockton a BT sign with an illustration of a telephone and the words: “You may telephone from here.”

Wonders of wildlife

WE end with information that may be helpful to budding David Attenborough types. “What’s the difference between a hippo and a zippo?” a reader asked. “A hippo is heavy. A zippo is a little lighter.”