Greek quest

WE were impressed with a recent news story about Kleon Papadimitriou, an engineering student at the University of Aberdeen who set off on a 2,175-mile bicycle ride home to Athens after three flights were cancelled.

This is exactly the kind of thing we like to publish. Although if a similar tale appeared in The Diary it would probably involve a trip to the local corner shop to buy Greek moussaka. And the mode of transport would be a Space Hopper instead of a bike.

What we lack in high drama and inspirational achievement we try to make up for with sheer lunacy, as these tales from our archives underline. For instance, a reader once asked: “How do you grow seedless grapes?”

Gunning for Green

DURING the first Gulf War a reader got in touch who we guessed was a Rangers fan. He told us rather fancifully that he had heard that a Scud missile had been launched at Glasgow. It hit Celtic Park and caused £3 million worth of improvements.

Hearty rejoinder

ANOTHER of our tales of Sheriff J. Irvine Smith, the legal legend who terrorised and entertained in the courts of Glasgow and Greenock. He was also a hard man when it came to the question of bail. There is the story of the traumatic time he suffered a heart attack in court. As he was helped into his chambers, he managed to whisper to a court official: “Tell him bail’s refused.”

Belly laugh

ANOTHER surreal story that involved Chic Murray, the Salvador Dali of silliness. “What’s your problem?” asked Chic’s doctor. “I’ve got butterflies in my stomach,” said Chic. “Have you eaten anything recently?” inquired the doc. “Butterflies, actually.”

Autopsy turvy

WE recall the wee girl who said her mum had just come out of hospital “after having her second autopsy but they still found nothing wrong”.

Working flat out

A READER was part of a four-man nightshift squad making pancakes in City Bakeries. A fifth man was added to the squad and the production of pancakes soared. This fifth chap was known as the extra man. “Then one night the chap was off sick,” explained our reader, “and the wee gaffer was asked to explain why production was down.” He replied that the downturn pancake-wise was because “we were an extra man short”.

Beer fountain

SPOTTED in the sightseeing heart of Rome: a café with a definite Scottish influence. The window had plastered to it two handwritten signs. The first pronounced: “Tea is served here.” And the other, which was much more prominent: “Skip the Trevi, have a bevvy.”

Two thirds wrong

A GLASWEGIAN was once overheard dispensing a pearl of wisdom to a friend: “Och, it’s aw much ae a muchness, hen. Six o’ wan and two-thirds o’ the other…”

Hard case

WE were once told by a reader that he had attempted to sue an airport for losing his luggage. Alas, he lost his case.