A bug’s life

TO holiday or not to holiday? That is the question. Deciding whether or not to leave the country for the summer has turned into the Hokey Cokey. In, out. In, out. Don’t bother shaking it all about. (Hussle yourself into quarantine instead.)

Luckily, Diary contributors are always on vacation. They never stop taking a break from sensible behaviour and logical thought. Instead, they act like a bunch of proper dafties, as these classic tales from our archives prove. For instance, a reader once asked why doesn’t the United Nations declare Scotland a No Midge zone?

You’ve been framed

THE scene was a Glasgow court, where the accused vehemently denied a charge of shoplifting. The problem, as is often the case, was that the prosecution had a videotape showing quite clearly the accused in the act of purloining the goods in question. The accused watched the video which, incontrovertibly, showed footage of him stuffing items up his jook.

He appeared despondent.

Suddenly he cheered up considerably and even leapt to his feet in elation.

“Look,” he cried. “I put the stuff back.”

“Naw, son. We’re just rewinding the tape,” said the court officer.

Mind your language

WE once heard of a Glaswegian called Pat Rice, who moved to Dundee. He married, had a kid, and duly received advice from a local on what not to call his new-born son. “Don’t name him Fred,” he was told. “Fred Rice is something Dundonians order in a Chinese restaurant.”

City slickers

A GEEZER of the Glesga sort helpfully explained to us how a person might define their Glaswegian origins:

You think of ginger without Fred.

You think Paradise Lost is Mo Johnston’s autobiography. (Remember him?)

You think teddy bears are blue.

Turkey basted

ENGLISH, as it is translated from foreign tongues. In a Turkish hotel there was a notice that advised: “While on fire, meet everybody in the road.”

Café culture

SOMETIMES locals have problems with the English lingo, too. There was a sign, handwritten, on the door of the Bay Café in Rothesay, which read: ‘Toilets are solely for the use of sit-in patrons.’ Another sign, a proper metal one, and very artistic, was spotted in Dunoon. It proclaimed grandly: ‘Welcome to Dunoon – home of Dunoon mugs.’

Chuckles with Chic

ONE of the Diary’s favourite people was Chic Murray. He didn’t just take a break from sensible behaviour. He had a one way ticket to insanityville. Chic once said: “I walked into the bedroom. The curtains were drawn but the furniture was real.”

Office clown

A DIP into the murky waters of malapropism. A reader revealed a colleague at a staff meeting urged that everyone should be “singing from the same spreadsheet”. He also admitted that on one issue he was “a bit of a doubting Joseph”.

Silence is violence

ONE of our silliest contributors claimed to have been kidnapped by a group of mime artists. “They threatened to do unspeakable things,” he said.