Winning? No whining

ONCE again the Booker Prize has been awarded. And once again The Herald Diary fails to win the coveted gong. We aren’t sore losers, of course.

Not much, anyway.

The Diary’s generosity of spirit allows us, for the briefest of moments, to stop gnashing our teeth and shaking a fist in impotent fury at the cruel gods of English literature.

We also grudgingly congratulate Douglas Stuart for bagging the biggie with his book Shuggie Bain. The talented Glasgow writer deserves his award.

Though surely the Diary’s oeuvre also packs a literary punch? Our correspondents know how to blend the dark drama of Dostoevsky with a Proustian understanding of human nature, as the following classic tales from our archive prove.

For instance, a woman once got in touch to moan about her new kitchen, explaining in a most sinister fashion: “There’s no room to skin a cat.”

Aisle be back

A READER shopping in a Greenock supermarket with only a few items was stuck behind a woman at the checkout with a large pile of groceries. His mood wasn’t helped when the woman suddenly announced: “Oh, I’ve forgotten something!” and dashed back up the aisles.

He was surprised, though, when she returned a few minutes later pushing a young child in a buggy.

Clocked off

A PARTICK reader on holiday in Wales visited the local cinema where the glass-fronted message board outside said the film that evening was on at 6.59. When he bought his ticket he commented on the time being very exact.

“We’ve lost our number 7,” the ticket-seller explained.

Tense moment

A TEACHER once told us she foolishly decided to explain past, present and future tenses to her class and ended the lesson by asking: “What tense is the sentence, ‘I am beautiful’?”

Inevitably the class clown shouted out: “Past tense.”

Brotherly love

A MARYHILL reader was in a supermarket when she heard a young lad shout at his big brother: “It’s my birthday. You said you’d be nice to me today!”

The bigger lad replied in brotherly fashion: “No. I said I wouldn’t hurt you today.”

You’re so vain…

A READER once told us he heard a young girl walking down Byres Road in Glasgow ask her pals: “Do you think I’m vain?” She then added before they could reply: “It’s just that I read in a magazine article that really good-looking people often are.”

High Street high jinks

A RETIRED gent in Ayr was telling his pals that west of Scotland travel agents were cancelling trips to Lourdes and redirecting folk to Ayr, where miracles were happening every day.

When his pals looked baffled, he added: “Have you seen all those folks parking in the disabled bays in the High Street with their blue badges on the dashboard, then sprinting across the road to the shops?”

Perfect profession

A CHAP in a Glasgow bar once announced that his wife had got a job with the Parole Board. When his pals expressed surprise at this, he added: “She was a natural for it as she never lets anyone finish a sentence.”