WELL done everyone. Like those plucky soldier chappies in The Great Escape we managed to tunnel our way to the end of 2020. Now here we are on the other side of the wire, ready to make one final dash for freedom. (Fingers crossed about those vaccines.)

Of course, the problem with The Great Escape is that it really should have been called The Quite Good Escape or The Fairly Decent Escape (If You Skip Over Those Last Twenty Minutes of the Film).

Few of the British soldiers made it back to Blighty, meaning the movie is essentially a record of heroic failure. That’s what the Diary is about, too. Actually, skip the heroic bit. Failure… full stop is what we do best, as the following classic tales from our archives reveal. For instance, we recall the confused bloke who told us his holiday was a “total fiesta”.

Low tech tizzy

A LADY was on a train from Manchester, sharing the carriage with various young people who had been at a music festival.

One lad asked what time the train arrived in York. Nobody knew, so the lady gave him the timetable she had picked up in Manchester. He stared at it for a few seconds, then handed it back, saying: “You’ll need to show me how this works.”

Cruel school

A PRIMARY school teacher told us she often wondered if any of her primary one charges went home after their first day and told their parents: “I’m wasting my time there. I can’t read, I can’t write, and they won’t let me talk.”

Biting remark

A PENSIONER catching the bus to Glasgow from Oban announced to everyone on board: “I wish I was as attractive to women as I am to midges.”

Tweet of the day

A BISHOPBRIGGS mother took her young son to visit his grandmother whose budgie had just died. Seeing her son staring at the empty cage she gently explained that the budgie had gone to heaven.

“Why didn’t he take his cage with him?” her son asked.

Getting the hump

AN EDINBURGH reader was on an American ranch holiday when she was asked if she would prefer a western or an English saddle. She enquired what the difference was and was told the western had a horn. Without thinking she replied: “Are we going out into traffic?” before realising the horn was merely a hump on the saddle.

Scots for beginners

FINE dining. It’s the best. A Kilmarnock reader was once having lunch in a local restaurant when his wife asked for cream with her sticky toffee pudding. “Pouring or skooshy?” asked the waitress.

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