National’s grand

THE last year has been difficult for those who like to throw money away on needless things. No pubs, so no swapping pound sterling for hiccups and hangovers.

No theatres, either. So no draining the family bank balance in order to spend a draining evening at the theatre pretending to enjoy Shakespeare.

Thank goodness the Grand National runs today, meaning the gee-gees can go for broke, rapidly followed by clueless punters going broke. Brassic Britannia rules again.

The Diary has always enjoyed the National, and has a particular soft spot for the horses themselves. Unlike other athletes, success doesn’t go to their heads. You never see a racehorse enjoying a night on the tiles with his WAG (or nag).

Diary contributors are like thoroughbred racehorses. Magnificent beasts who thrill the reading public yet demand no reward. (Though we do occasionally feed them a lump of sugar.)

As the following tales from our archives prove, our correspondents always gallop their way to glory.

Young offender

A THIRSTY reader was in his local off-licence when a young chap picked up a bottle of fortified wine, which accidentally dropped on the floor and smashed. The shop owner called over: “You’ll have to pay for that.”

The young chap’s reply was inspired. “I’m not 18,” he stated.

Water relief

A LARGE family group were enjoying some decent weather on Rothesay when the mother suddenly shrieked that she had lost sight of her five-year-old son.

The lady’s husband attempted, but failed, to calm her down by telling her: “Don’t worry. It’s an island. He can’t get off.”

French for beginners

THE Glasgow to Edinburgh Citylink bus. Was there ever anything so glamorous? A reader recalled being a passenger on the service and overhearing two excitable French girls near the front having a conversation in their native tongue, with one exclaiming, “Oui! Oui!” after her pal’s chat.

The bus driver also heard her and helpfully pointed out to them that the toilet was located near the back of the bus.

Moussaka mistaka

A WELL travelled Diary correspondent remembered being a student in Gateshead where, after a trip to Greece, he went to buy the ingredients for moussaka. When he asked an assistant if they had aubergines she discussed this with other staff before telling him, “Nah, only Levi’s and Wrangler’s.”

Bad moon rising

A STORY about counterfeit goods reminded a reader of being on shore-leave in Singapore where he bought an album by The Police. He realised it was bogus when he noticed that the track Walking on the Moon was printed on the cover as Wailing on the Moon. After his shipmates listened to it a few times, they felt it was more than appropriate.

Driven to distraction

PHONE calls can be pesky inconveniences. A Stirling reader’s mate once rang and asked: “What are you doing at the moment?”

Our reader replied: “Probably failing my driving test.”

Radio rental

“I WOULDN’T say he’s not that bright,” said a chap discussing a mutual friend one evening. “But he’s only just discovered that his AM radio still works in the evening.”