Ghosting the politicians

CULTURE-LOVING Diary correspondent Deedee Cuddihy was browsing the comments book at Glasgow Uni’s Hunterian Art Gallery, where an exhibition about Mary Queen of Scots was on display.

She was jotting down her own thoughts about the show, and noticed the previous remark, which read: "The Age of Satan has come to an end but otherwise I quite enjoyed the exhibition."

It was signed "His Royal Highness J". The message was further ascribed to "James Stuart". Which is, of course, the name of Mary Queen of Scots' son, King James VI.

The Diary is thus assuming that this regal personage has returned to Scotia as a ghost, nearly 400 years after his sad demise.

Or in other words: Look out, Humza. There’s a new front-runner for SNP leader…

Green grocer

A DIARY tale about a numerical nincompoop reminds Robin Mather from Musselburgh of a conversation he once had with a businessman who ran a chain of greengrocers.

When Robin asked about profit margins, this chap proudly proclaimed: “I only charge my customers 1%. I buy an apple for one penny and I sell it for tuppence… 1%.”

The galaxy sucks

A PROFOUND astronomical question from reader Gillian Barr: “If space is a vacuum, who empties the bag?”

Mincing about

WE published a yarn about dubious hygiene, which reminds Bert Peattie from Kirkcaldy of a Methil butcher shop, where he witnessed the butcher filling Scotch pie cases by plunging his hand into a tin of mince, then sprinkling the handful into empty cases.

“The guy in front of me asked for half a pound of sausages,” says Bert, “whereupon the butcher licked the raw mince off his fingers, and using the same hand, proceeded to pick up the required amount of sausages.”

Digit difficulty

YESTERDAY we discussed the Latin lingo. Today it’s Roman numerals, which Gordon Clarke says he struggles to comprehend. “Until I get to 159,” he adds. “Then it just CLIX.”

Icarus ascending

THE other day reader Donald Bell was enjoying a meal in his local greasy spoon cafeteria in Wishaw when he overheard two elderly, flat-capped chaps yakking at a nearby table.

The waitress had just taken the gents’ orders, and one of them had asked for mushy peas with his fish and chips.

His pal, clearly surprised by this request, muttered: “Mushy peas?! Yer flyin’ too close to the sun, Davie-lad.”

Birds with brass

“PIGEONS must be wealthy,” says reader John Paterson. “They have no problem putting deposits on expensive cars.”

Read more from the Diary: And now for a crash course in Latin