Bumpy is best

On an American TV chat show Dundonian drama legend Brian Cox has been doling out acting advice, including this helpful suggestion to all aspiring thespians: “Learn your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.” (There may have been a few rude words sprinkled on top of that advice, to add seasoning, and thus give it a more Scottish tang.)

The Diary is a huge fan of Mr Cox’s talent, though on this occasion we must take issue with his feisty philosophical musings on his craft.

Learning lines is fine – possibly even necessary. But what’s wrong with accidentally stumbling into a sofa, or tripping over a rug?

Actors are attempting to represent real life – and real life is packed with clumsy confusion and knockabout chaos, as these classic yarns from our archives underline only too well…

Corny inquiry

TOURISTS aren’t always clued-up on the lands they visit. A reader in London heard a chap chatting to a tipsy American lady in the pub who asked where he was from.

“I’m Cornish,” the chap replied.

This confused the American, who said: “Is that, like, from Cornland?”

Naked attraction

A RETIRED Glasgow bus driver once got in touch with the Diary to recall the female passenger at the bus stop who shouted in to him: “Can you wait, driver, until I get my clothes on?”

Unsurprisingly, all the other passengers began straining their necks for a look at the boarding passenger, until they realised she was merely humphing two big bags from the laundrette next to the stop.

Dangerous liaison

A TALE about facing up to fear. A reader told us about a chap buying a cup of coffee on the train who told the woman pouring it not to bother with a lid. She explained that she had to fit a lid for safety reasons.

“I’ve just come back from Afghanistan,” the chap replied. “I’ll risk it.”

Muddled manager

THE sayings of high heid yins can be most profound and memorable. A reader once told us: “I recall an old boss who, when trying to make a point, said: ‘Gentlemen, do you not see the handwriting is down the hall?’”

Hot or not

A GOLFING yarn. A sporting reader told us that a chap at his local golf club once announced that he was flying off to Switzerland shortly.

“Are you going to Bern?” asked a curious fellow member.

“No, I don’t think it will be that hot,” he replied.

On yer bike

AN outraged Lochinver reader once got in touch to fume: “My local bar has a sign in the window saying ‘Cyclists welcome’.

“Oh aye? Well, I cycled in and got told to dismount and leave my bike outside. Some welcome.”

Read more: The pocket philosopher and a restless night