Taking a powder

A HERALD columnist controversially stated that no one has actually spotted a rat the size of a cat in real life.

Debbie Meehan begs to differ, saying: “My first job, post-university, was in the lab of the Milk Marketing Board at Hogganfield Loch. One of the first instructions I was given was that on no account was I to go into the storage barns alone.”

Such a warning sounded disconcertingly like the set-up to a particularly terrifying horror flick, especially when Debbie was told why she should be wary.

It transpired that rats were eating casein powder, which is derived from milk, and was being stored in the barns.

This made the rats grow to outlandish proportions.

Some of the robust rodents were even brandishing flick knives, playing poker and wearing sinister fedora hats.

(Okay that might be a slight exaggeration.)

Recalls Debbie with a shudder: “I did once see a very, very large rat from a very, very far distance.”

And the moral of this story?

Powdered milk is bad for you – especially if you’re a rat.

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Linguistic loser

A TALE of tedium and tearing through the pages of a tubby tome. “I was so bored,” says reader Angus O’Brian, “that I memorised five pages of the dictionary, and I learned next to nothing.”

MPs suck

ON the subject of tubbiness… We published a yarn about leftover food, which reminds retired MP Sir Brian Donohoe of the many events he attended in London, where a buffet was laid on, and inevitably the same two colleagues of Brian would turn up, both of a rather portly persuasion.

“If you didn't get to the table before them, there was nothing left,” says Brian.

“We called them the Human Vacuums for obvious reasons...”

Barbarism & books

WE continue improving classic movies by adding the word library to their titles. Larry Cheyne suggests we bend the rules of this game slightly in order to produce a masterpiece of sword-swooshing, deltoid-flexing and book-stamping, all projected onto the big screen in Conan the Librarian. 

Sheet happens

A DIARY story about the destruction of the world (we’re a cheery lot) inspires Russell Smith from Largs to tell us of a sign on his bedroom wall, which advises how to proceed if a nuclear attack is announced.

It reads: “Take clean white sheet and proceed to the nearest cemetery.”

Gallic giggle

“WHY are French snails the fastest in the world?” asks reader Linda Martin. “L'ess cargo.”