The shame game

EDINBURGH crime scribe Ian Rankin has admitted he doesn’t include erotic scenes in his novels as he finds it “toe-curling” to write them.

In our stories, the Diary seldom visits the boudoir. Though when it comes to any other type of tale, we actively seek out incidents of an embarrassing nature.

In fact, next to our desk stands a fully operational toe-curlometer, a scientific device which calibrates precisely how much humiliation is heaped upon the protagonist of each story considered for publication.

The toe-curlometer is steam-powered, fearsomely noisy and looks like something designed by Heath Robinson.

Each potential Diary tale is fed into its gaping maw, then minutes later an adjudication is made, with the toe-curlometer judging whether a story is:

A] Discomfiting. (On a slow day we might publish.)

B] Ignominious. (Now you’re talking.)

C] Mortifying. (Bingo.)

As the following tales from our archives underline, there’s a lot of [C] around.

Liar, liar

A CHAP was strolling through Queen Street Station when a vagrant asked him for change for his train fare home.

The chap informed him he didn’t have any money and walked on.

Minutes later, the chap was standing in the nearby Sammy Dow’s pub when the beggar came in, dumped a huge pile of coins on the bar, and asked the barman to change it for notes.

Spotting our chap eyeing him from further up the bar, the beggar snorted: “Well, you lied anaw.”

Pool howl

A WOMAN had recently moved to Glasgow’s West End and had heard about the local Woodside Social Club and its upstairs pool hall.

Unfortunately she misunderstood what was meant by "Woodside Pool Hall" and eagerly turned up one day with her swimming costume and towel.

Which led to some funny looks from the local lads carrying snooker cues.

Hot bother

A CHAP was at a cremation service which was interrupted by a mobile phone ringing among the mourners.

“What made matters worse,” said the chap, “was the ring tone was Dontcha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”

Neighbourly advice

A DELIVERY man knocked on a door in Glasgow’s South Side and said to the chap who answered: “I’ve a parcel for your next door neighbour.”

The puzzled chap replied: “You’ve come to the wrong house, then.”

Dog gone it

A READER’S aunt owned a Skye terrier called Whisky who was prone to doing a runner whenever the front door was left open.

Once he escaped just before New Year, forcing his owner to chase him yelling: “Whisky, Whisky, here Whisky.”

The nearby council bin-men heard her entreaties and, excited, immediately ran towards her shouting: “Where, where?”

Girl talk

A DRINK or three had been taken in the West End bar where a woman, out with pals, took exception to something said by her chum and replied: “I was going to give you a nasty look, but I see you already have one.”

Red alert

A YOUNG lad got a red face in a coffee shop when, ordering his drink, he asked the server: “How big are your cups?”

“That’s a bit personal,” she replied.