Pursuit of greatness

A HERALD article about Bob Dylan’s Scottish connections inspires singer Hugh Reed to recall the time his brother David, a lecturer at St Andrews University, sat two rows behind Dylan when the great man was awarded an honorary degree by that august educational institution.

Dylan left rather hastily after the ceremony. One of the organisers, spotting him rushing off, said to another dignitary, “Quick! Catch him. He's not supposed to take the gown with him.”

He received the reply, “If you think I'm going to go running after the spokesman for a generation demanding he return a gown – go yourself.”

The gown was never retrieved.

Can confusion

A DIARY tale about playing I Spy reminds reader John Nisbet of the time a maintenance crew at a manufacturing firm in Ayr played the same game during their break. One chap said he spied an object with the initials I and P. After many failed guesses the other participants conceded.

They were informed that the answer was an: “iil poorie”. Or to translate from the colloquial into English… an oil can.

Our reader is unsure if this answer was accepted by the other contestants with good grace, though he suspects not.

Polished off

A MENTION in the Diary of a reader laid up in an infirmary reminds Russell Smith from Largs of the hopefully apocryphal tale of several unexpected deaths in one hospital bed in the 1990s. It transpired that a cleaner had been switching off the life support machine every Friday to plug in the floor polisher.

Was anybody charged with negligence, we wonder. Or did the culprit make a clean getaway?

Shirley some mistake

WE recently mentioned that Glasgow Uni once employed two psychology lecturers with the colourful surnames of Huggin and McKissack.

David Donaldson, who also studied in the department, recalls there was a male member of staff named Dr Shirley.

Having a feminine-sounding surname resulted in the tutor being referred to by his cheeky scamp students as Girlie Shirley.

Hirsuitable name

WATCHING a BBC news report, reader Doug Maughan spotted a barbershop in the background with the wonderfully appropriate name Ali Barber.

Flight of fancy

WHEN reader Jane Marshall told her seven-year-old daughter her mobile phone was in airplane mode, the youngster replied: “So can it fly?”


A COMPASSIONATE thought from reader Darren Edwards: “There are probably loads of unlucky vampires who have been hit by cars that were backing up because the driver couldn't see anybody in the rear-view mirror.”

Read more: Those were the days...