BEING a delivery driver must be one of the more stressful jobs in the run-up to Christmas.

We hear of one depot in Lanarkshire where a tardy driver is nicknamed The Wife. It's because his fellow drivers claim he always takes things the wrong way.

Taken for a ride

LAID-BACK Highlanders continued. Ian Craig remembers sitting in a Western Isles hostelry one summer, sheltering from the midges and rain, when an English tourist came in and asked if the taxi parked outside was for hire. Says Ian: "A gentlemen sitting at the bar replied 'Aye' then proceeded to down his hauf an' a hauf before heading towards the door.

"The expression on the would-be taxi hirer's face was a picture. However he was reassured by the barman, 'Don't worry. Harry's the best driver in toon. All the rest are on drugs'."

The barman was of course joking as island taxi drivers are sober, drug-free upstanding citizens.

Clean and simple

DAVID Speedie in New York is used to the complicated instructions issued with products bought in the USA. So he was delighted with the simple instructions when he bought a Stirling Albion top from the club's online store which arrived with the sensible care instructions on the label "Wash When Dirty".

A rough diamond?

A READER having a quiet pint in Glasgow's Sloan's Bar before heading home after work, was shocked by, but also a little bit in awe of, the chap sitting further along the horseshoe bar who answered his phone, out of which a female voice could be heard asking him where he was.

The chap had the nerve to reply: "Do you remember when we were walking through the Argyll Arcade and we stopped to admire a diamond eternity ring in the jeweller's window, but we thought it was too expensive?"

Then added after a pause: "Well I'm in the pub opposite it."

Meating his match

PUNNING tradesmen tales remind Peter Kerr in Strathaven of the butcher's shop in Glasgow's Duke Street with the groan-inducing slogan above the door "Always pleased to meet you, always meat to please you". The butcher's name was Morrow, and it took Peter, as a wee boy, some years to puzzle out the shop's other slogan which was "Come tomorrow for today's dinner".

Pony and trap

A GIFFNOCK chap who went to see his new girlfriend showjump at the Ingliston Equestrian Centre in Renfrewshire was trying to think of something positive to say when she tumbled over a fence. On reflection he felt his remark of: "What a well-mannered pony, stopping at the fence to let you go first" didn't quite work.

Ale and hearty

AN AMERICAN newspaper has published details of chart-topping singer Adele's rider for what should be provided in her dressing room. It states: "Twelve bottles of best-quality European lager. American beer is not acceptable."

Beer enthusiasts around Scotland say they cannot praise enough her astute knowledge of brewing products.

NAN Spowart tells us her sister was at a conference in Rome where an English speaker recounted her time working in Aberdeen, and the quaint local customs she encountered. She stated: "When I first went to Aberdeen I didn't know what 'blether' meant, and now I know it means to sit in chairs in a circle eating sandwiches."

It was a custom new to Nan's sister, who now asks, when she has a blether with friends, who is bringing the sandwiches.

Ken Smith will be signing copies of the new Herald Diary book in Waterstone's Argyle Street, today at noon.