THE wife of Ronald Oliver, from Elie, Fife, was searching for condensed milk in an Anstruther store. Alas, none was to be found. So she asked another customer where she might obtain some. She was told to try Arbroath, which would involve a round trip of 80 miles. What had started as a brief trip to the shops was threatening to become a quest of epic stature, with condensed milk taking the place of the Holy Grail.

A tad overawed by this turn of events, Ronald’s wife enquired why Arbroath was likely to be awash with milk of the condensed variety.

The fellow shopper replied: "Because they dinnae bake in Arbroath."

Rugged Romeo

AN old-fashioned tale of romance, involving the archetypal mucho macho male. “I tried to impress a lady by putting my foot on the pedal,” says John Bruce, from Livingston. “Turns out she’d seen a bin open like that before.”


THE Diary recently pointed out there are few anagrams to be devised from the word anagram.

In an effort to ease our frustration at this unsatisfying state of affairs, Jim Meikle, from Killearn, Stirlingshire, says: “Might I suggest the often used Glasgow word amarang?”

Our correspondent adds: “This, I think, might be a portmanteau word, but is more likely to be defined as a contraction. Am I right or amarang?”

Building a future

OUR readers have been recalling their favourite daffy daubs of graffiti. In the late 1970’s Donal Toner spotted a boastful statement scrawled on a wall in the gents toilet at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. It read: “Yesterday I couldn’t spell architect. Today I are one”

Failing to please

THE four-year-old daughter of reader Linda Cameron has been learning Spanish on the internet. “She still doesn’t know the word for ‘please’,” admits Linda. “Which is poor for four.”

Cold sell

WE continue to concoct advertising slogans promoting our local towns and cities. Calum MacAulay attempts to improve on the legendary “What’s it called? Cumbernauld” phrase once used to endorse that particular burgh. He suggests: “It’s always cauld in Cumbernauld.”

Muddled meeting

ANOTHER of our unlikely stories. This one from reader John Delaney, who informs us he’s been conducting all his business meetings online. “I was puzzled why so many clients were wearing Lycra,” says John. “Then I realised I’ve been sending invites for Zumba rather than Zoom.”

Saucy 'So long'

WE end with a tragic tale involving the eternal love triangle of a man, a woman and a meat-based condiment. “I dated a chef once, but I split up with him,” says reader Jenny Bowden. “The break-up was painful, though I was honest. I told him it’s not jus, it’s me.”