Bear necessities

THE Herald reported this week that, according to the respected film website Rotten Tomatoes, Paddington 2 is the greatest ever movie, beating classics like Citizen Kane. Snobbish cinephiles may snarl at this judgement, though the Diary approves. In an era where diversity is demanded in the arts, isn’t it high time a flick starring a bear was lauded and applauded?

We also like to think our correspondents are like Paddington, who hails from Peru. Our contributors often find themselves confused and disorientated. Yet like Paddington they courageously do their best and (occasionally) triumph.

Some even wear duffel coats and are fond of marmalade sandwiches, though we emphasise that neither are prerequisites of appearing in the Diary. However, as the following tales from our archives make clear, ‘bear’ faced cheek is an essential ingredient in what we publish…

Spirited response

A RETIRED head concierge from Glasgow’s Albany Hotel once told us an American flight attendant visited the establishment, who asked if there was a spiritualist church nearby. A young concierge went to make inquiries. He returned with directions to the spiritualist centre in Somerset Place, then added with a straight face: “Remember, ring the bell when you go there. Don’t knock on the door. That just confuses them.”

Spell check

A GLASGOW reader who ran a transport company once told us about one of his drivers, who filled in an accident report form after a collision with a trailer transporting a large yacht.

Our reader explained: “This driver had various attempts at spelling yacht, before eventually giving up and drawing a picture of a boat, complete with a sail.”

Roll with it

A PARTICK reader spotted in his supermarket that toilet rolls were on offer at 12 for the price of nine. In addition, there was a three-for-two offer on the packs, so he picked up six of the large packs and headed to the check-out. As the girl scanned the huge pile of rolls, she told him: “I’m surprised you risked coming to the shops.”

Child’s play

A MOTHER told us that her stomach flipped when her twelve-year-old daughter came home from school and declared: “Boys are only interested in one thing.”

A feeling of relief followed when the daughter added: “PlayStations.”

Doesn’t add up

A RETIRED teacher recalled having a primary school colleague who, attempting to make arithmetic more relevant, asked: “If I had ten oranges in one hand and seven oranges in the other hand, what would I have?”

“Big hauns, miss,” came the reply.

Parliamentary privilege

AN ASSISTANT to a Scottish MP was in a bar very close to the Houses of Parliament at closing time one night when the barman, trying to cajole imbibers to drink up, shouted: “Come on. Have you no second homes to go to?”

Sketchy behaviour

A READER swore to us that he was in a pub in Glasgow’s east end where the discussion turned to TV celebrities, and a local chipped in with: “I was on the telly once. Well, not me exactly, but an artist’s sketch of me.”