Mr Tumble

WHEN Joe Biden met Boris Johnson in Cornwall this week the American President presented his British counterpart with a gift of a bicycle and helmet. The addition of the helmet was a nice touch. A not-so-subtle dig at Boris’s bumpy brand of leadership, which often involves colliding with uncomfortable facts, crashing through protocol and riding roughshod over pesky details.

Compared to Boris, a bull in a China shop comes across as a relatively well-behaved customer, deserving of a Loyalty Card at the very least.

BoJo’s shortcomings are undeniable, though the Diary must admit to having a soft spot for our glorious leader. For as the following classic tales from our vaults make clear, life’s greatest bumblers and stumblers may be a hazard to themselves and others.

But they can also be very entertaining…

Shop strop

A MOTHER and daughter were spending ages in a baker’s shop deciding which cake they would buy as a treat for themselves. After much ooohing and aaahing at the collection through the glass, they finally left with a coffee and walnut cake. After they’d gone, the shop assistant said to her colleague: “Dear God, I chose my house quicker than that.”

Fighting talk

SCREENPLAY writer Peter McDougall was working on A Sense of Freedom, the movie about Glasgow criminal turned sculptor Jimmy Boyle. A mock-up of a pub had to be built in the east end of Glasgow to film scenes. A local hard-man wandered in and ordered a pint. The actor/barman explained it was a film set, not a real pub.

The would-be customer ruminated over this information in a philosophical manner before concluding that the barman was having a laugh… so he decked him.

Sharp reply

A CHAP was returning home from evening class in Glasgow with a boxed set of knives, which he needed for his course on meat inspection. Stopped in Central Station by police officers, he was asked why he was carrying knives in public. For some reason he thought it was smart to blurt out: “For cutting up streets.”

Eschewing viewing

A YOUNG couple were standing outside Glasgow’s Cineworld, discussing which film to see. The chap suggested a Spanish language flick called I’m So Excited. His date was not persuaded, replying: “The problem with subtitled films is that you actually have to watch them.”

Feigning at training

A CHAP in a Glasgow pub informed his chums that he had gone out for a run at the weekend, though he quickly added: “I had to go back after two minutes because I’d forgotten something.”

When one of his friends asked what, he said: “I’d forgotten I’m fat, unfit and can’t run for more than two minutes.”

Mind your language

AN EDINBURGH reader recalled the time her friend landed a job teaching English to prisoners and was left blushing after her first class, when she asked: “Now do you all know what a sentence is?”

Wedding woes

A TALKATIVE street magician working Glasgow’s Buchanan Street told the crowd watching him that he’d had two unhappy marriages. “My first wife left me,” he revealed, “and my second wife won’t.”