X is Ex

THE Diary likes to stay cool, calm and collected at all times. Though periodically we receive such joyous news that our usually placid punctuation erupts into a frenzy of fevered grammatical explosions.

We must warn you that such an occasion has arisen. So brace yourself, faithful reader. A plague of exclamation marks is heading your way.

Because The X Factor is finito!

ITV has revealed it doesn’t plan on producing any more episodes of the torturous talent show!!

Meaning it’s now… the Ex-Factor!!

Okay, time to calm down. Though we remain furtively delighted that the singing competition for wannabe pop stars will no longer assault the nation’s ears.

Besides, it never produced any true stars or memorable characters. Unlike the Diary, whose contributors all have the genuine X factor, as these classic tales from our archives prove….

Ayr we go

WE sympathetically recall the foreign chap at Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus Station who perhaps never reached his destination after approaching the driver of a parked bus and politely enquiring if it was going to Ayr. The driver shook his head, pointed to the bus at the next stand, and told him: “Naw, pal. Err err err.”

Bagtime blues

AN American couple arrived for a holiday in Scotland. Alas, their luggage didn’t. Assured it would be delivered to their Glasgow hotel later, they headed off, stopping at a chemist’s for some toiletries. Clutching only their plastic bags from Boots, they checked into the hotel, where the receptionist remarked: “Ah, matching luggage, I see.”

Going for gold

A BEARSDEN woman told her pal that she and her husband had been trying to have a baby for some time.

“Wear gold jewellery and a tracksuit,” said her pal.

“How will that help?” she asked.

“Have you ever seen a young woman with gold jewellery and a tracksuit who wasn’t pushing a buggy?” the rather snobbish pal explained.

Lion in wait

A WHILE back the feartie folk of Essex claimed a lion was wandering around the local area. There wasn’t, of course. Though the rumour inspired one of our readers to tell us the tale of the two lions strolling down Sauchiehall Street. Remarked one to the other: “Jings, it’s quiet for a Saturday afternoon.”

Coconutty mixture

THE former father-in-law of one of our readers was a keen home baker who often listed defecated coconut as a key ingredient in his cakes.

Our sensible reader added: “Needless to say, I always stayed well clear.”

Sharp practice

FOLK have different ways of fundraising for charity. A Highland reader told us his dentist used a novel method to nab dosh for a good cause. He would say to patients who were already flat-out in the chair: “Now then! Would you prefer a blunt needle or a nice sharp needle and a book of raffle tickets?”

Mindful about money

A TRAGIC tale about how poor one of our readers once was. “Growing up in Leith,” he recalled, “we couldn’t find out anything because we could never afford to give anyone a penny for their thoughts.”

Read more: Leisurely wait for 168-year-old Eric