Lost in translation

THE following tale was told to reader Mungo Henning by a Scottish woman who visited Toronto for a wedding where local guests mingled with visitors from far off Caledonia.

Games were played to break the ice between the two groups. In one game the Canadians were handed slips of paper containing Scottish expressions which they had to decipher.

While in the loo, the Scottish woman was approached by a respectable Canadian lady who, upon realising she was standing next to an Alba native, requested a translation of the phrase she had been assigned.

“What does ‘wee s**t’ mean?” she politely enquired.

The Scottish woman was aghast to hear such a disagreeable phrase uttered, and sought clarification:

“Can I see the bit of paper, please?” she asked.

Some fumbling produced the note, where written was the word ‘wheesht’.

Bad boy Bob

WHENEVER Scottish broadcaster Paul Coia is asked who was the most difficult star he interviewed he admits it was the late Hollywood icon Robert Mitchum.

The two met in France at the villa of the Martell family, known for the famous cognac.

Paul explains that before the interview, Mitchum had thoroughly ‘investigated’ his hosts’ impressive range of bottled beverages, which had put him in a rather belligerent mood.

“Wherever he is now, he'll be arguing with someone,” says Paul.

All at sea

WE’RE discussing the sad fact that rival gangs of seafaring chaps have disparaging names for each other. Sandy Wright from Millport tells us that the following descriptions of the three marine services was once given to him…

Merchant Navy: Sailors trying to be gentlemen

Royal Navy: Gentlemen trying to be sailors

Royal Naval Reserve: Neither trying to be both.

School break

BREAKING news. Reader Gordon Davies reveals that Robbie Williams has quit singing to become a geometry teacher.

He’s loving angles instead.

Mission impossible

WE mentioned that naïve apprentices are often sent on a fool’s errand. In the 1950s Thelma Edwards, from Kelso, worked in an engineering drawing-office where one innocent young fellow was ordered to fetch a bucket of steam.

The bucket hasn’t arrived yet, so we assume he’s still looking.

Masked ball

NIGHTCLUBS are open again with no masking stipulations for dancers and drinkers, though some revellers may want to follow rules devised last year. Scott Macintosh from Killear thinks this could lead to new chat-ups:

"Ye dancin'?"

"Ye maskin'?"

"Ah'm maskin'."

“Ah'm dancin'."

Cliff’s edge

“What has ten teeth but two hundred legs?” asks reader Rab Briggs. “The front row at a Cliff Richard concert.”