Culturally clued-up

IT was recently reported that burly builders are not bereft of a tender side. Research shows that many construction workers discuss their emotions with colleagues. They also enjoy literature and fine art.

This reminds David Donaldson of the chap with a pronounced Irish accent who applied for a job on a building site.

"What's the difference between a joist and a girder?" asked the foreman.

"Well,” replied the applicant. “Joyce was an Irish author while Goethe was a German polymath.”

Saucy times

HAVING noticed that strikes, inflation and Kate Bush are back in fashion, the Diary is now assuming that the UK has travelled back in time to the 1970s, a dirge of a decade whose only purpose was to show by comparison how dreamily decadent the 60s had been.

With this in mind, we’re compiling a list of things from the 70s that were just a bit rubbish.

Hugh Steele from Cumbernauld recalls those plastic sauce dispensers, shaped like tomatoes, whose appearance on Formica tabletops was a sure sign that you were about to enjoy a sophisticated dining experience in Edward Heath’s Britain.

“If you whacked ‘em hard enough, you could get the ketchup right up to the ceiling,” recalls Hugh with pride.

Pragmatic positivity

EVER optimistic Glasgow comedian Frankie Boyle says: “Remember that although it feels like your problems are insurmountable today, in a few months you’ll have completely forgotten them, when you get a three grand gas bill.”

Job jabber

“BEING a waiter isn’t especially glamorous,” says reader Charlie Harris. “But at least it puts food on the table.”

Sound of silence

ROWDY rocker Liam Gallagher played Hampden yesterday. Richard Davis, based in Vienna, was intrigued to peruse a list of banned and permitted items for the Glasgow gig.

Flares were on the banned list, which is understandable. Though our reader was more interested in the permitted list, which included, perhaps even more understandably… ear plugs.

The brush-off

A NEWS bulletin from reader Lisa Munro: “Police are investigating why the plaque on the wall outside the Colgate head office keeps disappearing…”

Book nook

WE recently mentioned our desire to obtain a couple of new Scottish novels we’re eager to peruse.

Fellow bibliophile Russell Smith from Largs tells us of another local work of literature which is a real page-turner.

Nail in the Banister by R Stornoway.

Ol right?

ACADEMICALLY inclined reader Gordon McRae has decided to devise alternative definitions for various "ologies".

For example, he believes that archaeology would be much more interesting if it involved the study of arches.

By royal command

THE Queen is nearing that age where she will have to send a telegram to herself, though it’s also true that she is increasingly frail. Which leads concerned reader Derek Service to wonder if she will soon need to use a nobility scooter…

Phoney fella

TRAINS are an amorous mode of transportation, often appearing as the backdrop to love affairs in movies such as Brief Encounter and Murder on the Orient Express.

No, wait. That second flick may have been about another favourite human pastime… but you get our point. Trains are romance on rails.

Which brings us to reader Elizabeth Williamson, who was on a Neilston train into Glasgow when she overheard two teenage lovebirds whispering to each other.

Said the female, sweetly, to the fella: “You know, you always told me you were intelligent.”

“I am,” said the young chap, with bold conviction.

“But look,” said the girl, fluttering her eyelashes and showing him her phone. “This is the last text you sent me. And you spelled ‘once’ as w-o-n-s-e.”

The poor bloke was so taken aback he didn’t speak for the rest of the journey, not even wonse.

Sporty specialist

INTERVIEWING for apprentices can be challenging, says Malcolm Boyd from Milngavie. He recalls interrogating one chap whose application form listed an impressive range of sporting hobbies, including athletics, golf, swimming, football and rugby.

“What was your best time at the 100 metres?” asked Malcolm.

“Oh, I don’t do them,” came the reply. “I watch them on the telly.”

Malcolm also recalls one chap who, when filling out the section on sex in his application form, proudly wrote: "Once."

Fighting talk

EAGER to enlighten our readers, the Diary recently opened a book nook, where we recommend great works of literature. Tom Bain from Uddingston reminds us that reference manuals can be as worthy of study as novels, and entreats us to flick through Solving Stramashes by Sheikh Mahon.

Washed away

IT’S with sadness that reader Peter Mackay informs us that the chap who invented the dishwasher died recently. “At the funeral they lowered the coffin into the grave,” adds Peter. “Then they pulled it back up and placed it in properly.”

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