Ta-ta toad

STUDYING for a History PhD in the 1980s, reader Emma Morris once found herself struggling to decipher the fading words in a crumbling, foxed and exceedingly dusty book she had stumbled upon in the shadowy recesses of Glasgow University library.

Was the enigmatic and inscrutable tome written in Latin, she mused. Or medieval French?

Could it – oh, joy of joys! – be an ancient necromancer’s book of spells, scrawled in code to prevent the uninitiated from turning humans into toads, and vice versa?

Emma’s fevered imagination bubbled and frothed, until one of her lecturers strolled past, glanced down at the book, and said, “Here, you’re reading that upside down.”

The book turned out to be a 10-year-old study of the historical uses of industrial concrete, written in English.

Sadly it contained nothing about magical toads – not even a footnote.

Footy faux pas

HAVING watched Argentina lose a World Cup match to Saudi Arabia, reader Neil Millard says: “Argentina are almost as bad as Scotland. If they don’t watch out, they’ll have to rename that wee fuzzy-faced fella MacMessi.”

Film fan flummoxed

WE mentioned the joys of classic movies on TV, which reminds reader Coreen Richardson of sitting down with her husband to watch on telly a flick neither of them had seen before, To Kill A Mockingbird.

Disgracefully, hubby dozed off after five minutes. When he woke, with a start, 10 minutes from the end, he mumbled in a dazed fashion: “Has the mockingbird been bumped off yet? And do we know who did it?”

The pause clause

PHILOSOPHICAL musings from reader Joe Crawford: “When you stop procrastinating, you’re just procrastinating about future procrastinating.”

Rough as…

OVERHEARD by reader Dennis Ward while in a Glasgow café.

Elderly Lady 1: I’m going through a wee bit of a rough patch.

Elderly Lady 2: Rough patch? How d’you mean?

Elderly Lady 1: Well, it all started in 1997…

Snack shrinkage

THE sweet-toothed Diary recently referred to that munchable morsel, the Walnut Whip, inspiring Glasgow corner shop owner Ed McFadden to tell us of the time a customer bought a Curly Wurly.

Handing over his cash, this elderly chap grumbled: “These hings are awfy small nowadays. I used tae be a windae cleaner, and ye could use the auld Curly Wurly as a ladder, an’ reach second flair windaes, nae bother.”

Bliss with fish

PET-LOVING reader Craig Simpson says: “Keeping tropical fish in your house has a calming effect on the brain due to all the indoor fins.”

Read more from the Diary: A classic joke brought right up to date