Sofa, so good

SOME like it hot, they say. And this year has certainly been warmer than most, unless you’re talking about heating your home, which is now verboten.

The fiery shenanigans of the last twelve months included oodles of insanity, inanity and profanity.

War in Ukraine, inflation at home, woke wonkery, striking nurses and scrapping celebrities (the Johnny & Amber court case was easily the best TV drama of the decade – eat your heart out Coronation Street).

It was also the year when, yet again, the First Minister of Scotiaville shook her mighty fist and roared: “Gie us oor freedom, ye Westminster numpties!”

In response, the Westminster numpties shrugged their even mightier shoulders, and said: “Pipe down, Nic. We’ve got more important things to be dealing with. We mislaid our umpteenth Prime Minister of the year, don’t you know? Now we’re rummaging down the back of the sofa, to see if we can rustle up a new one.”

Amidst all this chaos, calamity and cock-up, the Herald Diary remained steadfast and resolute, with our talented readers sending us miniature literary masterworks every day of the week.

The following yarns represent the cream of the rich pickings from another vintage year.

And, no. We didn’t find any of these stories down the back of the sofa, next to a dusty Rishi Sunak…

Haggis hellscape

NEWTON Mearns businessman Jack Davidson spent one memorable Burns Night in a Glasgow hotel where he was hosting a trade delegation from Romania. The eastern Europeans had been promised a feast to celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s most famous bard, and were told they would soon be savouring exotic treats such as they had never indulged in before, including haggis and After Eight mints.

As the festivities commenced, Jack glanced at one of the Romanians and witnessed a sight that chilled him to the very marrow.

The delegate was smearing a lump of haggis on an After Eight, which he then munched as thought it was a cracker.

His fellow Romanians nodded in approval, and did likewise.

The meal was not a roaring success.

Boxing (not) clever

AS a Walking Tour Guide in Glasgow, Gordon Hart regularly takes visitors to see the old police box on Buchanan street.

Gordon once informed an American holidaymaker that the curious edifice was used by members of the constabulary in the days before walkie-talkies and mobile phones.

This intrigued the lady from the States, who scrutinised the blue box before saying: “Were they not awfully heavy to carry?”

In the drink

VISITING a dingy Glasgow pub with his elderly father, reader Donald Moore was foolish enough to order soup from the bar. It arrived with little flies floating in the liquid.

Donald pointed this out to dad, who merely shrugged, then said: “See, that’s nice thick soup. Not one of those flies has gone under yet.”

Water quick response

AT a job interview, reader Nigel Fleming filled a glass of water until it slightly overflowed.

“Nervous?” enquired the interviewer.

“No,” Nigel quickly responded. “I always give 110%.”

Mystified moggie

“I INFORMED my cat I was going to teach him to speak English,” says reader Jenny Miller. “He looked at me and said: ‘Me? How?’”

The hole truth

A GRUESOME golfing yarn. Dan Roberts from Falkirk tells us of an old chum who used to curse when he missed a putt.

Nothing unusual about that, perhaps. Though the invective used by this fellow was always directed at his golf ball, which he addressed as “Mr. Buckingham”.

Dan was intrigued by this, and enquired how the ball came about its curious sobriquet.

“It’s named after my boss at work,” revealed the grumpy golfer. “He’s another one I’d love to see safely in his hole in the ground.”

Cruel cuddle

“I TOLD my wife to embrace her mistakes,” says reader Matthew Finlay. “So she gave me a hug.”

Bony bumble

THE Diary always delights in madcap malapropisms. Comedian Andy Cameron recalls that back in the 1970s, in the Albany Hotel, the Glasgow chairman of a well known insurance company delivered a speech thanking his assembled clients for their support, and started by saying: “We never forget that you are the breastbone of our business.”

Fido flops

DISAPPOINTED treasure seeker Gavin Lynn says: “I took my stuffed dog to the Antiques Roadshow. Didn’t fetch much.”

Bird-brained badinage

A STORY we published about a parrot with an umbrella inspires reader Katherine Hutchison to inform us that we really should start publishing illuminating definitions involving the talkative tropical birds.

She suggests:

1) Polygon – the parrot has left the building.

2) Polythene – I have thpotted the parrot that left the building.

Lot of bottle

“I BOUGHT a twelve-year-old whisky the other day,” says reader Ralph Kent. “His parents weren’t very happy.”