COMMEMORATING the sad closure of the Watt Brothers stores, the Diary has a little bit of a high street theme today. Reader Linda Coulson’s six-year-old granddaughter always demanded grannie visit Watt Brothers in Sauchiehall Street whenever they shopped in town. Not because the little ‘un was enamoured of the goods on display. What she wanted was to visit the giant parrot cage. Watt Brothers was an eclectic store in its heyday. Though it never sold humongous tropical birds, as far as we can recall. It turns out that Linda’s daughter enjoyed riding the store’s elegant wrought-iron lift, which looked like something out of a 1920s movie. Or the cage of a particularly large parrot.
TREATING his wife to a swanky evening, Gavin Ferguson decided to combine heavenly scoff with high culture by booking a meal in a restaurant that also had a professional pianist tinkling the ivories. “Ooh,” sighed Gavin’s missus, overcome by the dulcet tones wafting her way. “Doesn’t he play just like that Elton Jonathan?” Gavin was not impressed by his wife’s musical critique. He promises that any future night on the tiles will include two Big Macs, a box of fries to share… and precisely zero portions of piano accompaniment.
WE’VE been demanding more blue plaques to celebrate significant Scottish buildings. David Donaldson suggests one for that famous store that provides suits for all sizes, occasions and classes, Ralph Slater. Donald reminds us that not only has Slaters Menswear sold excellent clothing over the years, the shop also supplied us with a very popular old joke. Question: What do you call a young man in a new Slater’s suit and tie? Answer: The accused.
OVERHEAD in Waterstones bookstore. A voracious reader enquired of a salesman if a certain rare novel was in stock. He was told it was, though the only copy the shop owned was reserved for another customer. To which our disappointed reader replied: “Couldn’t we both mud-wrestle for the available copy? That’d be the most democratic solution.”
Driver or skiver?
FRUSTRATED her train from Glasgow Central wasn’t running, Sinead Cook enquired at the ticket booth if the next train would also be cancelled due to an electrical fault on the line, or some other problem. Shaking his head, the bloke in the booth smiled benignly. “There’s nothin’ wrang wi’ the line,” he said, before adding what we hope was a joke: “I’m guessin’ your last train was cancelled cause wan o’ the drivers didnae show up. Sometimes it’s too damp for that lot tae drag themselves oot o’ bed.”
WE end with a mythological mystery. Reader Alex Martin wonders if we know who designed King Arthur’s Round Table. We don’t have a clue, though luckily Alex is happy to provide an answer. It was Sir Cumference.