RETRO Roamer

The Oban Times - - Districts -

More mid-1980s of­fer­ings:

Wee Don­ald, a well-kent char­ac­ter in the Fort, had cause to make his way (back home) to Stornoway. He needed a new pair of slip­pers to en­sure a warm wel­come at the fam­ily fire­side. Into a High Street shoe shop he went, in a hurry. He looked around, asked for size eight slip­pers, didn’t wait to try them on, and rushed out with the box un­der his arm. When he got to Stornoway he was, there­fore, sur­prised to find that both slip­pers were for the left foot. So the only time he’s likely to wear them is at a ceilidh dance, as his prow­ess on the floor is of the two left feet va­ri­ety. Aye, Don­ald Where’s Your Slip­pers?

That’s the ‘pic­tures’ back in town again. And we trust the two stu­dio cin­e­mas will prove big at­trac­tions. Cer­tainly, if you’re stuck for some­thing to do dur­ing the in­ter­val, you could al­ways play ‘Spot the Mastikes’ in the printed pro­gramme. Some of the er­rors are very funny. Look out for the ads fea­tur­ing ‘Lock­aber’, ‘Caul’ Shop­ping Cen­tre, ‘Loch Onich’ and ‘In­ver­al­lochy’ – all of which ap­pear in the pro­gramme.

Roamer has it ar­chae­ol­o­gists are dig­ging away on Rum again. And that frag­ments of a pot found on the is­land last year have been an­a­lysed to yield the in­trigu­ing pos­si­bil­ity it had con­tained the first fer­mented drink known to man. And it wasn’t even rum, just mead, ap­par­ently.

The name ‘ Roamer’ is cer­tainly catch­ing on. Not con­tent with hav­ing a range of jack­ets called ‘Roamer’ – th­ese are not avail­able to the hus­bands of the cor­re­spon­dents of the other lo­cal pa­pers – BT has brought out a new satel­lite-as­sisted com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vice called ‘Roamer’.

A bloke was dis­cov­ered with more than his rear out of a first floor win­dow of a Fort Wil­liam ho­tel, as he tried to do a bunk with­out pay­ing. His es­cape bid was spragged and his ‘ar­rears’ have now been set­tled.

Lo­cal lassie drives into an at­ten­dant-ser­viced fill­ing sta­tion in Fort Wil­liam. While the petrol was be­ing poured, the at­ten­dant no­ticed the car bon­net wasn’t shut prop­erly. ‘It must have a faulty catch,’ he ob­served to the young lady. Ever help­ful, he lifted the bon­net. And there, along­side the ra­di­a­tor, was – a steak pie! Em­bar­rassed fe­male ex­plains she’s on her way to visit rel­a­tives in Achar­a­cle, but had for­got­ten to de­frost the pie for their tea. ‘I hope it’ll be thawed out by the time I get there,’ she says. That was when the garage at­ten­dant turned up trumps again. He stuck the pie in the fill­ing sta­tion mi­crowave so the lassie could mo­tor off with­out a pie in her bon­net.

Spare a thought for Billy MacLach­lan, Spean Bridge. There he was at a lo­cal fundraiser look­ing mourn­fully at the prize he had won on the Wheel of For­tune. A tin of toma­toes. ‘The same blinkin’ tin I got landed with last year,’ he said. ‘And I put it back in!’

We all know about lamb­ing time. But what was the In­ver­lochy Place gar­dener do­ing out at 5 o’clock in the morn­ing with his jam­mies tucked into his wellies? He was driv­ing sheep from his gar­den back to­wards the glen. They’d strayed into ‘the gar­den that Jack built’ and Jack had been awak­ened by his dog bark­ing. So there were the sheep munch­ing any­thing ed­i­ble. On this oc­ca­sion Jack was count­ing sheep – and keep­ing him­self awake at the same time!

A lady, ‘in from the coun­try’ on Thurs­day, was telling me of her ad­ven­tures among the bogs. Not the peat bogs, you un­der­stand. The Cameron Cen­tre ‘bogs’. Be­ing un­ac­cus­tomed to spend­ing her pen­nies in town, she had been hav­ing dif­fi­culty in lo­cat­ing the loos in that hal­lowed Square off the High Street. No sign­post­ing, you see. Or don’t see. So she did what ev­ery vis­i­tor will be do­ing this sea­son. She called in at the tourist of­fice. There she was given di­rec­tions to ‘go round the back’. She went round the back. And there she found the two ever- open doors, but with no sym­bols on them to in­di­cate which was which. Af­ter stick­ing a bit more than her nose in the cor­ri­dor she es­pied a uri­nal and de­duced the ladies depart­ment must be next door. It seems al­most as if the Cameron Cen­tre has fi­nally ‘got go­ing’.

The MV Shear­wa­ter was mak­ing head­way from Eigg to Rum when, sud­denly, a leather glove was whipped by the wind out of a fe­male pas­sen­ger’s hand. It went ‘plop’ into the choppy wa­ters. ‘That’s it,’ thought the ‘towrist’ from ‘dahn saaf’. But what hap­pened next? The skip­per turned the ves­sel full cir­cle, stopped the en­gines and a crew­man snatched the glove out of the sea with a boathook. It was solemnly pre­sented to its owner. ‘I don’t be­lieve it,’ she said. ‘Such a won­der­ful ges­ture.’ Aye, it was all part of the ser­vice, madam.

Two young ladies were on polling booth duty at the re­gional elec­tion in one of the re­moter parts of the Mal­laig, Ard­na­mur­chan and Small Isles ward. In came a lo­cal house­wife who said: ‘I’m not here to vote, but I heard there were a cou­ple of strange faces in the vil­lage so I came along to have a look at you.’ One of the clerks reck­oned she was prob­a­bly the wife of the bloke they saw put­ting petrol in his car. He was pour­ing it into the tank from a size-12 welly!

I’ve just had a dis­patch from York to ad­vise that Evan and Skeesh did Lochaber proud as our lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the Burma Re­union there. When Skeesh got back to the Fort he went into the Vol­ley for a chota peg – and what does he see? Huge Raf­fles Ho­tel-like fans bir­ling away up on the ceil­ing. ‘I thought I was back in Burma,’ he said.

Fort Wil­liam min­is­ter and wife out in the church gar­den. Along came the in­evitable lo­cal wag to ut­ter the well cho­sen words: ‘Oh, look, it’s Adam and Eve.’

Now that Sammy has got plan­ning per­mis­sion for his chip shop in Caol, we can look for­ward to din­ing a la carte in­stead of a la van.

Who needs a hall or Cameron Square to have a High­land danc­ing dis­play?

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