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?