Two Scotsmen go to Hell. A demon approaches the devil and says "Dark lord! Two men from Glasgow in Scotland have been sent here. What should be done with them?"
The devil says "Glaswegians? Their kind are normally very friendly, helpful and honest, so we do not see many such men in my dark domain... Hang them in a cage over the lake of fire for now and I shall check on them later.
"But when the devil flew up to the cage to check on the Scotsmen, he found them happily lounging around with their shirts off.
"What is the meaning of this?" The devil cried. "You're supposed to be in torment!"
The Glaswegians looked surprised "Naw" they said "it's pure quality taps aff weather here man. It's no drab an' dreich like Scotland, you know that way?
"Fuming, the devil flew to the great thermostat of Hell and cranked it all the way to the top. And the next day, the temperature was so high that even the demons were sweating, the stones of hell were melting and the flames from the lake of fire were leaping higher than ever before.
So the devil was surprised when he visited the Scotsmen and found that they had somehow procured plastic lawn furniture and Buckfast tonic wine.
Raising a glass to the devil, one of the Scotsmen said "Hey big man! If I'd known it was so lovely an warm doon here, I'd've done a whole lot more sinning! Weather's always ***** in Glesga. Always freezin' ma nuts off, you know?"
"I see." The devil replied, smiling though clenched teeth "your dismal country has given you a great love of heat. The hotter it is, the happier you are. Well, we'll see about that.
"So saying, he flew to the great thermostat of Hell once more, but this time, he turned it all the way down.
The next day, the lake of fire was frozen solid for the first time, sinners were frozen in blocks of ice and demons huddled in corners for warmth, their teeth chattering.
But when the devil visited the Scotsmen, he found them jumping for joy, tearfully cheering "Scotland! SCOTLAND!!!"
The devil's jaw dropped. "What? Why? How? I burn you and you are happy! I freeze you and you celebrate! What is wrong with you?
"One of the Glaswegians turned back and said "Is it no feckin' obvious ye daft bastart? Hell's frozen over! Scotland's won the world cup!"
Checking into my Travelodge and the receptionist says "Special offer this month - free cable TV for all guests"
"is the porn channel disabled?" I asked
She gave me a dirty look and said "No - its just normal porn you sick ba$tard!"
As a traditional musician living in the west of Scotland, I’m privileged in that it allows me to meet lots of people. In particular, being a piper, I regularly get invited to some very special family events. Some are happy events - I have played at numerous weddings - but I also regularly have to play at sad events - a piper at a funeral is traditional in these parts.
I was approached by a funeral director, asking me if I’d play at a very small funeral. It was an old farm worker who had passed away, on an island in Argyll, just across the water from here. He had no family, and very few close friends. He had two last requests - to be buried on the land he had worked, and for a piper to play at his graveside.
The landowner was agreeable, and the burial was arranged.
To my shame, I screwed up. I had planned to be there in good time, but missed the ferry. I arrived on the next ferry, already late, then got lost. It's that “guy thing” - too proud to ask for directions. I was sure I knew where I was going, but obviously I didn’t.
Can’t believe it - it’s the first time in my live that I’ve screwed up an appointment like this. And I’m lost.
Eventually, driving down a single track road, I saw it. There was a small gathering of people, over at the far side of a field. I parked the car, grabbed my pipes, and ran across.
I was too late. It was all over. The few guests and the funeral cars were gone. All that was left was four workmen, who had already started to fill in the hole. They had stopped for a break, and were sitting at the edge of the field, drinking tea from a flask and eating sandwiches. They looked on me with scorn, as I ran across in full highland dress. I was embarrassed and ashamed - didn’t know what to say.
There was only one thing to do. I took my pipes out of the box, stood at the graveside, and started playing.
And the most incredible thing happened. As I played “Amazing Grace”, the grey sky started to clear, and a beam of sunshine broke through, lighting up the loch below us. It was the most beautiful sight I have seen. The 4 workmen put down their sandwiches and joined me, standing beside the hole in respect.
I began to play “Highland Cathedral”. The workers took off their caps, and held them in their dirty hands, heads bowed, in a mark of silent respect. I could only think of for the old farmer who had worked this land all his life and how I had let him down.
And then I played “The Flowers of the Forest” - a tune that is only ever played at funerals or remembrance services. The workers were visibly moved, and I think even the foreman had a tear in his eye.
I stopped playing, stood in silence for a minute, then turned round and started packing up my pipes. The men ate the last of their sandwiches and went back to work, filling in the hole and replacing the turf.
As I made to leave, the old foreman came over and spoke to me.“That was beautiful”, he said. “Very moving. I can honestly say that I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life. And I’ve been fitting septic tanks for 30 years..."
A teacher was discussing employment with her primary school class.
"What does your Dad do?" she asked one pupil
"My Dad is a Policeman" replied the pupil
"That's an important job....keeping everyone safe" said the teacher
"What does your Dad do?" she asked another pupil
"My Dad is a Dustman" replies the pupil
"That's also important........keeping everywhere clean and healthy" said the teacher
"What about you Johnny.....what does your Dad do?" she asks
"My Dad is dead Miss" replies Johnny
"I'm sorry to hear that" she replies "What did he do before he died?"
"He turned blue and pi$$ed himself" replies little Johnny