WITH the 2014 Commonwealth Games almost upon us, my friend Christine and I wondered what lasting impression Glasgow and its wonderful people would have on visitors from around the globe.
We recalled a beautiful sunny Saturday morning when we decided to have a day out on the open top city tour guide bus.
"After all," Christine explained, "we do it when we're abroad, so why not in Glasgow?"
Standing in George Square we were unsure which bus service to go for, the red one or the blue one.
The driver from each bus was standing on the pavement attempting to drum up business.
"West End tour! West End tour!" bellowed the driver of the red bus.
"Sounds good to me," I said, turning to Christine.
"That way we can get off at Byres Road for a drink and some lunch."
"20 minutes to departure," the driver informed us.
So Christine and I and a half a dozen tourists made our way upstairs on the open top bus and found a seat in the glorious sunshine.
Next minute the driver of the blue bus roars: "West End tour! West End tour! Departing in five minutes!"
"Five minutes? We might as well get that one," I suggested.
So off we clambered along with the tourists and climbed upstairs on the blue bus.
The driver of the red bus was now furious.
"They were my customers!" he yelled at his rival.
"Well they're my customers now," laughed the driver of the blue bus.
"Right!" The driver of the red bus shouted, clearly meaning business.
"Discounted fares on my bus!" he chanted over and over.
And everyone stood up to head back on to the red bus.
But as we did, we peeked over the side of the bus to witness the driver of the blue bus throw a punch at the driver of the red bus.
We couldn't believe our eyes.
We watched as both drivers rolled about the pavement.
Hats were off and loose change was jingling everywhere.
"I think we'll just stay on this one," Christine suggested as we watched both drivers being separated and hauled to their feet by a tour guide.
"Gee. I thought I'd seen it all in the Bronx," exclaimed an American fellow passenger, whilst rewinding his video footage of the bizarre incident.
Five minutes later the bus engine roared into life and we were on our way.
Suddenly a voice rumbled.
"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Glasgow. I must apologise for the slight delay.
"However we are now back on track," said our embarrassed tour guide.
"Welcome to Glasgow?" we laughed. "Welcome to Glasgow?"
Nearing the end of the tour we couldn't help overhearing George and Jock who were sitting behind us.
"That was brilliant," enthused George.
"Aye George it was," replied Jock. "Is your bus service any better these days?"
"Much better Jock," George confirmed. "The timetable has really improved."
George: "Oh aye. We used to only get three buses an hour."
George: "Aye. And now they are every 20 minutes."
Jock: "Good for you mate."
"Brilliant," Christine said as she nudged me.
And we laughed and laughed until we came to a halt back in George Square. Heading home on the train with our much needed pepperoni pizza, Christine and I relived the events of the day.
"People are a scream," I commented. "And most of the time they just don't know it."
CHRISTINE nodded in agreement, as her mouth was full of pizza. But as we sat quietly eating our food we couldn't help listening in to the conversation of the two guys on the seats opposite us.
Guy 1: "Where's your mum working now?"
Guy 2: "She's still in Currys the electrical shop. What's your mum up to?"
Guy 1: "Oh she's in telesales."
Guy 2: "Same as my mum then. She sells tellys every week."
Christine and I nearly choked on our pizza..
"You're right Janice," she said.
"What are people from all around the world going to make of us?"
"Well," I replied, "Glaswegians are the friendliest, funniest people in the world.
"So, if foreigners don't take to Glaswegians, then they don't have a sense of humour."
In stitches we toasted each other with a wedge of pizza.
"Ah the Glasgow banter, you just cannae beat it."