At the bottom end, and there is no-one who more resembles a skelpt posterior, my mate Tam has been using his iPad to combat rampant impetigo. At the top end, my chum the Earl of Putupon announced with no little gaiety there was preponderance of Sieg Heil on his estate, or Perthshire as the geographers insist on calling it.
My consternation at his observation was diluted when his valet informed me the earl was referring to sea kale rather than any inappropriate salutes. Sea kale, or crambe maritima, is apparently a delicacy, which explains why this witterer had never heard of it. My idea of a culinary delicacy remains a piece and sugar.
This betrays my roots as part of a working-class generation that believed teeth were a bourgeois luxury and the best variety of gnashers should be left in a glass overnight.
If Tam is at the foot of the class spectrum and the earl is at its loftiest height, I seem to have become middle class in much the same way as I have become bald, forgetful, consistently tedious and able to wear my grandpa's coat. That is, I have grown into it.
It is all quite pleasant. The middle class are the slugs of society in that we move slowly, live in leafy areas and, if only in my case, leave a trail of slime. Our prime concerns are the precise location of charity shops, the unreliability of tradesmen and the baffling regulations surrounding bins, specifically their colour and collection. My ascent from working class to middle has been as seamless as an Asda semmit. There I was catching pieces from tenement windaes, selling the Green Citizen (a paper not an environmental slave) in pubs and speaking with a glottal stop so pronounced it brought traffic to a halt.
Now I am a man for whom Isa is a saving tool rather than the wee wumman who served in the dairy and was as soft as dentures left overnight in setting concrete. I am now invited to places. Usually twice. The second time to apologise.
The other night I was in the Playfair Library. This is in Edinburgh. That's how middle class I am. I was attending an honorary graduation ceremony and was asked to dinner. As the other diners at my table donned the whites of crime scene investigators to minimise the effect of my frenetic and shambolic eating habits, I had time to reflect on the degree recipients.
They were middle-class. They had not fought their way out of the ghetto but extricated themselves from the far more dangerous world where fate dictates you must become a doctor or a lawyer.
The sporting celebrities honoured by Edinburgh University were Sir Steve Redgrave, Judy Murray, and the racing driver Susie Wolff. They are about as working class as sea kale served on a bed of larks' tongues in aspic. This is not a criticism, more an observation. It points to two truths. The first is that the impoverished do not have exclusive rights on the drive to succeed. The fuel that demands that one extra repetition in a training session, that one final stretch for a ball, that abhorrence of defeat, comes from within.
This especially true of Murray and Wolff. It is tough travelling to the top of any sport but it is more difficult when one is the object of carping criticism or jokes about being able to reverse into the pit bay.
The second truth carries the obvious and the concerning. Middle-class participation in top-class sport is undoubtedly increasing as it becomes more acceptable as a means of making a considerable living. But there must be a worry over the opportunities offered to the less affluent.
The graduation ceremony was highly entertaining, particularly when bets were being taken on whether I would use the correct fork for course three, but it was also gently inspiring, especially when Judy Murray spoke of her passion, nay need, to bring tennis to the widest possible audience in Scotland. These are words which are backed by her appearances in Barlanark, Govanhill, Drumchapel and anywhere one can pitch a net and swing a racquet.
There must be provision and dedication to providing everyone with an equal opportunity. Tennis, rowing, golf or cycling may be lazily described as middle class but their participants need not be. There is a tide of opportunity with the success of Andy Murray, Chris Hoy and the imminent arrival of the Commonwealth Games. Sport should be for all. And so, too, should sea kale.