FICTIONAL lawyer Perry Mason has returned in a new TV show, which is receiving rave reviews. Though some viewers aren’t so delighted, believing no one could, or should, replace Raymond Burr, who played the ace American crime-solver on telly for almost 40 years. But here’s the thing. Burr portrayed only one version of Perry Mason. There’s also been movies, a radio series, a comic book and the original novels. There was even a collection of Perry Mason poems. In other words, the more the merrier. Or maybe that should be the pore the Perryer?

The Diary also believes in the reboot and rejuvenation of timeless tales. Which is why we now bring you some classics from our vaults, such as the reader who asked why isn’t a 4x4 vehicle simply known as a 16 vehicle?

Caveat lector

THE late, great novelist and painter Alasdair Gray once strolled into a Glasgow west end bar for a drink and noted that a row of books were on a shelf as part of the pub’s decoration. It was only when he was thumbing through one of the tomes that a member of staff shouted: “These books are not for reading.”

Dangerous thing, that literature.

Loopy lingo

ENGLISH is an evocative language. And by evocative we mean darned confusing. There was once a personnel manager who liked to tell applicants who made the short list that: “The trees are beginning to thin and the picture’s definitely on the piano.”

Name game

THE hero of the hour when a fire broke out at the Myreton Motor Museum in Aberlady was the curator who alerted the fire brigade and then contained the flames. He was a Mr Match.

Bitter pill

THE fair city of Edinburgh has many fine landmarks, though some aren’t as well known as that big, hefty castle-shaped thing in the centre of town. For instance, an old lady was once on a train arriving in the city when she pointed out the window and said: “Look! There’s the Jenners Suppository.”

Lost for words

IN the dim and distant days of yore, when there was still an Edinburgh Book Festival, a child once entered the organiser’s tent and said: “I can’t find my mummy.”

A concerned organiser cried out: “We have a lost child here.”

To which the child replied sternly: “No. What we have is a lost mummy.”

North American no-no

PROOF, if it was needed, that we live in a sacrilegious age. A young woman was watching telly when a chap appeared on the screen. Below him was the caption: ‘Kirk Moderator’. In all seriousness, the young woman turned to her sister and said: “That’s an unusual name. Do you think he’s Canadian?”

Stepping down

A PHILOSOPHICAL reader once pointed out that an escalator can never break down. He added: “The very worst that can happen is it gets demoted to stairs.”