Animal magic

A PROUD Neil Oliver boasts: “I can make squirrels so excited, I could almost swear they understand human speech.” We’ve no idea how the popular broadcaster manages this impressive feat. Perhaps he reads to them from his book The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places. Though having perused the volume, we don’t recall a chapter dedicated to nuts…

Freudian footy

RICHARD Foster, who has signed for Partick Thistle, is a special footballer. Not only is he married to rocker Amy Macdonald, the burly defender also completed a psychology degree in his spare time. We hope he’ll make use of his qualification playing for the Jags. Instead of putting in hard tackles, he should fell opponents with hard questions: “So why do you feel the need to kick a ball so aggressively? Were you kicked as a small boy? What exactly are you repressing?”

Boxing clever

PERCEPTIVE follower of the Royal Family Linda Godden notes that when the Queen knights someone she uses a sword. This is because a keen blade symbolised wealth and might in medieval society. “We’ve moved on since the days of pointy weapons,” our reader points out. “Nowadays the sign someone is rich and powerful is they appear on their own reality show. So the Queen should tap people on the shoulder with a box set of Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”

Body blow

CARELESS Jason Miller informs us he used his donor card instead of his credit card to order items online. “It cost me an arm and a leg,” he whimpers.

Let rain reign

ANOTHER Johnny Beattie tale. In the 1950s and 60s the impresario GB Bowie was responsible for nearly 30 summer shows on the Clyde coast. These in-door performances were most popular when the weather was dreichest.

With this in mind, Beattie swore the statue of Bonnie Mary at Dunoon was actually GB Bowie praying for rain…

Patently weird

FORMER MP for Dundee West Jim McGovern was no doubt party to many state secrets in his time. Even so, there are certain questions he can’t answer. “Why is there only one Monopolies Commission?” he wonders.

Basket cases

WE continue comparing the world before lockdown with the present. Reader Ian Chilton offers this.

THEN: Crazy thrill seekers parachute from planes.

NOW: Crazy thrill seekers grab a shopping basket without knowing if it’s been wiped down with detergent.

Western woe

MUSIC fan Bill Newell has glimpsed the future: “With the development of self-driving vehicles it’s only a matter of time until there’s a country music song where the guy’s truck leaves him,” he predicts.

Read more: Those were the days