IN the 1980s reader Douglas Johnston was a platform steward at a national housing conference where Chris Patten, an MP at the time, was the keynote speaker. As the Q & A session was winding down the audience was asked for one final comment, which was provided by a well-known Midlothian councillor.

“Hay pal,” said this fellow to Patten. “You’re just a bampot.”

As the confused politician was being escorted from the platform he turned to our reader and said: “What is a bampot?”

Our chap struggled manfully to translate a word so rich in complexity and nuance. Eventually he settled upon: “Energetically educationally challenged.”

Bottling it

LONG-TERM relationships are never easy to keep on track, though Tricia Marwick, the former Presiding Officer at the Scottish Parliament, seems to have discovered the secret to everlasting love.

“Forty-five years married,” she says. “He buys the wine, I drink the wine, he does the walk of shame to dispose of the empties in the bottle bank… a keeper!”

Grounds for discontent

READER Willie Ferguson's father-in-law lovingly tended his allotment until it became too arduous a task. He was happy to hand responsibility for its upkeep to his son, though he explained to the younger chap that South Lanarkshire Council had to be told about the change to prevent the land being allocated to someone else.

A good while later the retired allotment owner was asked by his wife if their son had informed the council. "Not yet," came the reply.

The wife was not impressed. "That boy, he's losing the plot," she sighed.

Let's Twist

WE recently suggested that with Halloween approaching it would be a jolly super jape if Boris Johnson disguised himself to look like a Prime Minister. This didn’t go down well with readers, who prefer a smidgen of reality in their daily newspaper. With this in mind, Ramsey Blackstock has the perfect costume for our glorious leader.

“Boris should dress as that pompous and officious twit from Oliver Twist,” he suggests. “He’d make a perfect Mr Bumble.”

Beautified bobby

OUR mission to revamp the English dictionary continues. Russell Smith from Kilbirnie suggests: Metropolis (n). A narcissistic member of the constabulary.

Warped word

ON a related topic, Ian Noble from Carstairs Village enquires: “If a word is misspelled in a dictionary, how do we know?”

Drinking digits

BAT-ROOM badinage continued, with the following gag from reader Gordon Stone: A Roman walks into a bar, holds up two fingers and says: “I’ll have five beers please.”

Read more: Those were the days