Death becomes her

TRAFFORD Council in Greater Manchester is running a story competition, and Matilda, the youngest granddaughter of reader Bob Jamieson is entering.

The eight-year-old sent grandpa the latest draft of her narrative, and it features a French girl called Florence d’Etoile. She meets Death, who tells her he would like to be called Gary because: “It’s the best name ever.”

Forget Trafford Council. The Diary demands that Matilda submit her prose to the Booker Prize committee.

It’s about time the ultimate literary prize went to a profound meditation on life, death… and Gary.

Fun footy fact

RANGERS late victory against Livingston on Wednesday night means they now require only four points to win the Scottish Premier League title. Though Celtic fans shouldn’t be dismayed, says reader John Mulholland, who adds: “It’s still mathematically possible for them to win the League... next year.”

Car trouble

A RATHER rum tale recently appeared in the populist press, shining an unforgiving spotlight on a couple who were fined after being caught breaking lockdown rules while engaged in a tempestuous manoeuvre of the non-monastic variety. (In a motorcar, no less.)

This amorous activity was described in the newspaper, utilising the very highest of literary styles, as a bit of “rumpy-pumpy”.

Which surprised reader David Donaldson, who says: “I thought rumpy-pumpy was a term that had fallen out of use. Though maybe that’s because I've reached the stage of life where it's all mumpy-grumpy.”

Forward thinking

THE Diary has been sharing fond memories of the classy Scottish footballer Ian St John, who died earlier this week. Reader Larry Hutchison says the Liverpool striker’s legendary status with club supporters was neatly encapsulated when the poster for a local evangelical revivalist campaign was displayed with the challenging headline: ‘What Will You Do When the Lord Returns to Earth?’

This resulted in the graffitied response: ‘Move St John to Inside-Forward.’

Bread and Bacharach

WE’RE devising advertising jingles, based on famous songs, to support local businesses and kickstart the economy when lockdown ends.

Reader Tom Bain has a sassy song suggestion to promote his local bakery: ‘What The World Kneads Now.’

Badinage with Bill

OUR contributors continue recalling their favourite nifty nicknames. At school Bob Byiers had a science teacher called William Williams. The mathematically minded schoolchildren in his charge dubbed the poor chap Bill Squared.

Colour coordination

EDINBURGH comedian Martin Bearne is feeling disappointed with himself. “I can't believe I didn’t figure out I was colour blind,” he says. “I never should have ignored all those blue flags.”