Language lesson

THE Diary’s literary correspondent, David Donaldson, is reading The Aquariums Of Pyongyang by Kang Chol-hwan and Pierre Rigoulot. It’s a rather grim tome about life in North Korea.

However, there is a lighter side, for the book has taught David that the Korean for "everywhere without exception" is PANG-BANG KOK-KOK. 

“I think this would be a great title for a film,” he says. “Perhaps along the lines of Jilly Cooper meets The Great Leader. After the success of Everything Everywhere All At Once, how could it fail?”

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No big deal

THE shape of things to come. A chum of reader Fraser Hamilton spotted an advert for an instrument that would enlarge a certain part of the male anatomy (hint: not the nose).

The gizmo cost a mere £45, which this fellow decided was quite the bargain, so he ordered one.

“Days later the package arrived,” says Fraser. “Upon opening it he discovered, much to his merriment, that he was now in possession of a magnifying glass.”

Read more: How Nicola Sturgeon's latest reading is spelling it out...

Bird-brained behaviour

IMBIBING certain liquid refreshments served in hostelries can lead to paranoia. Reader Ben Harvey was enjoying a drink with a pal in a Falkirk watering hole.

The pal glanced out the window suspiciously, then pointed to a pigeon sitting on the windowsill.

“That bird’s been following me all day,” hissed the pal.

“How do you know it’s the same one?” said Ben, reasonably enough.

“It’s in the eyes,” said the chum. “It’s like he’s acknowledging our past history together.”

Tall order

ANIMAL-LOVING reader Kenneth Lewis visited Edinburgh Zoo with his wife. Studying one particular giraffe, his wife said: “The poor thing looks awfully cold. I wonder how much wool I’d need to knit him a snood?”

Sister act

WE recently published a photograph of a street sign which was memorably called Lois Lane, which is, of course, coincidentally the name of a famous big city journalist. (Who has a boyfriend who conspicuously saunters around town in little more than tights and a pair of garish red underpants.)

Our picture reminds Brian Wadham of the occasion when he met the sister of this legendary news reporter. In an Erskine boozer, no less.

Brian smoothly sidled up to the lady, and said: “What’s your name?”

“Liza Lane,” she replied.

Booze ban binned

A TALE of deprivation and tough decisions. “My doctor has advised me to stop drinking,” says David McDowell from Dundee. “It’s going to be a traumatic change for me. I've been with that doctor for twenty-two years...”