WE live in a world of persistent acrimony and argy-bargy, with identity politics dividing people on issues of race, gender and other incendiary topics. In an attempt to be more sensitive about such matters, the makers of American cartoon The Simpsons have announced Asian character Apu will no longer be portrayed by white voice-actor Hank Azaria. The Diary is eager to discover whether the show’s ginger-bearded Scot, Groundskeeper Willie, will be treated in a similar fashion. If the role (currently voiced by an American) is to be handed to someone more suitable, that would certainly be good news for our domestic acting fraternity.

There’s a problem, however. Groundskeeper Willie is aggressive, uncouth and frequently drunk. As such characteristics are totally alien to the native Scotsman, it’s unlikely any local thespian could stretch his imagination sufficiently to portray such an exotic fellow.

Cheesed off

MATILDA, the seven-year-old granddaughter of reader Bob Jamieson, is a "say it as it is" sorta gal. Last weekend her father was working, so mother took her to the cinema, then for a burger afterwards. As her parents were putting her to bed she said: “Daddy, you’re my favourite!” Mummy, who had spent all day with her, was rather taken aback. So she asked her young daughter if she had any other favourites.

“Well,” said Matilda, “my second favourite is Big Monkey…” (her stuffed toy) “… and my third favourite is cheese.”

Mummy stopped asking questions at this point, not wanting to fall any further down the pecking order than cheese.

Doors closed day

WE’RE now into the final Brexit countdown, with 11 days left until we wave bye-bye to the 27 other nations of the EU. We have our suspicions that Terry McGeary, from East Kilbride, isn’t entirely delighted about the prospect. He says: “For those experiencing a magical, childlike excitement as we approach leaving the EU, perhaps it would be sobering for them to be given an Adverse Calendar, with 27 little doors, none of which will open.”

Woolly idea

PLANNING on branching out into Hollywood, the Diary has been pitching movie concepts with local themes, in the hope they’ll be embraced by Krysty Wilson-Cairns, the Oscar-nominated Scottish screenwriter. Brian Wadham, from Erskine, has an excellent idea for a horror flick. “How about an update of The Silence Of The Lambs?” he says. “It could be called Shut It, Ewes.”

Striking language

FUMBLED phrases continued. Jim Sheehan, from Stirling, recalls a union representative being interviewed some years ago on

television about the possibility of strike action. "We'll burn that bridge when we come to it," he said. (Perhaps not entirely unwittingly.)

Taking the plunge

WE finish with a titter at the expense of trendies, courtesy of David Foster. “Why did the hipster fall into the lake?” he asks. “Because he went skating before it was cool.”