OUR run of tales about fast-talking and fiercely flippant football fans continues. Reader Gerry McElroy recalls a linesman who operated in the Junior leagues. Before one game he was suffering chafing in the nether regions. To ease the problem, he applied a liberal coating of talcum powder. When the referee blew to start the game the linesman sped off stylishly down the touchline followed by a cloud of dust. At which point a spectator shouted: “Hey linesman, slow doon, yer erse has caught fire.”

Moniker moan brigade

UPON mentioning the name of our venerable national Bard, Rabbie Burns, reader Ian Kinloch was told in a rather snobbish fashion that in these enlightened and respectful times the poet should be referred to as Robert Burns. Ian was not impressed with this instruction: “If that’s the case, why don't people insist we change Walt Disney to Walter Doesn't?” he says.

Court in the act

A RECENT yarn about a youngster’s unusual ambition reminds Christine Smillie that as a child she informed her mother she wanted to be a solicitor. This should have been the source of much parental pride, though instead it caused only hilarity whenever mum asked her daughter to tell friends and family of her choice of vocation. The little girl would stand up tall in front of the gathered group and proudly say: “I’m going to solicit when I grow up.”

Dissed dominie

THE Diary would never encourage kids to talk back to a teacher. Unless they’ve got something really amusing to say, like Dorothy Mortimer, who recalls a conversation she had with her maths teacher years ago. The tutor in question told Dorothy she was distinctly average. “That’s mean,” she fired back mathematically.

Get a grip

The Diary would also never encourage husbands to be rude to their wives. They’ll always get revenge. Reader Bob Parker once told his missus she should embrace her mistakes. “So she gave me a hug,” he sighs.

Forward thinking

AND now for a time-twisty, tick-tocky tale that probably only Doctor Who would understand. Frank Norrell from Cumbernauld gets in touch to say: “I bought a second- hand time machine next Sunday.” He adds: “They don’t make them like they’re going to any more.”

Mum’s the word

MOTHER’S Day is over for another year. It’s always a memorable occasion in the house of Aberdonian Simon Doyle, who happens to be married to a Spanish lady who sometimes struggles with the English language. When the couple’s kids ran in with flowers for mummy yesterday, Simon’s wife said delightedly: “Oh, what did you get me for Motherwell?”

(Grass) cutting comment

GAZING out at his unruly garden a few months ago, reader Tom Mitchell hired a landscape gardener. “But he told me he couldn’t help,” sighs Tom, “Because my garden was portrait.”