SCOTS comic book writer Mark Millar is facing a dilemma that is both tantalising and terrifying. “Just found 23 cans of original formula Irn-Bru when we were cleaning out the cellar,” salivates Mark, who adds: “The catch? They’re nine years old! Do I still drink them?”

Mark spends most of his time writing about superheroes who gain astounding powers after they swallow top-secret serums, or are bitten by radioactive spiders. So although we wouldn’t recommend belting back the ancient Bru, we’re curious to know what would happen if Mark did imbibe.

Superman is often labelled the Man Of Steel. Perhaps Mark would transform into the… Geezer Of Girders.

Butt of joke

ANOTHER nifty nickname. Reader Jim Timmons tells us there was a senior official in North Lanarkshire who signed his correspondence "R Slater". He was often referred to as "Heid First".

An (un)likely story

OUR readers live devil-may-care lives. Their everyday existence is permeated with the grit of a Hemingway yarn and the glamour of an F. Scott Fitzgerald tale, though sometimes the Diary cynically wonders whether some of our correspondents are stretching the truth, just a tad.

Case in point: Stevie Campbell, from Hamilton, tells us he once had his fortune read by singer Eddi Reader's sister, Pam.

Belt up

ANOTHER unlikely story from reader Bob Arnold, who says: “Since the factory demoted me to seatbelt tester I’ve been strapped for cash.”

Titillating tap-tapping

THE English languages is exceedingly useful when it comes to matters of communication, and miscommunication, as our readers continue pointing out.

Russell Smith, from Largs, heard of a man of the cloth, very much above reproach, who realised he had entered into dangerous (and biologically uncertain) territory when he asked the receptionist in a New York hotel to “knock him up” at 7am, as he had a plane to catch.

Brush with danger

WE are recalling the curious songs concocted during the misspent youth of our readers. For some mysterious reason they often involve variations on an old toothpaste advert.

Sandy Tuckerman offers up this version:

“You’ll wonder where your teeth have gone,

When you brush your teeth with an atom bomb.”

The youth of old must have been an optimistic bunch. The Diary’s contacts within the scientific community inform us that it’s almost impossible to balance an atom bomb upon the bristles of your average toothbrush.

Birdbrained query

NOVELIST Robert Wilkinson asks: “What did they call barn owls before barns were invented?”

Our guess is they were probably called "impatiently waiting for barns to be invented owls".