False memory syndrome

YESTERDAY we mentioned an unusual contribution to historical scholarship, which reminds reader Linda Munro of the time her young granddaughter wandered into the kitchen from the living room and excitedly explained that granddad had just been telling her about his intrepid adventures in the Second World War.

Linda immediately strode through to the living room to ask her hubby (born: 1946) what he was wittering on about.

“Okay, okay,” he huffily conceded, “I wasn’t actually in a war, if you’re going to be pernickety about it. Though I’ve watched that Dad’s Army boxset you bought for my birthday at least 10 times. Surely that counts for something?”

Cinematic shrinkage

THE Diary is never content to let its readers relax while perusing this column. Which is why we often set them difficult tasks. For instance, we once challenged them to skateboard round the perimeter of a bubbling volcano in Guatemala. Alas, we lost a few of our more dashing acolytes on that occasion.

Perhaps we should have been less cavalier in our call to action, and insisted that they pogo stick round the bubbling volcano, instead.

You’ll probably be relieved to learn that our current challenge is more sedentary. We’re asking readers to de-pluralise famous movie titles.

Which leads David Donaldson to suggest… Lion and Prejudice.

Corsair! Cor… where?!

WE continue our run of tales from the chalkface. Modern Studies teacher Sharon Harris was once discussing with second-year pupils the problem of pirates off the coast of Somalia. Afterwards she showed the class news footage featuring genuine pirates.

One young scholar was clearly disappointed that not one of the buccaneers was rattling a cutlass, had a parrot on his shoulder, or looked anything like Johnny Depp.

With a grunt of disapproval, he said: “Ach, those urnie proper pirates. They’re just neds o’ the high seas.”

Burnt offering

WORKING as a waitress, reader Liz Young once served a main course to a customer who had requested his steak “well done”.

He glanced at the food – which admittedly looked more like a slab of charcoal than a hunk of meat – then said: “Well done? This is more like congratulations.”

Lunar liquid

CONTINUING our culinary theme, we have this thought from reader Colin Bruce, who says: “Many restaurants offer a Soup of the Day, which implies that there’s another spooky and mysterious soup called Soup of the Night.”

Medal marauder

BOASTFUL reader Michael Grant tells us: “I once entered the World Kleptomaniac Championships. I took gold, silver and bronze.”

Read more from the Diary: An alternative history of pop