THE teenage son of Richard Allison, from Giffnock, has reached the age where he can legally enjoy an alcoholic beverage. So a few cans of beer were brought into the house at the weekend, sot Richard could accompany his offspring while the lad sampled his first gargle of the grown-up stuff.

Richard’s son, alas, instantly disgraced himself by going to a drawer in the kitchen, retrieving a pink, striped straw, popping the straw in his can of Stella, then slurping in a slightly less than adult fashion.

“Remind me never to take you to the pub,” said Richard.

Another singular idea

THE Diary continues its latest daft task of depluralising famous movies. John Butler suggests turning the quirky 2001 Wes Anderson movie, The Royal Tenenbaums, into the possibly even quirkier The Royal Onenbaum.

Number crunchers crunched

ONE for the numerically minded amongst our readers. Ben Lowrie gets in touch to say: “Statistically speaking, people who say ‘statistically speaking’ have no statistical data to support their claims.”

Eccentric education

WHEN he was a uni student in the 1980s, Murray Gardner, from Stirling, attended lectures in history, and was fortunate to have a tutor who was intensely charismatic and passionate about communicating ideas.

Sadly, very few of those ideas had anything to do with history, for the tutor had a bad habit of straying off topic without a moment’s notice.

“There was one occasion when he was meant to be providing commentary on the Great War, with an emphasis on the failure of the Schlieffen Plan,” recalls Murray.

“Yet somehow he ended up giving the class his top tips on living a successful and contented life. His central thesis was that happiness would be assured if we managed to dodge everything that begins with the letters y then o.”

Or as the lecturer memorably explained to his astonished class: “Always avoid – as best you can – yoga, yoghurt and yodelling.”

Books so basic

THE 15-year-old grandson of reader Helena Barron obsesses over his phone, and is most often to be found hypnotised by the series of TikTok videos rampaging across its screen.

“Have you never heard of a book?” an exasperated Helena said to him.

“Sure I have,” replied the young chap, without removing his eyes from the screen. “It’s just like my phone, though it only has one app.”

Animal magic

A ZOOLOGICAL enquiry from reader Jennifer Harper, who wants to know: “If you guided a zebra through a supermarket checkout, would you hear a bleep?”