The hard stuff

FISTICUFFS was once a noble sport, with fine, upstanding gentlemen, such as Mike Tyson, dominating the action in the ring.

Okay, perhaps it wasn’t especially noble, for Mr Tyson often showed a distinct lack of decorum, and on one memorable occasion declined to wear a napkin or use cutlery when nibbling on a lughole.

But at least boxing had a degree of skill. This is no longer the case, for at the weekend a reality star battled a social influencer in what was billed as a clash of the titans, though it turned out to be more of a clunk of the klutzes.

Roy McPherson from Dundee was an amateur pugilist in the 1960s, when his tussles were covered by the local press.

On one occasion his adversary in the ring attempted to drum up business by bombastically telling reporters: “I hear Roy likes knocking back a cocktail or two when he’s not in the gym. Well, I’ll be serving him up some knuckle tonic.”

Says Roy: “It was a rubbish one-liner. On the other hand, he won the fight. Probably because I never liked tonic in my drinks.”

Dead useful

A DIARY tale about funerals inspires retired undertaker, Murray Bryson, to inform us that he used to collect a sombre American magazine which carried reports about his profession.

The periodical was called Casket and Sunnyside.

Says Murray: “It was a curious title. Flicking through its pages, I discovered plenty of useful info about caskets, though I never did find the sunny side.”

Mind your language

WE’RE updating popular phrases. “Describing something as ‘the bee’s knees’ is rather passé,” claims Deborah Byrne. “From now on I’m saying ‘the wasp’s elbows’.”

Forward drinking

THE son of reader Jennifer Constable celebrated his 18th birthday and arranged to go boozing with friends for the first time.

It was clear that the youngster was a rank amateur in the ways of beer imbibing. Before leaving for the pub he asked mum: “Do I have to book ahead?”

Fantasy football

WE’RE discussing the optimistic ways of kickyball fans. Norman Robinson says: “I was chatting to a pal who supports Falkirk and he insisted on talking up his team’s chances of playing in the Champions League in the near future. I looked at him like he was daft, so he defended himself by saying: ‘I’m a proper footy fan. I deny reality.’”

Fiscal farewell

“PEOPLE often say money talks,” points out reader Grant Aitken. “All it ever says to me is ‘ta-ta’.”