Brought to book

DIARY readers are a well-educated and deeply intellectual tribe. Many of them can read without moving their lips or tracing a finger along the words.

Some even peruse the classics, such as The Collected Works of William Shakespeare (though admittedly only the pop-up version; the page where a three-dimensional Yorick skull springs forth to surprise the reader is one of the finest moments in all English literature).

Diary correspondent David Donaldson has another string to his intellectual bow. Having passed his Lower Latin, he knows that a vade mecum is the name for a useful handbook, or guide, that is kept constantly nearby.

Says David: “An old friend told me that her father, an Oxford don, worked with the intelligence services during the war and had written a highly detailed local guide for officers taking part in the Normandy landings. The handbook was called Invade Mecum.”

East versus west

SPENDING most of our waking hours studying pop-up Shakespeare, The Diary has little time left over for enjoying TV.

Luckily reader Ian Hutcheson keeps us up to date and he informs us that EastEnders is broadcasting a plot involving a fight in the back room of a pub.

“No surprise there,” says Ian. “But this is no disorderly domestic dispute, but an actual boxing bout staged in a ring. Characters promoting the event have come up with a snappy title: A Pie, a Pint and a Punch.”

Adds an outraged Ian: “West Enders in Glasgow are surely entitled to ask, ‘Have London’s East Enders no ideas of their own?’”

Funny flops

MEDICALLY minded reader Linda Jones gets in touch to point out: “Laughter is the best medicine. Except when you have broken ribs.”

This sporting life

“LIVERPOOL footy club signed a Hungarian midfielder, Dominik Szoboszlai, in the summer,” notes reader Bob Jamieson. “He rapidly became a fan favourite, though many struggle to pronounce his surname.”

Adds Bob: “Strangely enough, golfers find it easier to pronounce his name. For the main rule of golf is you play the ball where you find it.

“So, when a golfer requests positional advice, he is informed: ‘You play it where zi baws lie’.’”

Medical mystery

A TALE of commerce and conniption. Visiting a well-known supermarket, reader Scott Simpson noticed that the medicine section was promoting “Irritated Eye Drops”.

Says Scott: “I wonder what got them so annoyed?”

Featherbrained business

“I TRIED running a dating service for chickens,” says Anne Lynch from Cumbernauld. “But I struggled to make hens meet. “