By Chris Charles
Old enough to know better
So Wayne Rooney has reached the grand old age of 18. I don't know, they grow up so quick these days.
It only seems like yesterday he was having a kick-about in the park with his mates. Oh, it was yesterday.
Some would argue Rooney really came of age with that goal against Arsenal just before his 17th birthday. Others point out he was only able to celebrate it with a few cans of Top Deck.
Now the Everton striker can drink as much alcohol as he wants - David Moyes must be turning cartwheels.
The Toffees manager really got into the spirit of things with a little birthday message for his teenage superstar - 'you've been rubbish this season'. Cheers, boss - all the best.
Aside from the booze, young Wayne can now legally take fiancee Coleen to see top romantic chick flick Kill Bill and have her name tattooed on his arm (check the spelling first, son).
He is also old enough to vote - although being a True Blue from a council estate could present him with a few dilemmas down at the polling booth.
Then, of course, there's the gambling. According to newspaper reports, Rooney and his mates often hang out in a local bookies, playing the fruit machines.
You can stop pretending it's squash now, son
Now he can have a bet as well - and Paddy Power have dreamt up a series of wacky Wayne wagers should he fancy a flutter.
If the lad believes he'll marry a pop star, he can have a few quid at 33/1, if he thinks he'll have a number one single, he'll be quoted odds of 100/1, while a summons to the Vatican from the Pope is surely a steal at 500/1.
Finally, there's the small matter of presents. Wayne has already bought himself a £10,000 designer watch, but there's still a few things he could do with.
How about an abacus, so he can count to 10 whenever he looks like getting into bother on the field? Or maybe a Chelsea strip, just to see whether it suits him.
Mind you, what's the betting he still gets an Everton shirt with his name on the back from mum and dad? He probably hasn't had the heart to tell them.
As for cars, the Premiership footballer in him will be wanting to take delivery of a Ferrari or an Aston Martin - but the modest boy-next-door would be just as happy with a souped-up XR2i.
There is one present, though, that any teenage boy worth his salt would be thrilled to receive - an all-expenses paid trip on Concorde. Damn.