ANENT – aw naw!
– Shir Shimmy Shaddle, is anyone really surprised by the revelations of child abuse? Call me a knee-jerker, but is there not something intrinsically creepy about a man who wears a white shellsuit and clunky jewellery?
Sir Shimmy was, among other things, an incontinent fan of Elvis, whom he insisted on calling "the king", which in another less liberal country than ours would have resulted in him being dragged to the Tower where his heid would have been separated from the rest of him. Nothing, alas, of the sort happened and Shir Shimmy was allowed to go on his way rejoicing.
Indeed, in 1971, when he was apparently a major sex pest, he joined Lord Longford's Commission on Pornography, along with six peers, an archbishop, three bishops, three professors, Cliff Richard and Gyles Brandreth. How big a part Shir Shimmy played in the commission's activities I am unable to say. Did he, for example, accompany the nutty lord on a fact-finding trip to Denmark?
This included visits to various clubs, in one of which, according to an eyewitness, a brazen naked hussy "thrust a whip around Lord Longford's hand and invited him to flagellate her" which, I'm pleased to report, he declined to do. One can take one's research too seriously.
AMONG Shir Shimmy's many mortified mates was my old chum, Cardinal Keef O'Brien, who would never be seen be dead in Denmark, let alone a club in which whips are in evidence.
On the DJ's death, His Cardship said that his friendship with Shir Shimmy went back many years to the time when he was an assistant priest, in Kilsyth, where the parish priest was Denis O'Connell.
"We were always trying to fund-raise," recalled His Cardship, "not only for the parish, but for local and national charities, and Father Denis had got to know Jimmy quite simply because of Jimmy's mother, 'The Duchess'. It was Jimmy's fond mother who attributed the healing of Jimmy when an infant to her prayers to the Venerable Margaret Sinclair, a young Scottish nun."
At all of which, the mind gently boggles. So grateful was he to be still alive that Shir Shimmy was eager to have his "miracle" acknowledged to allow Ms Sinclair, who died in 1925, to become a saint.
According to him, when he was two years old and banging on heaven's gate, The Duchess came across a leaflet about the nun in Leeds Cathedral which encouraged her – pace Dionne Warwick – to say a little prayer and – hey presto! – wee Shimmy was, like ham, cured.
REPORTS reach me that a clamour is growing for the double act that comprises Monsignor Tom Devine, historian extraordinaire, and my dear self, to go global. It seems there is talk of a world tour which might start in New Cumnock and end in Saltcoats. Our latest gig was at the Irish consulate in Edinburgh where in a discursive hour-and-a-half we set the world to rights. In these short, dark days and long, dark nights, what people seem to want is some idea of what life is all about. The great question of our age is not whether three tins of baked beans for the price of two are a genuine bargain but: "Is that it?" 'It', of course, is an elastic, philosophical concept which even Wittgenstein had trouble accurately defining. Not so the good Monsignor who is the go-to person concerning "Scotia", as he likes jocularly to call this peedie patch of weeds.
Like moi, for instance, he believes Radio Teuchter to be a national disgrace, which it surely is. But what is to be done about it? Were it up to me, I would install Monsignor Devine as its controller, which would certainly elevate its intellectual tone. I am concerned, however, what the effect would be on its musical output.
At the Irish consulate, he revealed a disturbing fascination with The Shadows whom, he opined, were to the Beatles what James Clerk Maxwell was to Albert Einstein, neither of whom to my knowledge ever made any impact on the pop charts.
NORMALLY I protect readers of this throbbing organ from my personal travails, but needs must.
Of late, the Home Secretary has begun to talk in the manner in which Ernest Hemingway writes. For example, as she stares deeply into a plate of Weetabix, she will say something like: "This is perhaps my last and best and true and only meal." When I reply, saying something like "Fair enough", she'll say: "I've seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again." To which I say, "That sounds like it comes straight from A Moveable Feast." To which she says, holding up a glass of juice,:"It's cold and orange and lovely and I'm going to drink it all down to the dregs." Which she does. Anybody got any idea what might be up with her?
ONLY two years until the next Ryder Cup. On the night before the Yanks imploded, says my man in Chicago, four of their team got together with their wives on the 18th green and prayed fervently. Imagine what they were praying for – birdies and eagles for them, bogeys and albatrosses for their opponents. Much good it did them. Praise the Lord!
MY old amigo, Eric Hobsbawm, a man of history, has died, five runs shy of his century. Invariably, newspapers ran pictures of him in old age, which is often the case on the obits pages. Why, I dinnae ken. I am told, however, by another history man, that at no stage in Mr Hobsbawm's life did he look like George Clooney. On the contrary, as he himself was the first to admit, he'd always had the coupon of a gargoyle. Vain he was not.
Lord Longford's pornography commission recruited Jimmy Savile
Historian Eric Hobsbawm never doubled for actor George Clooney
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