WHO cares whether women are allowed into golf clubs?
Irn Broon for one, who says that the decision by the Royal and Senile Golf Club of St Andrews to remain a men-only bastion is an "unacceptable blot" on Teuchterdom's reputation for equality. Then there is Muirfield, home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Hackers, which moved to Gullane from Musselburgh in 1891, after which date women were not allowed to putt or pitch on the hallowed weeds. The rot, therefore, stems from the leaving of Musselburgh, which truly merits its reputation for equality. I can name at least two howffs there in which women are not only allowed but welcome.
YET another attempt to "reform" the honours list. For "reform" please read "kill". Athletes, apparently, are no longer content with winning Olympic gold medals, they must also be made Knights of the Garter or Ladies of the Fishnets.
One recent Olympian said he was gutted not to be given an honour after the By-jings Games. As readers of this throbbing organ are well aware, I have started my own honours list, on which features only those who are truly deserving. Once I gave a knighthood to a bloke who used to take Queen Tupperware's corgis for a stroll, fully expecting to be given a KGB or a CIA by way of reward. When he was overlooked, he went into a steep decline out of which he might never have recovered.
"Here," I said, "have a knighthood on me," tapping on his shoulders with a steel ruler. Instantly, he was a changed man.
THE shindig that is the Edinburgh Festival is in its death throes. By and large, the sad clowns, jokeless stand-ups and purveyors of tat have departed leaving behind a few weary opera buffs and piles of sodden posters. However, there are still plenty of tourists around.
On my way to the National Library I sought cover from the monsoon in the portals of the Bank of Scotland's HQ at the top of The Mound.
A father and his young son from Kent were among those taking shelter, reflecting philosophically on what passes for summer in Teuchterland.
Behind them stood one of the natives, a man with a purple face, electric hair and toxic breath who, on seeing a few folk take their chances on the deluge, offered a running commentary along the lines off: "F*****g p****s! Look at them, the f*****s! Can they no' see it's rainin'? F*** 'em, know what I mean!" The son looked at his father but knew better than to comment.
Sotto voce, I apologised for my kinsman, suggesting that, were it not for a surfeit of alcohol, his language might not be so fruity, but the rain was pounding so hard that I had to turn up the volume to make myself heard.
"What's that your f****** saying?" asked my kinsman. "Are you insinuating I'm f****** drunk?", pronouncing "insinuating" without the hint of a slur. Most impressive.
WERE he still with us, my old pal Robin Jenkins, novelist extraordinaire, would have been 100 on September 11 and, therefore, the recipient of a telegram or possibly a tweet from Her Maj.
He was awarded the OBE in 1999, and in 2002 received the Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Saltire Society. He died in February 2005, aged 92.
I had hoped that there would be a special event at the Book Fest to mark this auspicious occasion but there wisnae. However, Canongate, publisher extraordinaire, has just released a new edition of The Cone Gatherers, which some believe to be Mr Jenkins's masterpiece, and which includes an introduction by Paul Giamatti, one of the movie stars I can recognise without a mental jog.
Among other movies, he starred in Sideways, which was a joy to behold. "Robin Jenkins," writes Mr Giamatti, "was a great artist and a great man." This may be a tad hyperbolic – for what makes a man great? – but it is very nice to hear. And perhaps it will prompt someone somewhere to find an appropriate way to celebrate Mr Jenkins's centenary which, with just over a week to go, is in danger of silently passing.
LOOPY Rupe Murdoch loves to have his cake and eat it. On the one hand, the old dingo says that The Sun, which he owns, was right to ruin folks' breakfasts by showing pictures of Prince 'arry protecting his crown jewels from the glare of publicity. On the other, he says that we ought to give 'arry a break.
Apparently, the Great Unwashed agree. More than 60% of them reckon that the third in line to the thunderbox has every right to behave like the yob he is. Or, say some, like James Hewitt, one of his mum's bits on the side. We (that's the woyal "we") are amused by the constant references to Las Vegas and its ability to keep a secret. What happens in Vegas, goes the mantra, stays in Vegas. The same, I'm told, is true of Tranent.
Meanwhile, word reaches me that a Las Vegas scuttlebutt has let it be known that someone who knows someone who might have seen someone else doing something unspecified with another anonymous someone, says there's more to emerge about Prince 'arry. Quoting a "lone" source, celebrity blogger Norm Clark says: "Something pretty gigantic is involved, something more serious than strip billiards."
What on earth could be "more serious" than strip billiards? Strip snooker?
RARELY a day passes without my gorgeous amigo George Galloway appearing in the public prints. His latest outing coincides with him joining a TV station "linked to Syria", Syria being the bete noir nation de nos jours. Mr Gorgeous will have a fortnightly show on al-Mayadeen, called A Free Word.
His enemies, of whom there are several, like to talk up the "links" of the station to President Assad, a bad man, while downplaying the insistence by al-Mayadeen's management that it is as impartial as the Beeb.
Contacted by The Times, Mr Gorgeous said that its owners are "rather more respectable" than Loopy Rupe, which takes some doing. I do hope, however, that he will ask me to appear on his show because I always enjoy our encounters. Many moons ago I had the pleasure of introducing him at Wigtown, in which part of the world, he observed, he could not help but notice signs saying "Welcome to Galloway".
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