GIVEN the coverage devoted to the incarceration of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce you'd think they were Bonnie and Clyde.
In truth, they're just a pair of petty criminals.
I am grateful, however, to those organs and media outlets which followed them step by step, from dock to cell, sparing no detail en route. Mr Huhne, I see, must be strip-searched and his every orifice examined lest he be hiding something which might come in handy in the pokey. Moreover, he must wear prison garb. Ms Pryce, on the other hand, will not suffer such indignity, nor will she be forced out of civvy togs and into sackcloth.
Such are the inequalities we men must tolerate.
TO Montreal, home town of my old chum Mordecai Richler, now sadly deid, who was never happier than when mocking Quebec's language polis, who don't like words such as "pasta" and "fish and chips". Recently, a restaurant had to remove a WC sign from a toilet door because that's not the way things are done in France. "Mais nous urnae en France," cried the owner.
The latest case involves a sex toy sold with English-only instructions, providing a windfall for lawyers. If only our Scots language provocateurs were so fascistic!
WHAT'S in a name? I refer, of course, to the new Pope, who has chosen to call himself Francis, which is one of the perks of the job. As ever the commentariat has leapt to an immediate assumption that he chose to name himself thus after Francis of Assisi, when he might just as well have been inspired by Francis Albert Sinatra who, as every wean ought to know, was a lovely singer, goodish Catholic and in cahoots with the Mafia. Say no more!
By spooky coincidence, my daughter and her husband are keen to find a name for their first-born, a task made no easier by the fact that they do not know its sex. If it's a boy, it is expected they will call him Steven, after Stevie G, captain of Liverpool FC, of whom my son-in-law will hear no wrong. A girl would be more problematic. One expectant mother, I gather, decided to call her new child Chlamydia after she heard mention of it in hospital. Another opted for Charisma, thereby placing enormous stress on the poor wee thing.
I learned of Pope Frank's appointment in Staggs, one of the few licensed chapels in the land. The faithful were evenly divided, not between those who favoured a Pope from the Olde Worlde and those who wanted one who knew how to use an iPad, but between the traditionalists, ie real ale drinkers, and the barbarians, ie devotees of lager.
Gay marriage is not something which much exercised those in our congregation, nor, indeed, the possibility of priests marrying. But if the new Pope can do something about the plans to impose a minimum price per unit of alcohol, said one who religiously attends mass several times a day in Staggs, that would be progress.
I note that in Buenos Aires, from where Pope Frank hails, he is renowned for his empathy with ordinary people. In that, he and I have much in common. I note, too, that he lives in a modest flat and heats up his own meals, as do I, and travels by public transport, as do I, though I have yet to spy him aboard the 26. He also visits slums, which is something else that we share.
Indeed, only the other day I visited the wretched denizens of Edinburgh's New Town who are living in abject squalor, engulfed by half-eaten takeaways and empty bottles of gin and worrying about where next term's Fettes fees are going to come from. What is the church doing for these benighted souls?
THANK God I'd had my tea, that's all I can say. There I was, in state of happy torpor, just waiting to be entertained.
On, after my old friend John Snow had run out of words at the Vatican, came something called Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, which rolls off the tongue like a tank over logs.
The star of the show, I'd been led to believe, is a woman known in her own bailiwick as the Dettol queen, so addicted is she to expelling germs from her home. Alas, Ms Dettol was nowhere to be seen.
Instead, there was a trio of obsessive compulsive cleaners who were committed to ridding a park of dog you-know-what, of which there was a helluva lot.
I can't now recall how many kilos they and their helpers collected but there was poop aplenty.
One felt for other viewers who, after a long day probably wading through the stuff, had just sat down to enjoy an equine delicacy from Tesco.
In my own acre, dog droppings are – ahem! – a major bone of contention. I have just received advice from a local group of vigilantes about what to do should one witness anything untoward.
First, one must provide a description of the offender, the owner, that is, not his mutt. Second, one must describe the dog. Four legs and a dangling tongue is not sufficient. Third, the time and date of the offence must be recorded. Fourth, where the offence takes place, which must be more specific than "under a hedge", is needed.
Finally, one must be sure to take down a car number "and/or" where the offender – ie the evil dog owner – lives.
In the past, apparently, informants simply said "kennel", at which point even the most odiferous scent invariably went cold.
VINCE Cable, the well-known ballroom dancer, says that in an independent Scotia, and in the event of the Royal Bank of Scotland being sold off, we cannot expect to receive a share of any spoils.
Two can play at that game, mate! Come independence, we look forward to receiving our due share – one-tenth will do – of erstwhile British assets, starting with the contents of the British Museum.
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.