SHIR Jimmy Shovel. What more can one say? Certainly, it was most odd to watch a BBC documentary in which one BBC programme, Panorama, eviscerated another BBC programme, Newsnight.
Such incestuousness, of course, is common noo. Take Radio 5, the reason for whose existence is to allow one Beeb person to interview another, usually about the book of a Beeb series. Yesterday it was Andra Marr, today it's Nick Robinson, tomorrow it'll be Michael Palindrone. Where else can such free puffery be guaranteed?
All of which, I hasten to say, has nothing to do with Shir Shovel, who appears to have had a licence to abuse while those around were struck by corporate blindness. Meanwhile the internet is abuzz with speculation that a character in Irvine Welsh's book Ecstasy was based on Shir Jimmy. In the story Lorraine Goes To Livingston, Freddy Royle is a necrophiliac TV personality who is fabled for his work for charity.
Here he is hovering over a corpse: "'She's bain a roight un n arl,' he rasped in his Somerset drawl, '– caar accident oi presumes?'" Eneuch! Eneuch!
SCRIEVING in the Herald, my dear and revered and pertinacious chum Harry Reid makes many sensible points about the decrepit Kirk. Twas ever thus.
Mr Reid, you may recall, once wrote that rare thing, a readable book about the Kirk, in which, if memory serves me right, he advocated turning its HQ in Embra's George Street into a multi-storey car-park, placing a Rio-style statue of Christ atop Arthur's Seat, and insisting that meenisters sport proper collars, such as those dogs wear so their owners can tell one Fido from another.
Like me, Mr Reid has never been a fan of the General Assembly, the annual, expensive orgy of pomp and circumstance. However, our paths diverge when he bemoans the use at that licentious gathering of "archaic" language. Here, I suspect, he may be referring to the employment of "anent", which is one my own favourite words and which has been part of our linguistic currency since Flodden.
I do hope I am mistaken. If I am not then I may need to form a vigilante group to combat this threat to civilisation as we know it. Members will henceforth be known as The Great Anenters.
DOUBTLESS you are all eager to know if I have any news on the bow-tie front. Persistent readers may recall how I tried and failed to tie a bow-tie in order to look ship-shape at the Booker Prize ceremony.
I am now – as we modern folk like to say – in a much better place, and I don't mean Tranent. The reason for this is the website called You're A Tube, which, like the Encyclopaedia Britannica of old, has the answer to everything, including how to tie a bow-tie.
In one video, a young man shows how to do this while not strangling yourself. As he does so other young men prance dementedly around in the background, possibly because they're on something. Presumably they're trying to put the demonstrator off but he ignores them and carries on regardless, achieving the desired result in a couple of minutes.
As ever, however, the usual cyberbampots respond by deriding his awesome achievement and questioning why anyone would want to wear a bow-tie any way. This, needless to say, is completely missing the point. You wear a bow-tie because you want to eat a steak-pie supper without getting gravy on a bog-standard tie. Surely you don't need to be Stephen Hawking to know that.
WHAT an odious fellow is Donald Chump. I refer to the documentary, You've Been Slumped, in which the great frump was seen swilling across Aberdeenshire like a hog in search of a dump. That he has ruined a gorgeous site of special scientific interest goes without saying. That this was done simply to build a couple of duff golf courses requires a suspension of disbelief beyond anything Shakespeare ever imagined. The man blights everything he touches.
What is truly galling and appalling, however, is the craven manner in which those and such as those have bowed before him, be they my old chum, Alexei Salmonella, the dunderheids in Aberdeen Council, Grampian cops, and my own alma mater, Robert Gordon's University, which gave the almighty Heffalump an honorary degree for god knows what.
What was wonderful about the film, however, was the dignity and politeness of its makers and the quiet, rueful and philosophical response of those immediately affected by the building of this humungous carbuncle, namely the residents of the Menie Estate who, despite being harassed and bullied and abused, continued to stick up for their rights. Good on them!
THE latest threat to Scotia's fast-fading reputation as a naturally beautiful pimple is a plan to build seven wind farms within a stone's throw of the Cairngorms National Park. Everyone who has a brain cell is against the idea, including VisitScotland, which tries to entice folk here because it's supposedly a nice place to look at. No more.Slowly but surely Scotia is being covered with measly wind turbines.
In total there are some 550 "farms" in various stages of development. Quite soon it will be impossible to visit any part of Scotia without having your view spoiled by a turbine, in the same way as it is currently impossible to live more than 10 metres from a rat. But by and large rats stay considerately hidden. Not so the ruddy wind turbines.
RECENTLY a friend found himself in Dundee. Returning to his hotel – supposedly one of the city's top kipperies – shortly before the chimes at midnight, he discovered the door locked. Latecomers were instructed to ring a bell in order to summon the night porter. This my friend did. In vain. He rang again. And again. And again. Still in vain.
Luckily he had the mobile number of the night porter, which he dialled, desperation beginning to mount. No reply. On and on he dialled but the phone at the other end rang and rang until it was exhausted.
Eventually, the night porter, a cheery youth, arrived, carrying a portable thingummyjig. Had he had not heard it ringing? asked my friend.
The youth looked at the thingummyjig as if it were toxic. "Naw," he said, then added by way of explanation: "Sometimes it works, and sometimes it disnae."
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