Pranged prince

PRINCE Andrew was once adored by the nation. Or certainly that chunk of the nation that owns a tea towel with the Queen’s face on it, and wouldn’t be seen dead petting a dog other than a Corgi. Andy’s days of princely preening and pop-star popularity are a thing of the distant past, of course. Any remnants of regal charisma were wrung out of him last week by an Emily Maitlis-shaped mangle. Now rusticated and ejected from the dazzle of public life, he’s been left with only a few paltry basics to keep him going. (Paltry Basic 1: A grace and favour mansion. Paltry Basic 2: A princely allowance supplied by mum.) Such a fall from grace is very much a part of the human narrative, and reminds us of a few Diary tales of yore, when mistakes were made, big and small. Such as the goal-shy striker (naming no names) who was known as Jigsaw to footy fans because he fell apart when he got into the box.


A BARMAN was once cleared of starting a fire in his uncle’s pub. The coverage of the trial contained the following details: “He [the accused] blamed one of the pub customers with whom he had indulged in a drunken bout of Sumo wrestling in the pub a few hours before the fire was discovered. The court heard that a police officer called to the fire found the accused with a tartan rug over his head hiding behind a Christmas tree in a close near the pub.”

Framed by door

RECEIVING a call from a Mormon spreading the good news isn’t to everyone’s taste, though it’s rare that the polis get involved in such an incident. Though we once heard of a call to a Glasgow police office from a distraught woman claiming a Mormon had visited and she had promptly slammed the door in his face. He wouldn’t leave, however, and was still persistently chapping the door. When the cops arrived, they discovered that the man was still there, knocking incessantly. The lady of the house had trapped his coat in the door.

Easy rider

A DRIVER was once caught by the cops (we’re keeping them busy in this week’s Diary) speeding through an area signposted as an accident black spot. Luckily the motorist had an excellent excuse. Better than any provided by Prince Andrew, at any rate. “Well, you don’t want to dawdle through a danger area, do you?” was the perfectly reasonable explanation.

Help the aged

ANOTHER prominent personage who suffered an Andrew-style humbling was the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley. She once visited an Old Age Home and said to one resident: “Do you know who I am?” The helpful resident replied: “No. But if you go to the front desk they’ll tell you.”

Rousay rumble

WE close with a torrid tale of bad behaviour regretted at leisure. The folk on the Orkney island of Rousay once held a dance to raise funds to remove the unsightly abandoned cars, fridges and so on which littered the sides of the roads. Unfortunately, although the dance was a big success, it had to be halted due to a bit of a rammy among some of the young men attending. The name of the event? Yup, The Scrap Dance.