Ready and Will-ing

A BIOGRAPHY has been released celebrating the life of Tom Stoppard, who is most famous for reinterpreting William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead. Stoppard has received many plaudits over the years, though the Diary refuses to be impressed, as we have also reinterpreted Shakespeare, as the following classic stories from our vaults prove…

Murray mauled

IN King Lear a great man is traduced by his daughters. In our version the defamation is purely accidental. The comedian Chic Murray’s daughter Annabelle was being interviewed over the phone by a London-based newspaper about her late father, and she stated: “Chic was a master of absurdities, but never smutty.”

To her horror, she was then mistakenly quoted as delivering the bizarre oxymoron: “Chic was a master of obscenities, but never smutty.”

A dog’s life

THE following tale goes under the heading: Much Ado About Nothing. A distraught dog owner took her pet to the vet because of an unusual growth in the mutt’s mouth. After examining it, the vet asked the owner if she had any children.

“Oh my God! Is it contagious?” she gasped.

“No,” replied the vet. “It’s bubble-gum.”

Giggle juice

THEN, of course, there’s our version of Measure for Measure… A reader was leaving the Dublin show of comedian Michael McIntyre when he heard a fellow audience member say to his friend: “It really is the best medicine, isn’t it?”

“What, laughter?” asked his pal.

“No, alcohol,” the chap replied.

Dressing down

WE thought long and hard about producing a new version of The Taming of the Shrew due to its sexist content. Eventually we decided on a racy role reversal, which we call The Taming of the Chap.

The wife of a Newton Mearns bloke came home from a day of shopping with three new dresses.

“What do you want with three new dresses?” he blurted out as she plonked the bags down.

“Three new pairs of shoes,” she said, getting them out to show him.

Food for thought

IN Hamlet the Prince of Denmark asks that most profound of questions: “To be or not to be?” A late-night reveller in Glasgow was once asked something equally meaningful when a young girl serving in the chip shop asked if he wanted regular or large.

Unsure of the quantities involved, he inquired what the difference was.

“You get mair chips,” she replied.

Legging it

THE following yarn is one we call: The Winter’s Tale. A group of women of a certain age were discussing a widowed friend who had met a new man. One of them disclosed that she had been bold enough to ask the widow how intimate the relationship had become.

The lady then gave the memorable reply: “Put it like this. It’s the middle of winter but my legs are shaved.”

Love’s young dream

OUR version of Romeo and Juliet is every bit as romantic as the original. A reader spotted a young chap grabbing a girl’s hand in Glasgow’s Buchanan Street and gently kissing it. He was saddened when she told the chap: “Hear, you! Are you kissin’ ma haun or wiping yer nose?”