Brought to book

IN constitutional matters the Diary has traditionally been agnostic when it comes to the royal family. Though a recent scandalous event has turned our team into staunch republicans. In her newly launched online book club, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has revealed the books she recently enjoyed reading. And the list doesn’t include the Diary Annual.

No wonder Oliver Cromwell got rather miffed with Charles the First. Those blue bloods are an insufferable bunch.

Perhaps it’s not too late to show Camilla the error of her ways, which is why we now recall some classic tales from our vaults, where the literary merit is beyond dispute…

Jumbled up justice

LIKE Dostoevsky, the Diary has long been fascinated with crime and punishment. A former police officer told us that many years ago he was at Glasgow sheriff court when the sheriff told the accused that if there had been a shred of evidence against him, he would have been sentenced to six months, as opposed to the three months he was getting.

Dead romantic

The Great Gatsby is often described as a fine love story. Though its passion pales in comparison to the smartly dressed elderly couple once spotted near Glasgow’s Hilton Hotel. The lady was overheard saying to the man: “The next time I wear this outfit could be your funeral.”

Traumatised teen

OLIVER Twist is a heart wrenching tale of a Victorian child facing great deprivation. The Diary believes children from our own era struggle with far worse hardships. A reader once spotted a teenager in a Glasgow clothing store telling her mum: “It’s not fair. I bet gran never took your iPhone away from you when you went to bed.”

Bar room badinage

ANTHONY Trollope was one of the most astute political writers. Though not as astute as the reader who told us the following joke: “Nigel Farage walks into a bar, buys a pint and pays with a £20 note. The barman asks, ‘Have you got anything smaller?’ So Farage gives him a piece of his mind.”

Dog gone

THE relationship between man and beast was well expressed in Gerald Durrell’s My Family and Other Animals. An even better description was given by one of our readers who recalled the Glasgow veterinary practice with a large notice outside its premises stating: ‘Veterinary Surgeons and Taxidermists. (Wan way or another you always get yer dug back.)’

Hard to swallow

MANY works of literature, including The Lord of the Rings, involve a quest. Our stories often involve quests, too. Usually for a decent pub. A reader once entered a hostelry which wasn’t the most salubrious of watering holes. Spotting a chap drinking a brandy, he decided to have one himself.

“Brandy, please,” he said to the barman, who stood there for an awkward minute before admitting: “We only have the one brandy glass.”

Footy fail

WE conclude with our own version of Notes from Underground. A reader visiting London was on the Jubilee Underground line when the driver announced over the tannoy: “This train will terminate at West Ham – like many footballers’ careers.”