12 Differences between Perthshire and Persia
- Persia has not officially existed since it became Iran in 1935, whereas Perthshire kept going for another 40 years. The shire of Perth became part of Tayside in 1974. The Shah of Persia fell by the wayside in 1979.
- Most residents of Perthshire were thought to be disappointed by Scotland's 1-1 draw with Iran in the so-called World Cup of 1978. Most residents of Persia didn't give a toss as they were too busy saying prayers and planning a revolution.
- Perthshire's best-known team is St Johnstone, whose most notable result in recent years was a 5-0 hammering of Aberdeen in the premier league. Persia's best-known team is Khomeini & Khameni (the Ayatollah twins), who gave Abu Dhabi a bit of a hammering in the Opec negotiations, before Khomeini met his match in 1989.
- The ayatollahs of Persia try to control the lives of their subjects and stop them transgressing the law of the land. The Duke of Atholl tries to do much the same but no-one takes much notice as he doesn't wear a turban. The word 'ayatollah' is thought to be derived from an anagram of 'yaa atholl'.
- In November 1979 students seized 63 hostages and surged through the streets of Persia as Tehran overflowed with hostility to the USA. In January 1993 water surged through the streets of Perth as the Tay ran several feet higher than it does when it isn't as high as it was then.
- Persia has relatively few sunni Moslems but large numbers of shi-ite ones. Perthshire has relatively few sunny days.
- The most significant point in Perthshire is Ben Lawers, which dominates Loch Tay leading up to Killin Youth Hostel. The most significant point in Persia is the Islamic laws which dominate Tehran and sometimes lead to the killing of hostile youths.
- The Persian Gulf was recently the scene of a bitter conflict between Saddam Hussein and Norman Schwarzkopf, who each shot down several planes. The Perthshire golf course of Gleneagles was once the scene of a bitter duel between ex-Open champion Tom Weiskopf and Essex batsman Nasser Hussain, who each shot several birdies. However, this didn't lead to a major war or ecological disaster as they made friends again in the pub afterwards.
- Near the south-west corner of Persia lies Kuwait, which is a major source of crude oil. In south-west Perthshire there is a Q8 filling station that is a minor source of crude jokes. It also sells oil, petrol, diesel and slightly stale cheese and tomato sandwiches. Kuwait was once taken over by nearby Iraq. However, Q8 is thought to be of little interest to the owners of Tie-rack, as their shops are often in precincts where a filling station would be a bit silly really.
- The free-flowing writer Salman Rushdie needs regular protection from the death sentence or 'fatwa' declared by Persia. Perthshire's fast-flowing salmon rivers need regular protection from a fat wallah known as the Perthshire poacher. Fortunately he doesn't write long tedious books about his exploits and so you might not have heard of him. The rock'n'roller Fats Waller has no connection whatsoever with Perthshire, but he was in the same class at school as someone whose mum once bought a Persian carpet.
- One of the most popular of computer games is called Prince of Persia. There is thought once to have been a similar game called Prince of Perthshire, but it was suppressed by Nicky Fairburn who didn't like the tartan plaid he was portrayed as wearing.
- Beneath Ben Lawers and Stuchd an Lochain, both in Perthshire, lie puddles of water each called Lochan nan Cat. Here baggers have been known to dally in the longueurs of a balmy afternoon. The last time anyone locked in a Persian cat there were long hairs all over the Persian carpet when the bugger went barmy and do-lally after grooming.
Alan Dawson and Alan Sundry
TAC 14 Index