Wild wallaby is nearly caught on the hop!
A pedestrian spotted hopping across a road in the middle of the night ended up in the national press.
Why? Well, this jumping jaywalker turned out to be... a wallaby.
The wallaby hit the headlines when it darted in front of a taxi on a Cambridgeshire country road.
And the reason I’m mentioning this?
The Daily Mail website quoted experts saying it could well be a descendant of a group of runaway Whipsnade Zoo wallabies which escaped in the 1950s.
Oops! Taxi driver Tomas Tarjan said: “This is the weirdest thing I have seen.”
He and his passengers searched in vain for the meandering marsupial.
“As I had my hazards on, several taxis stopped,” he said. “When I said we were looking for a kangaroo, they just asked me if I was all right!”
Police found the wallaby but animal experts advised them to leave it in peace.
One online comment said: “Seen one a few years ago near Woburn golf club, jumping along beside the car for a few seconds. Was funny to watch.”
We’re used to seeing wandering wallabies around the Dunstable area.
A few years ago, a wallaby was seen on walkabout in Dunstable’s High Street South, Borough Road, Downs Road and on Downside.
A delighted passer-by told me: “He more or less followed me home! Everyone was saying: ‘Have you seen what’s following you?’ He had a lovely, cute face.
“I thought it was a dog at first, then as it hopped away, I thought: ‘Dogs don’t do that!’”
Crossing the road was a leap in the dark for the wallaby in the Mail story.
Someone should tell these wild wanderers that roads are “out of bounds”...
Eddie Grabham, the News/Gazette’s former theatre critic, is a big fan of P. G. Wodehouse’s quirky and hilarious novels.
He is a member of the P. G. Wodehouse Society, and his other claims to fame include being a Dunstable Grammar School Old Boy.
So he was particularly delighted to bring a certain Wodehouse character to life in a “Balloon Debate” run by the society.
Who was the character? Alaric, the Duke of Dunstable.
The idea of the balloon debate was that various Wodehouse characters were aloft in an imaginary balloon and found themselves losing height.
The less worthy characters had to be given the old heave-ho to let the “balloon” regain height and soar skywards.
But who should go over the side, and who should stay?
All of the “characters” had to put forward arguments saying why they should survive, and why others should plummet without a parachute.
The characters were the Duke of Dunstable; Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge; the Empress of Blandings; Roderick Spode, the Earl of Sidcup; Rupert Psmith; George Pike, Lord Tilbury; and Aunt Dahlia, Dahlia Travers nee Wooster.
The Duke of Dunstable is an utter rotter. And the Empress of Blandings is, of course, a pig.
So the society’s website report on the debate expresses surprise that after an audience vote on who should stay in the balloon, the Duke of Dunstable and the Empress were the winners!
All the more surprising as the Duke is on far from friendly terms with the pig.
Eddie has a way with words – after all, he wrote From Grand To Grove, a history of theatres and cinemas in South Beds.
And after persuading an audience to save the dastardly Duke, our former theatre critic deserves a standing ovation!
I smiled at a typing error in a planning application document the other day.
The applicant requested permission for various bits and bobs.
Including an especially interesting piece of kit... “a sceptic tank”.
Will the contents of this septic tank be beyond belief?
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Weather for Luton
Sunday 26 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: South west