back to article Good folk of Forfar: Alan Hattel would like you all to know he's not dead despite what it says on his tombstone

Like the unfortunate soul who finds himself being loaded onto a cart of plague victims in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a bloke from Forfar in Scotland has had to declare himself "still alive" after finding his name on a headstone in a local graveyard. Speaking to Dundee-based newspaper The Courier, 75-year-old Alan Hattel …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alan's not dead. In fact, he feels happy and is waiting for your cal

    He's about to get a call from Bruce Willis saying, "you know, it's a funny thing but something a bit similar happened to me once...."

  2. OssianScotland

    "Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated"

    Mark Twain

    Alternatively (and appropriately after yesterday's news):

    "He's not dead... he's probably pining for the fjords"

    1. Alan J. Wylie

      Dave Swarbrick, the fiddle player, on reading his obituary in The Daily Telegraph: "It's not the first time I've died in Coventry."

  3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Normally I'd argue that it's just a rumour and that nothing's set in stone, but....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just a grave mistake

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Nothing to die for really.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          A timely reminder not to take anything for granite.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge


            Which, ironically, is a known source of radon gas - long-term exposure to which will probably kill you..

            (Like my F-I-L - he was a monumental mason, working mostly in granite. He died of cancer in 1977. Hopefully, my wife wasn't exposed to radon quite so much..)

      2. Anonymous Coward

        We need a new rite

        Forget the right to be forgotten, we need a rite to be remembered.

    2. Mike Moyle

      ...but a clever plot on the part of the late missus!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a fellow Loon I hope Alan can continue to enjoy his bridies for a few years yet.

    1. BoldMan

      My mother was from Forfar (managed to escape to England to marry my Father) and the bridie is the best thing in Forfar by a long way!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was born there and spent 20 odd years living there, sod bombing Slough, Forfar should be higher on the list.....heck the Gallowshade estate featured on a Scottish Executive publication on "failed housing developments" alongside Sighthill and other "rough" areas....its Forfar's Ghetto in many respects, often due to the local authority dumping their problems there "out of sight and out of mind", the primary school that serves that area has a lot of kids with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome....which is really telling...

  5. Raging Bool

    Footie result...

    "East Fife 4, Forfar - alive?"

    1. smudge

      Re: Footie result...

      Forfar's... alive???

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Footie result...

        Don't be flash

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Footie result...

        Forfar's... alive???

        No disassemle!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Footie result...

      perhaps there'll be dancing in the streets o' Raith tonight...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. smudge

          Re: Footie result...

          Just coming up to the 20th anniversary of that, on 8th February.

          We were hoping for a repeat of that match, but have been drawn at home to Livingston :(

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Footie result...

        I can't tell if "Raith" was meant to be Wraith or Wreath. Depending where you are in Scotland they sound the same anyway. :-)

        1. Woza

          Re: Footie result...

          Could be White Court vampires.

          (The coat with Dresden Files in the pocket - another bloke with a pre-mortem grave)

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Spike Mulligan...

    "Spike Milligan's epitaph includes the phrase Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite, Irish for "I told you I was ill."

    "His words of wisdom was voted ahead of Oscar Wilde’s "Either those curtains go or I do" and Frank Sinatra’s "The best is yet to come" by a considerable margin.

    One in 10 voters chose Wilde's while seven per cent voted for Sinatra's.

    Next was Mel Blanc's "that's all folks", followed by Frank Carson with "what a way to lose weight’ while Winston Churchill was next.

    The former Prime Minister finished sixth with: "I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Blofeld's Cat

      Re: Spike Mulligan...

      "Here Lies Harry Secombe, until further notice."

      "There goes the neighborhood" - Rodney Dangerfield

      "I will not be right back after this message" - Merv Griffin

    3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Spike Mulligan...

      To quote a line from one of his poems:

      "And Fred sir, in bed sir, was dead sir.."

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Spike Mulligan...

        It was the cough that carried him off.

        And the coffin they carried him off in.

        1. Ghostman

          Re: Spike Mulligan...

          Here Lies Lester Moore

          Four Slugs From A 44

          No Less

          No Moore

          Actual grave marker in Boothill Graveyard Tombstone, Arizona

  7. johnnybee


    "A mistake has been made,

    It's a fact they can't hide,

    Though I'm partly to blame,

    It cannot be denied,

    There ain't no use defendin',

    It seems I've been tendin',

    The wrong grave for 23 years..."

  8. smudge

    Why no calls?

    "My phone hasn't rung for three or four months. I've been confused by it all but now I know why nobody has been calling."

    Aye, right. I always scour the local graveyards before phoning anyone. Don't we all?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Why no calls?

      Aye, right. I always scour the local graveyards before phoning anyone. Don't we all?

      Don't forget that the average septuagenarian didn't grow up with social media, so tends to use old fashioned ways of doing things.

    2. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Why no calls?

      Yeah... my first though was something along those lines. I suspect he may just not be very popular. Perhaps he made a faux pas so terrible at a party and dug himself a metaphorical hole so deep that people have essentially buried him alive. I always worry I'll do that one day.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Why no calls?

        But have you been thinking up an emergency faux pas in case a real one doesn't come along in time?

  9. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    He need some new friends

    if they get their social life updates by patrolling the graveyard.

    1. Danny 2

      Re: He need some new friends

      It'll be in the local paper obits.

      I was devastated when Sammy Squirrel from the West Lothian Courier told me my first love had married. I fear the day when Sammy tells me she's died.

    2. Mike Moyle

      Re: He need some new friends

      "if they get their social life updates by patrolling the graveyard."

      Honestly, that *IS*, increasingly, where I have to go if I want to visit some of my closest friends from my college days... :-(

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Berta can not be reached because she is below that stone.

    She had probably ordered the stone before their breakup

  11. Danny 2

    Two days to Burns Night

    I've never prematurely buried an ex before. Wish I'd thought of it.

    The Burns Unit - Since We've Fallen Out

    You've quit town

    Ahead of me

    We've fallen out

    At least on this we're agreed

    So don't come around

    No checking up on me

    Since we've fallen out

    I've been left here to seethe

    And your enemies

    Became my closest friends

    Since we've fallen out

    Fallen right over the edge

    My patience wore

    And my temper thinned

    Since we've fallen out

    Never to make up again

    Never to make up again

    Such a waste of a friendship

    Since we've fallen out

    Spiralled out of existence

    So forget that we happened

    I've picked over the bones

    Since we've fallen out

    I've tortured and torn

    My soul from its core

    My soul is ripped from its core

    Since we've fallen out

    I don't believe anymore

  12. andy 103

    Sounds like he has no friends

    If nobody attended his funeral.

    This is actually 1 potential positive of social media. Most people post updates as banal as "done 4 loads of washing today" so all their friends know that Karen The Tosser is still alive and kicking.

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like he has no friends

      Or a bot, or a bot or some other person hijacked account.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like he has no friends

      There are no upsides to Social Media unless you own the site.

  13. Stork Silver badge

    Continuous Lifecycle London

    Is it by purpose it's advertised underneath?

  14. Mystic Megabyte

    I buried a priest!

    At the first funeral that I ever attended I was the grave digger, pall bearer and mourner. For the sake of his family I'll be vague with the location.

    I was in a foreign country working as a gardener and just after lunchtime was told to go and dig a grave. A priest on holiday had died and due to local religious practices had to be buried before sunset, it was a Friday. Another chap and I set to digging but there were many large stones in the soil, so by the time the coffin arrived the grave was only four feet deep.

    The next problem was that we only had one short piece of rope. I jumped into the grave and lowered down one end of the coffin whereupon everyone reverently stood back a pace. As his wife was there I did not want to stand on the coffin to escape the grave, it does not look good! I had to ask someone to help me out.


  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg slipping

    Where's the:

    Fit Fifer from Forfar fights for fault on final resting place

    1. John 110

      Re: El Reg slipping

      Do I have to be the first pedant to point out that Forfar isnae in Fife?

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: El Reg slipping

        Yes but to be even more pedantic - he could have been born in Fife (making him a Fifer) then moved to Forfar. Is Fifer status permanent? Would that make one a Fifer Lifer?

        Presumably when the gentleman in the article does pass on, he’ll be with his Forfarthers once again.

  16. JimC

    Its the grave of their marriage....


  17. IR

    Phones work both ways. Why is he waiting around for a call when he could be making them himself?

    1. Funkymunky

      Clearly you are not Scots

      Calling someone else costs money...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Courier - aka the daily bigot

    For years made their living out of stories about devil worshippers, homophobic hate and smear campaigns, paedophilia scandals,

    Paper is thin as cream cracker now and subscription dropping rapidly, so they are trotting out "you can't judge our reader numbers just by the papers we sell"

    Latest pieces of bigotry - hounding and harassing a gender neutral councillor, whipping up transphobia, whipping up a "scandal" about a bdsm club with a mainly homosexual membership (it previously was a gay sauna) and AFTER the owner politely invited them in for a look around and to try to set the record straight that it was an adults only private members club for both genders or none. Next week - MSPs call for "GAY SEX CLUB" to be shuttered, when in reality they picked 1 elderly MSP who offered some mealy mouthed comments on the matter, due to the ick factor "I'm fully in support of folk doing what they want behind closed doors, but councils are trying to get rid of sex venues etc etc etc" (ignoring it's not a sex club like a strip club or a lap dancing bar, but instead a private club where consenting adults go, pay a membership and entry fee and indulge in activites with other consenting adults, owner is strict about behaviour policies and has stated he has and will remove anyone not following the rules, has information sessions with health workers, provides free condoms etc, trying to whip up a belated "scandal" about gender neutral toilets in schools despite them having been in operation without any issue for SEVEN years and in fact have reduced bullying, vandalism and other disorder markedly (gender neutral being individual cubicles with floor to ceiling doors and walls, so wholly enclosed with a central sink area, schools report no complaints, students the council has talked to have no complaints about it, yet the paper quotes one transphobic busy body screaming "think of the children" "there's a cover up going on" "the girls will too afraid to speak out" etc etc etc, when thats utter and total cobblers.

    A lot of the non bookface local pages even comment about how much of a joke their reporting is, often bearing no resemblance to reality and its no wonder their readership is in terminal decline...

    I'd rate the Sun as a more accurate "news" source than The Courier any day of the week (ditto for its sister papers Evening Telegraph and the "Sunday Post" (readership in free fall down to sub 100K copies sold in total)

  19. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Memorial Bench

    Perhaps Mr Hattel should consider a dedicating a Memorial Bench in his memory!

    "Alan Hattel is still alive"

    I quite liked..

    "In memory of Miles Kington, who hated this spot, because there was never anywhere to sit down and enjoy it from"

  20. Mandoscottie

    holy cow pats!

    coulda warned me id read my home town on the reg!

    Poor Alan, ill nip up the road and chap his door :D

    reminds me of an old north joke (too long to tell)

    Jock Reid, drapped deid,

    Tractor for sale.

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