REPORTS of the wonderful one's demise are sadly exaggerated, to paraphrase a saying from the great Mark Twain. Apparently there were fears on Sunday that Withers had made a second attempt to end it all - the first coming when he dramatically threw himself off a kerb on New Year's Day and tried to impale himself on his own teeth.
The latest drama came about after a frustrating weekend when half the unemployed population of south Wales descended on his house as invited guests of one of his new flatmates. They proceeded to party loudly and doss on the floor.
Of course, Withers decided to take the bull by the horns and order them to leave his home... No, of course he didn't. His actual response was to petulantly storm out of the house and go for a long walk along the Taff trail. Wearing just a pair of converse baseball boots he traipsed all the way to Caerphilly, reached the town's limits, then turned around and hobbled back, his feet now badly damaged from this foolhardy act of self-abuse. He didn't even see the sights of Caerphilly while he was there (well, they do have a castle, anyway).
Fortunately, by the time he got back to Cardiff he had received a text from the Prince of Darkness offering him the solace of a pint or six in The Yard. With nothing better to go, and fearing what awaited him at home, what else could he do but accept this generous invitation.
Meanwhile, back at chez Withers his other flatmate the gentle Grace was a mite worried. She hadn't seen The Wonderful One all day and was fearing the worst, for some reason (couldn't be his morbid demeanor surely?).
She decided to take the bull by the horns and tapped on his bedroom door. No reply. She rapped a bit harder. Nothing. My God, thought Grace, these uninvited guests have driven him to his own destruction.
Her hand moved towards his bedroom door handle. But Grace, being a woman of sound mind, suddenly realised that she couldn't abandon all common sense and go where no other member of the female sex had ventured before (at least, none of sound mind). Yet, fearing that he might be lying there rotting, what should she do?
Grace's answer was to phone her dad and ask him to go around to the house. Mr Grace entered, took a deep breath and opened the door to the Withers boudoir to find... nothing. Course not, he was still down the pub with the Prince, wasn't he?
A fine tale but it did leave me asking one question. Why on earth didn't the gentle Grace try ringing Withers first? Might have saved a whole lot of anguish.