Literature: The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass

A series of works by British Christian humourist Adrian Plass based on his own day-to-day experiences, depicting a fictionalised version of himself as the main character - a husband and father and member of a Charismatic church perpetually getting caught up in the latest crazes and events, written in the form of a diary. The title is of course a pun on The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole.

It began as a regular magazine column, but has led to several volumes:

  • The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass Aged 37
  • The Horizontal Epistles of Andromeda Veal
  • The Theatrical Tapes of Leonard Thynn
  • The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, Christian Speaker, aged 45
  • The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass On Tour, age far too much to be put on the front cover of a book
  • The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass: The Church Weekend

The main cast besides Plass himself consists of his wife Anne, their son Gerald and Adrian's recovering alcoholic friend Leonard Thynn, but beyond that there are Loads and Loads of Characters.

Contains examples of:

  • Absurdity Ascendant: Often.
    • "Buy a tree-frog and call it Kaiser Bill"
    • Richard Cook's "pictures", which he claims are heavenly revelations, tend to fall into this area, such as a vision of a jellyfish named Stewart nailed to a dartboard with a dagger.
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: Two characters in a sketch written by Gerald in Theatrical Tapes are prone to this.
    Richard (complaining the sketch was unrealistic): All that stuff about acronyms was completely O.T.T.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: At one point Adrian becomes obsessed with giving a talk with three alliterative points because it's all the rage, but after coming up with "Humility" and "Holiness", is stuck. He unwisely turns to Gerald and Leonard for help, who suggest Henry Cooper, Haggis, Horstead Keynes...
  • Brick Joke: Fairly early on in the first book, Adrian has the thought "Buy a tree frog and name it Kaiser Bill" appear in his head, and writes it down just in case it was sent by God. Towards the end of the book, Gerald is having a conversation with some visitors from the church about the various embarassing mistakes Adrian's made during previous parts of the book. Anne comes in saying she's discovered this note in Adrian's handwriting while doing the washing, and Adrian decides to change the subject by insisting she read it in front of everyone...
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Relative: Uncle Ralph
  • The Comically Serious: Richard Cook.
  • Composite Character: Gerald - the real Adrian Plass has four children.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Leonard Thynn
  • Deadpan Snarker: Anne and (often) Gerald.
  • Dreadful Band: Gerald's Christian Garage Band "Bad News for the Devil," which Adrian notes sounds like "a piano falling down a lift-shaft with someone trapped under the lid."
  • Eccentric Mentor: Edwin Burlesford and Frank Braddock
  • Embarrassing First Name: Stenneth Flushpool, who was so named because his parents couldn't agree on whether to call him Kenneth or Stanley and the hard-of-hearing vicar as the christening heard the medley as a portmanteau.
    • Vladimir Spool, a very English Anglican vicar, so named because his father was a Russian vodka salesman.
  • The Fundamentalist: Richard Cook is a harmless example, his wife Doreen...less so.
    • Their son, Charles Cook. Until he decides to give up on Christianity all together.
    • The Flushpools. However, they get better.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Frank Braddock.
  • God Is Good: "God is nice and he likes us."
  • Happily Married: Bill and Kitty Dove.
  • Henpecked Husband: Stenneth Flushpool
  • Hurricane of Puns: The entire book "The Horizontal Epistles of Andromeda Veal."
  • Hypocritical Humor: Lots of the laughs in the book (especially those produced by the title character) come from this sort of humor.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: One that Adrian is completely unable to understand at the time, and only gets the explanation from Gerald in return for explaining how Everett Glander was converted by Norman Wisdom in a pub. Adrian had tried to mend Percy Brain's leaking roof but didn't have enough bits of slate. Gerald had called it "a futile gesture". few-tile
  • Kwyjibo: Thynn at one point insists that "vquex" is a valid Scrabble word, claiming it's a cross between a ferret and a giraffe. Gerald objects on the grounds that the mating act between the two would be physically impossible.
  • Looped Lyrics: Bad News for the Devil's song "Peace Will Come" which consists of two verses, the first verse consisting of "peace will come" and the second of "peace has come."
  • Malaproper: Andromeda Veal, about everyone and everything. Other characters also have their moments, such as Leonard Thynn mistaking "generic term" for "geriatric tern" while discussing types of curry, and then assuming that an Indian restaurant serves 'elderly seagull done in the tandoori style' as a dish.
  • No, Except Yes: Mrs Thynn (Leonard's mother) maintains that she's not deaf, she just sometimes can't hear you.
  • Noodle Incident: We never get a satisfactory explanation for why Leonard keeps borrowing Adrian's cat, though we are told that it involves a reel-to-reel tape recorder. In a later book, Leonard explains that he just wanted an excuse to come round.
  • No Sense of Humor: Richard and Doreen Cook and Mrs. Flushpool at least until she mellows
  • Overly Preprepared Gag: Gerald's pun about wanting to go on a boat to Rotarua, New Zealand, with a girl called Rhoda who is both more angry and insolent than another girl called Rhoda, and whose task is to decide what order the oarsmen should do their work in. The redder ruder Rhoda wrote a rota to row to Rotarua.
    • A more minor example in "Theatrical Tapes". Firstly there is an argument about whether the title 'Chairman' for Adrian is sexist and they decide to cut it down to the non gender specific 'Chair', which a confused Mrs Thynn keeps giving as 'Wardrobe'. Then, Stenneth and Victoria Flushpool show up and Stenneth is asked to read out part of a poem about being a lion.
      Ann: If we had Stenneth, Victoria and you all in a line, we could do The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!
  • Pungeon Master: Gerald.
    • Other characters sometimes get their moments as well, such as Frank Braddock claiming that he is certain to go to Heaven because he is a member of the Marylebone Cricket Club. "My M.C.C. membership card guarantees me entry at any time, and at all times, to The Lords Enclosure."
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder:
    • Richard Cook claims his dreams are prophetic visions, but rather ruins the effect by (after talking about one that sounds like it could possibly be one) casually adds that "after a short further dream about getting into a bath full of Smarties wearing a Batman costume, I woke up".
    • In an earlier book he had a vision of a jellyfish called Stewart nailed to a dartboard, which Adrian ends up being forced to write a poem about.
  • Quirky Household: The Plasses, of course, and Leonard (who might as well live there)
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Adrian at times.
  • Self-Deprecation: Plass writes his fictionalised version as hapless and slow on the uptake. This was lampshaded in a Mind Screw moment when the fictional Plass got to see a production of The Theatrical Tapes of Leonard Thynn (which was of course written about the same version of the character) and was insulted by his portrayal (as was Thynn, who was offended at being played as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander).
    • All the books are effectively a series of "Take that us!" about Christians (one of which, if read the top of this page, Adrian is).
  • Significant Anagram: Not plot-important, but Gerald is always coming up with them as a Running Gag. Some examples:
  • Single-Issue Wonk: Stephanie Wigeon only ever seems to say one thing (that a church is a group of people not a building) and keeps telling people it as though she's never said it before.
  • Spoonerism: After having accidentally signed up to give a children's talk, Adrian immediately puts his foot on it by starting with a spoonerism-
    Adrian: Once upon a time there was a crappy little gab called Hordon - I mean a happy little crab called Gordon!
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: Andromeda
  • Wham Episode: Adrian comes to look past his own problems when Cool Old Lady Kitty Dove passes away in an emotional scene.
  • What's a Henway?: Gerald loves (especially) setting Richard up for these.
  • World of Pun: And how!

Alternative Title(s):

The Sacred Diary Of Adrian Plass