Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This evening, probably dozens of people will gather all over the world to commemorate Robert Burns, a versifier whose paltry talents encompassed alliteration and mispronunciation in near-equal nauseating measure.
Some of them will look like Mel Gibson in his madder moments.
Their faces will be painted partially blue.
And they will snarf sheep guts.


The famous Scots doggerel-meister was born on January 25th.
Seven years after he died, friends gathered to celebrate his life.
As indeed, many misguided Caledonians still do today.
This dubious objective is best achieved by eating haggis.
Which is one of the most monstrous things ever invented.

The Scots produce the finest woolens, tobaccos, and whiskeys.
And there are many wonderful foods in Scotland as well.
So the only logical explanation for haggis is a sado-masochistic streak a mile wide.
That also explains the deep-fried Snickers bars, btw.

Haggis is made by taking lamb 'plucks' (heart, lungs, liver - called 'plucks' because they can be yanked whole out of the animal carcass) and boiling them for several hours, then chopping them fine, adding oatmeal and onion, and finally stuffing the resultant ghastly pulp into a cleaned lamb stomach. After several hours of further steaming, this unmentionable object is brought forth from the incubation room while loud bagpipe music is played.
In order to swallow even a mouthful, you must get drunk first.
Strike that...
Drunk before, drunker during, and totally blotto after.

Vegetarian versions made with tofu are marginally less edible.

I prepared haggis once. The black muck that dripped out of the windpipe which hung over the rim of the cauldron while boiling the lungs fair made me sick.
Apparently it was a damned good haggis too, but I do not regret not eating any part of it.
Fortunately it wasn't my kitchen, or I'd have burned the house down.
Or at least gotten rid of the pots used to prepare the horror.

We invaded Irak for far less reason.
So the Scots had better watch out.

Philosophically, haggis makes complete sense. Especially if you're a Presbyterian, a Puritan, or a sour old prune.
Nice warm woolens? A very good thing.
Bagpipe music? Also a good thing.
Whisky? A mighty good thing!
Haggis provides a necessary contrast to all three of those that will keep you from sinning. There is NO danger of enjoying too much of a good thing when haggis is present. In fact, an excess of haggis will make you wake up screaming every night from the memories.

The quantity must be precisely calibrated to provide the perfect counterpoint.
In my humble estimation, being in the same county as a haggis is plenty.
Anything more, like inhaling the steam or even standing near it, is too much.

Reports indicate that eating haggis makes your voice go up several octaves.
Perfect for Bobby Burn's crappy poetry or the chipmunk song.
Problem is, it's likely to be permanent.

Let's hope that Scotland eventually produces a far better poet, so that we may soon celebrate that man's demise with good whisky, and finally eating something tasty, like partan bree.
Even smoked haddock, crappit head, or Cullen skink.
Anything but haggis!


Massive quantities of whisky will NOT get the taste of that nasty Pictish gut spackle out of one's mouth, or erase the trauma from one's subconscious.
Not even Ardbeg, which smells exactly like run-off from the Tracy tire fire. Ardbeg is a truly excellent Scotch with a horrific flavour which proves my contention that the Scots are sado-masochists.
I cannot think of a better made undrinkable product.

Well, possibly Red Stag could be worse.
But no one sentient touches that.
Nascar fans, perhaps.

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