Friday, February 10, 2017


One of the members of the local pipe club is of Scottish descent, and actively promotes things such as Burns Night and the wearing of skirts. Which is somewhat in keeping with being a pipe smoker, as Scotland is known for good tobacco (not grown there, no longer made there or likely even sold there, but sometimes found there in the days when Britain was great), fine woolen cloth, and plain albeit truly bizarre food.
Have a bit of skink with your haggis, dear.
Ooh, lovely, and thankee kindly.
Black buns?

At our recent meeting he made the staggering claim that Robert Burns was a splendid poet.

Look, I suppose that if you've got only one (1) versifier, whatever he does is jes' wunnerful and worth celebrating, but the world might not agree.

Besides, you are forgetting Ewan McTeagle.

This blogger is not vested in Scottish poetry or cuisine, and would argue that such things don't actually exist, or, if they do, that they shouldn't. At the meeting I smoked two bowls of McConnell's Folded Flake in stunned silence, before making off with the open tin of GLP's Union Square.

Mr. Shaw disquisitioned for slightly over an hour on the romance and beauty of Scotland and its glorious history of violent real-estate transactions.
With visuals, and a wee sidetrack into liquor.

He had come well prepared. He was wearing a kilt (and a tiny sword), he had coloured slides, and there were bottles.


For the benefit of the club exile stuck in the snows of Boston these past few years, as well as the members presently living among the Hobbits in New Zealand, here are two videos that perfectly encapsulate the all-too brief history of Caledonia presented last night.



It was a good meeting, and there was some lovely baccy floating around. The weather, though rainy, was warmish, and because the subcontinental liberal did not come to irritate the Hibernian savage, the cigar lounge at the far end of the building was peaceful, rather than the pit of howling madness and outraged screaming it normally is. They did not disturb us civilized smokers like they usually do.

[Irish tobacco: what you smoke to disguise the odeur of your mildewed tweed.]

As a lagniappe, here is an infestation of pipers:


Particular mention must be made of the lovely shortbread provided by Neal (there were two types, he baked them himself ) and the fact that more Rattray tobacco was consumed last night than any other brand; Old Gowrie, Hal O'The Wynd, Black Mallory, i drugiye togo tipo.

Afterwards, the kilt-wearing individual with the hairy calves, a graphic artist, and a Dutch person all repaired to a tavern, where yet more whisky was consumed and tobacco enjoyed. The two first mentioned gentlemen retired after a while, but the Netherlander stayed to stir up revolution and insult the Trumpites, certain he could find such among the cigar smokers present.

As a matter of principle, I wish to state there are more cretins and potential thugs among cigar smokers than any other segment of the population, and that it is a grievous burden when well-brought-up pipe smokers are forced to share space with those repulsive bastards.
What is this world coming to?

We share Scotch, but that is all.


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All correspondence will be kept in confidence.


Anonymous said...

From the snowy depths of New England:

Shame, shame.

How can you extol the glories of Scottish verse without even mentioning the immortal William McGonagall? As Stephen Pile in his classic The book of Heroic Failures put it, McGonagall the poet was "so giftedly bad he backed unwittingly into genius" as in:

The Tay Bridge Disaster (1880)

Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay!
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

'Twas about seven o'clock at night,
And the wind it blew with all its might,
And the rain came pouring down,
And the dark clouds seemed to frown,
And the Demon of the air seem'd to say -
"I'll blow down the Bridge of Tay."

When the train left Edinburgh
The passengers' hearts were light and felt no sorrow,
But Boreas blew a terrific gale,
Which made their hearts for to quail,
And many of the passengers with fear did say -
"I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay."

But when the train came near to Wormit Bay,
Boreas he did loud and angry bray,
And shook the central girders of the Bridge of Tay
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

So the train sped on with all its might,
And Bonnie Dundee soon hove in sight,
And the passengers' hearts felt light,

Thinking they would enjoy themselves on the New Year,
With their friends at home they lov'd most dear,
And wish them all a happy New Year.

So the train mov'd slowly along the Bridge of Tay,
Until it was about midway,
Then the central girders with a crash gave way,
And down went the train and passengers into the Tay!
The Storm Fiend did loudly bray,
Because ninety lives had been taken away,
On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

As soon as the catastrophe came to be known
The alarm from mouth to mouth was blown,
And the cry rang out all o'er the town,
Good heavens! the Tay Bridge is blown down,
And a passenger train from Edinburgh,
Which fill'd all the people's hearts with sorrow,
And made them all for to turn pale,
Because none of the passengers were sav'd to tell the tale
How the disaster happen'd on the last Sabbath day of 1879,
Which will be remember'd for a very long time.

It must have been an awful sight,
To witness in the dusky moonlight,
While the Storm Fiend did laugh, and angry did bray,
Along the Railway Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay.
Oh! ill-fated Bridge of the Silv'ry Tay,
I must now conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without least dismay,
That your central girders would not have given way,
At least many sensible men do say,
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses,
At least many sensible men confesses,
For the stronger we our houses do build,
The less chance we have of being killed.


The back of the hill said...


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