Friday, 26 January 2018

Four ways to tell you married a Scotsman (Happy Rabbie Burns Day!)

By Melodie Campbell (Bad Girl)

Yes, it's a repeat.  And dang it, the darn post didn't post on the day I scheduled it to (new glasses coming immediately.)  But how could we let a year go by without revisiting this?

I didn’t start out with the last name of Campbell.  No sir, I had to earn it, like every self-respecting Italian gal who marries into the Highlands. Part of that involved saying Yes at the altar.  Another part entailed rolling one’s eyes and sighing with stoic good nature when faced with the following:

I don’t pretend to know who got the original idea to put a sheep’s bladder over a wooden pipe and blow into the thing while squeezing.  Rumour has it that during the retreat, the Romans left one behind as a joke.  The resulting sound of a bagpipe winding up has been likened to unspeakable things being done to a cat.  But I’m thinking this whole sheep bladder thing explains a lot.  I mean, we know the original purpose of those things (bladders, not sheep.)  How exactly did some smart guy think they would sound?  Which brings me to…

I don’t know if you have ever tried haggis.  But I reckon it all started at the bagpipe factory, when they realized they had a few extra stomachs hanging around.  Some savvy Scotsman said, “Hey!  We could fill this with oatmeal and suet and serve it to all the people we hate. Like our inlaws.  And relatives. Particularly on special occasions, and before going to war.” There is simply one word to describe haggis:  DON’T. 

It could be a virtue.  But take it from me.  People who are determined to make music via sheep bladders, and then are equally determined to stuff animal stomachs with oatmeal and feed them to people, may be taking the ole saving money thing a tad too far. 

Thrift 2.0
We have a saying in our family, and that saying is, “Kiltworthy.”  If something is kiltworthy, it means that said purchase was a real steal (as in stealing sheep for bladders. But I digress.)  It could also mean that no purchase was necessary, as said Scotsman was able to recreate a facsimile of a reasonably working item from leftover ceiling spackle and duct tape.  

I am married to a man who worships at the altar of the God called Kiltworthy.  He can fix pretty well anything with a little glue and a big hammer.

Strangely enough, I originally took Kiltworthy to have an entirely different meaning.  Without going into detail, I can attest to the fact that the Scotsman I married is indeed Kiltworthy.  He has great knees.  Oh, so you were expecting me to say something else…


  1. Notes from the Invention of Haggis

    Ian: I ’ear Germans stuff intestines full o’ meats. Frankfurters, they call it, bratwurst, braunwurst, liverwurst. I done the same. Want a sample, Mac?
    Mac: Hahgg… Hahggg… Holy shite… Hahggth…
    Ian: Don’t choke, Laddie.
    Mac: Hahgg… Hahggth…
    Ian: Aye, that’s a brilliant name. Genius! Let’s call it haggis.
    Mac: Hahgg… Oh Jesus. Haghhth. Ian, did ye clean the contents out first?
    Ian: Is that how it’s done?
    Mac: ‘Wurst’ is a clue.
    Ian: You admit it has a certain piquancy.
    Mac: Aye, if ye leave arf the last two syllables.

    1. AAAAHHHHHH - the true origin of the name Hahggg...
      I am giggling. That was my reaction entirely. Wurst, indeed. Velma, you could sell this routine. Hurry, before I steal it :)

  2. Notes from the Invention of Bagpipes

    Mac: What ye doing, Ian? What is that?
    Ian: I left the sheep stomach out in the sun. Look how nice it swelled, like blowing up a rubber glove.
    Mac: Who blows up rubber gloves?
    Ian: As the gases leak out, listen how sweet the sounds.
    Mac: Jesus, if ye can stand the smell. What are those… those holes?
    Ian: I had to look them up in the dictionary: s-p-h-i-n-c-t-”
    Mac: Oh, Sweet Mary deliver me, no.
    Ian: If you sit on it like a cushion, just ye wee bag and pipe…
    Mac: Oh, Jesus. You invented a farting machine?
    Ian: Say, bag and pipe… that’s a good name! Sell them in joke catalogues.

  3. And another...I think Mac and Ian need to have their own show. Or at least, their own column. Velma, you need to continue this in a more legit forum than my blog (for legit, read 'classy'.) Looking forward to more...

  4. As a non-Scots who grew up in a super-Scots&Irish part of Southern Ontario, I've always thought bagpipes were sort of like how Watson first opines on violins to Holmes. Played well, they are stirring, sublime, a pleasure for the gods. Played poorly... well.