By Melodie Campbell (Bad Girl)
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:
1. Bagpipes. 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, some of my Roman ancestors 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…
2. Haggis. 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 bladders 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.” From bladders, they moved on to stomachs, which was a great improvement, I'm told. They keep telling me. Every Robbie Burns day.
There is simply one word to describe haggis: DON’T.
3. Thrift. 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 said bladders (okay, stomachs) with oatmeal and feed them to people, may be taking the ole saving money thing a wee bit too far.
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 tangle of scrap wire and old socks.
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…
Said Scotsman, in days of yore, with unsuspecting Italian babe.