Monday, January 23, 2006

There's None More Scots

Than The Scots Abroad, or so the song goes. Or, in terms of yearning for the old sod, there is the kilt, as defined by Bierce: n. A costume sometimes worn by Scotchmen in America and Americans in Scotland.

In furtherance of this sad yet true phenomenon, the writer purchased a kilt, in the family tartan (that of the Highland P's) for the purpose of making marital his relationship with mo-wo. In further furtherance of ye auld sadness, he destroyed a fifth of single malt in the parking lot of the Ukrainian Catholic church prior to the ceremony, and very nearly the ceremony, while 2.5 kilts to the wind. Ah, good times.

But enough of that digression, that little, yet exceptionally distasteful, picture of my soul. I am writing about that foodstuff which is more stuff than food, that being haggis. This ought require no extensive description in terms of contents but apparently requires an address in approximately 48 lines of inpenetrable Scots, courtesy of the long dead bard of Scotland, R. Burns. It starts like this:

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!

Good times, great rhymes- Come to Scotland. Bring your own food. I can recall the lowest low of touristy nonsense during our honeymoon in Scotland, it was our trip to the mystical Falls of Lora, highly touted in the guide book, or a pamphlet found in a pub on some liquid evening. The Falls of Lora sounded impressive, and to some extent they were, as I am left with this impression some 10 years hence. I can recall our determination to see this Natural Wonder, this thundering torrent, as we drove through the land of approximately 25% of my forebears, how our anticipation became frothy as it rose to its climax, the roadside signs drawing us ever nearere to the FALLS OF LORA. The sound of the blood rushing in our ears as we neared our destination, walking along the trail under a substantial and impressive turn of the century iron bridge, nearer, ever nearer, until we saw... fuck all. We heard: complete silence. The Falls of Lora do not fall. They rise. About 8 inches, if you get there at the right time of day, which we didn't. They are the product (geographically speaking) of some kind of tidal inversion and (touristically speaking) the same evil culture that created (and promulgated) the Bay City Rollers and Haggis. If not for the gnarly malts this is a nation that could be towed out to sea to fend for itself... wait a second, it has, notwithstanding the booze!

This past Saturday I was at the butcher's, basking in the cold smells of animal fragments, when the lady next to me asked the counter man to get her the haggis she had "reserved" the day before. I was brought back to fond childhood memories (of some other person) regarding Robbie Burns Day celebrations at our home, the trips down to Reid's on Granville for the most reliable haggis in town (until the English shut them down- now I shop at "Windsor" Packing. Windsor!), the sawdust on the floor, my mother's hand, the man in the white apron smiling as he hands her the haggis. I think "I will renew this tradition, watered down Scot that I am, in memory of my dead forebears." Of course, I cannot not recall actually eating, or if eating, enjoting the haggis. Nonetheless, in my stunned reverie, I purchased a wee puddin'.

I returned home with my bounty, and haggis, to mo-wo's cries of "You will not cook that in this house!". So now, the haggis sits silently, strangely, in the fridge. Will I steam it, will I take that risk? I don't know. I fear I will will throw out the haggis, since my stepmom just delivered to us about 5 gallons of "porcupines", some type of beef sphere-thing which more closely resembles what I imagine a partly digested tribble would look like, if passed through the alimentary canal of a boa constrictor, if tribbles were constituted to no small extent of carrot sticks.

In closing, I recall an ad campaign in support of oatmeal: If it's not Scottish- it's crap! Don't believe it.


Blogger Andrea said...

My friend Johnathan is a geologist and a poet. He was asked to do the annual tribuite speach at the Burns party in Paris. He wrote a long tribute to him on his blog:

My mothers family is scottish and my brother was a highland dancer for a while. Did all that sword stuff. I cant dance even a little.

11:31 p.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:55 a.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

So that rambling tale and still daddy-o skipped the best part.

So his Mama used to take him to Reid's around this time to get the pud' and the butcher in his best brogue would ask the lad. "Ey, sonny do you like haggis?"

Being the b*shit artist of longstanding that he is wee lad's response? "Aye, sir I eat it everyday for breakfast!"

So do you think I should test the genes of our lassie and let him cook the damnable thing? Maybe we will discover a toddler who shuns toast but will routinely eat sheep's bladder for breakfast?

You know I would allow it... but with the Talisker embargo put on by the fetus I feel I stand without my crucial defenses.

Happy Robbie Burns all and allow me to introduce one of our local burns boosters at gunghaggisfatchoy

8:57 a.m.  
Blogger L. said...

Oh, haggis -- at least it`s cooked! My father-in-law offers me these, sliced and raw:

10:33 a.m.  
Blogger The Teacher said...

I love haggis with lots of gravy. It's really just like spiced stuffing...and they don't cook it in a sheep's bladder any more. Now it's just plain old sausage casing. Have some for me! I didn't get any this Robbie Burns Day, although we eat it once every couple months anyway.

9:15 p.m.  
Blogger Dutch said...

what the fuck was drunk p-man doing with a broadsword at his own wedding? seriously, what's up with that braveheart shit? I've been to kilty groomsmen weddings with all the trappings and bagpipes, but I have never been to one that involved a drunk groom with a broadsword.

12:38 p.m.  
Blogger mo-wo said...

yeah, Dutch, that's pretty much what my mother said.

9:05 p.m.  

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