It’s Burns Night and al roond the, patriotic Scots will be celebrating by eating haggis, hatties and neeps, playing the bagpipes badly (is there any other way to play the bagpipes, ye ken?), drinking copious measures of whisky and reciting love poems to a savoury pudding made from sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, lungs etc. minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices stuffed into the stomach the aforementioned shite came from. Reciting love poems tae a pudding doesnae seem a strange thing to dee after swallaein’ a lot of whisky, but I would need to be on industrial strength mind altering drugs to eat haggis.
I will therefore stick to that other example of exotic Scottish cuisine, the deep fried Mars Bar (pictured above).
For entertainment on this night of nights I offer my poem written to honour Scotland’s greatest (some say the humanity’s greatest) invention, Porridge. The style may appear to people who do not often read poetry to be moddelled on that of Robert Burns but in fact it owes more to
Rab C. Nesbit William Topaz McGonagall, reputed the worst poet ever to be published in the English language. The great thinh about McGonagall is that although he wrote his poems intending them to be read seriously, his ineptitude makes them hilarious. I have tried to capture the man’s style accurately.
To be read aloud in the voice of Scotty from Star Trek.
There is one thing inspires the men of oor land,
Puts lead in our pencil and gives strength to oor hand.
It is made with salt, treacle, oatmeal and grit,
Looks like wet concrete and tastes – well a bit
Like the Nectar in Heaven on which the gods feed,
Aye the Scots are a noble and well – favoured breed:
A statement with which I’m sure all will concur,
From the slopes of Ben Nevis to the streets of Edinburrrgh,
For a bowl of hot porridge can provide far more bliss
Than a night of sweet love or a song by Elvis.
Those who follow the religious teaching of John Calvin,
Will know pleasure for pleasures sake is a mortal sin,
Akin to drinking strong drink or spilling your jism,
But a fondness for porridge is like masochism,
And by any criteria does not qualify.
And that my good friends is the reason why
A fortunate fellow indeed is he
Whose wife knows how to make his porridge properly.
My verse is a poor pastiche of McGonagall. I do manage to lose the meter for a few lines but the great man wrote with utter disregard for rhythm, scansion, grammar, syntax, metaphor and any kind of feeling for language. So long as it rhymed it worked for him. In order to appreciate the gargantuan ineptitude of this unsung genius visit the link below.
The Burns Day joke in celebration of Robert Burns birthday.
On a visit to a military hospital where soldiers wounded in action in Iraq and Afghanistan were recovering from their injuries Barack Obama told the medics that he wanted to meet all the patients. Despite being warned it might not be possible, when the tour party came to a ward with a sign on the door that read: Absolutely No Entry except to specialist staff the President said he wanted to go in.
That really is not wise Mr. President, these men have a terrible condition, its best they remain quiet.
Nonsense, everybody is uplifted by my message of hopeanchange, the President insisted.
In that case I can’t refuse but want it noted Im, letting you in only under duress, the Doctor said.
They went in. Everything seemed normal, the patients lay quietly on beds, read or watched TV except for one who had painted his face blue and was standing on his bed declaiming:
Scots wha hae when Wallace bled,
Scots what Bruce has aftimed led,
Onward tae your gory bed,
Or tae victorie
The President took a step towards the man who produced a sgian-dubh from between the cheeks of his arse and, waving is menacingly continued:
The president’s bodyguards steered him away from the vetran but when Obama approached the man in the next bed and said, Hi buddy, howre you felling., the man sat bolt upright, his eyes widened and his nostrils flared as he began to recite:
Fairrr fa your honest sonsie face
great cheiftain o the pudding race,
aboon them a ye tak your place,
painch tipe and thairm.
Well worthy are ye o a grace
as langs my arm.
Oh jeez, thats terrible, the poor man, the President said to the Doctor. I wish I had listened to you now. Still I must greet all the men now Im here.
With that he headed for the next bed.
How you doin soldier and can I ask how do you feel about Osama bin Laden?
Again the mans demeanour changed as he began to recite:
Wee cowrin sleekit timrous beastie
oh what a panics in they breastie,
why wad ye run awa sae hastie
wi blethrin brattle.
I wad be laithe to run and chase thee
wi murdrn pattle.
Wow this really is terrible, is there any hope for these guys? Obama asked the Doctor who sadly shook his head as they approached the next bed.
Well, said Obama, maybe Id best change my approach, anything that reminds them of the war seems upsetting.
They came to the next bed where the President asked the occupant, How re the feeding you in here son?
The man lapsed into the familiar state and began to recite:
His knife sae rustic labour dight,
an cut you up wi ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch.
An then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm reekin rich.
”I’m sorry Doctor, Well have to leave now, I cant take any more of this,” said Obama, “What is wrong with these men, is it some terrible psychiatric affliction.”
The Doctor said, No Mr President, its the Burns unit.
BOOM BOOM !!!