Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Haggis Fairy

**Note:  I realize that this entry may not be viewed as "timely," but I'm a rule flouting maverick.  Just Watch--I might even do a Christmas blog tomorrow or something crazy like that.

I am of Scottish ancestry.  I am from the Clan Galbraith (don’t think that I haven’t noticed the unmitigated irony of being related to one of the greatest economists of the 20th Century, but the distant relation to Stephen Colbert works as a balm).  We have a coat of arms with a bear on it.  We even have a family castle:  Castle Culcreuch near Dumbarten in southern Scotland...they rent it out for weddings and all sorts of things. 

I’m proud of being Scottish.  Scotland rocks. 

That being said, we Scots kind of gets the shaft when it comes to holidays and magical creatures and such.  Of course, we’re better off than Finland.  Hammaspeikko is a Finnish tooth troll who is attracted by all of the candy that little children eat.  He comes to the children at night and drills holes in their teeth.  Hell, I think I’m going to start warding against Hammaspeikko now and I’m not even Finnish.

As with all of our “deep” conversations, Baby Belle 1 asked me a question in the car as I was driving her to school one day (I really don’t think that child is going to be satisfied until she gets me into a wreck).  The discussion occurred around St. Patrick’s Day and—while doggedly kicking the back of my seat—she asked, “Mama, what’s St. Patrick’s Day about?”

“You go to Catholic school.  They haven’t told you?”

“I want to hear it from you.”

[Sigh] “Okay, St. Patrick lived in Ireland and the story goes that he led all the snakes out of Ireland.  Seeing as most folks don’t love snakes, they decided that what he did was a good thing and they celebrate him on the day that he allegedly drove them out.”



“ it true?”

[Drawing on my vast storehouse of useless trivia]  “Well, most people don’t think that there are any snakes in Europe—where Ireland is—but there is a poisonous snake known as the European Adder.  I don’t know if there are any in Ireland or not.”

“Did the leprechauns help St. Patrick?”

“Maybe.  We’re not Irish, so I don’t know all of the deets.  Maybe they’re like Santa’s Elves.  St. Patrick’s Leprechauns.”

“What are we if we aren’t Irish?”

“We’ll, I’m Scottish, so you’ve got that in you.  We don’t exactly know where your daddy’s people come from...although your Grandpa has suggested that they are descended from horse thieves.  I don’t know how serious he is about that.”

“Where is Scottish?”

“It’s called Scotland.  Scotland is actually right next to Ireland, but there’s an ocean in between.”

“They don’t have leprechauns in Scotland?”


“What do they have in Scotland?”


Well, like most conversations with Baby Belle 1, that set me to thinking.  Why don’t Scots get a cool day all to ourselves or some adorable, magical little creature? 

Okay, I’ll give you that we have the Loch Ness Monster and—although it’s certainly better than getting holes drilled in your teeth—one simply cannot escape the fact that a significant portion of its name is MONSTER.  How cute and cuddly can a water dinosaur be?  Not to mention that Nessie doesn’t do anything cool like leave pots of gold at the end of a just kind of swims around.

Additionally, it isn’t particularly cool that the majority of photos claiming to depict ol’ Nessie have been exposed as frauds.  (Who knew you could do such creative things with floating sticks?)  Whether or not you believe in the legend, all of the hoaxes kind of take the magic out of it.

Scots drink just as much as the Irish do—hell, they don’t call it “Scotch” for nothing.  God knows we keep up with them in the temper department—just ask any of my court appointed clients who screw around with me.  Ireland also isn’t alone when it comes to bucking under the yoke of the British crown, we’re just more polite about it (Scottish Nationalist Party, anyone?).  We even share more...dubious...characteristics:  They have bagpipes in Ireland just like they do in Scotland, so nyah. 

Heck, we even have our own patron saint and a holiday for his celebration:  St. Andrew’s Day on November 30th.  St. Andrew was believed to be the first disciple of Christ and—excuse me—but that certainly cuts the mustard over a bunch of snakes getting led off a rock.  St. Andrew’s Day is already a national holiday in Scotland, so it won’t even be that deal to just move it over to the other side of the Pond.

Accordingly, I would like to propose St. Andrew’s Day as a “Yay Scotland!” day in the United States.  The day should be associated with raucous partying and the liberal ingestion of Glenfiddich.  Nifty Scottish folk songs (Old MacDonald doesn’t count) should be sung drunkenly in the streets.  Instead of green, everyone should wear plaid and instead of a little girly pinch for failure to comply, a swift kick in the ass should be more the thing.  Furthermore, naughty little boys and girls will receive Scotch Eggs from the Haggis Fairy (look it up).

All in favor say “Aye!”


  1. "I believe most Scottish cuisine is based on a dare."

  2. I agree wholeheartedly. I don't know if I could ever be THAT hungry.