The need for a well deserved stroll now that the Christmas day celebration is finally over, has me plodding gently on a warming whisky fug and the sobering winters breeze, towards our nearest retail outlet just up the road in still rainy Balquhidder. Siobhan's mother has been tearfully waved off, clutching several large tins of leftover sausage rolls, three bottles of sherry and a pair of my French Rococo silver sugar tongs. For the sake of ruining a good day I pretended not to notice. Besides, the tongs were the older ones I used to clear the clinkers away from Siobhan's pet goats rear end when she last had worms. The goat that is, not Siobhan. Our secret though, eh? Distributing a discreet, but all too familiar brussel odour in the back of the little singing fella's car, she leaves us all with happy memories and her bottom set still wedged in the U-bend of the guest bathroom. A good time to clear my head of recent thoughts. The exasperated women in my household infrequently send me on a mission these days to retrieve household supplies from the local outlets. The valetudinarian element amongst them tell me that with the overcompensation of the onset of my imminent brain fog, I endeavour to become far too philosophical about the many purchases that I am requested to return. I would of course respond if I wasn't so busy redacting the nonsense previously recorded on nuclear physics and the translation of Galileo's theory, from the original Latin, into a more readable derivative of Chinese Mandarin and its correct haruspication using only the third and fifth symbology of the Ho Jiangxi provincial syntax. But then, you already knew that. Hence the reason why only the extreme intelligencia amongst you will understand why I have chosen to continue this manifest written strictly in a Sanskrit/Tamil Brahmi language. The mere ordinary IQ's out there will by now have refreshed, then activated the Google English Translation service in order to continue. Either that or I may just be a wee bit more muddled than first thought.
Anyway, after the festive feast and during the previous evenings gentlemen and brandy only discussion in the library, the need for planet greenery was raised by me as I feel it is pulling me ever closer as I ponder the needs of the many. In these advanced, heady days of the scientific world, we assign far too much of our time, worrying, disguising, camouflaging our human traits, even to the point of scenting our toilet paper and decorating it with flowers before offending it in the worst possible way prior to discarding it into a ever descending bottomless pit. If only my posterior could sigh, I'm sure it truly would. As civilised a race as we like to think we are, the Scots are not a people who like to wash their bottoms after the more private of moments. European culture does not cross the border easily here. Most modern day ideologies are robbed, beaten and handed limply back to the muddied and impoverished English from a height of fifteen or more feet from the parapet walls of civilisation. We are hardened, dyed in the wool, dedicated wipers. For generations we have put ourselves into a certain position of cleanliness with whatever was closest to hand. Even the latest government quango cannot save us as a nation. We wipe, therefore we are wipers, forever destined to wipe away our seemingly smeared history. Scrunched or folded, we continue our misguided rituals with a dedication not seen since the global banning order of the noble, but far to slippery, pages of the qur'an. Soft, fluffy, even luxurious air filled pockets of absorbent paper loveliness is something we all prefer to reach out for when the motion beckons us ever southward.
Serious discussions of the topic are frowned upon as being strictly taboo in more polite circles within Glasgow and rarely raises its ugly head within our own quasi protocol and ever conforming cultures. Instead, asking whether or not the archaic ritual of wiping has failed us, we prefer to think of it only in private mute thoughts and point the stained finger of shame in other directions. Who can ever forget the humiliation of the small ginger child with the soiled knickers in the school changing room of which we all witnessed, yet said nothing? Was it not our very own historical, yet strangely mythical biblical leader who requested us to step forward and cast the first stone at those who sat at the windows edge and let down their golden hair from the tall brick tower and rebuff the spiritual requirement to wipe? I will admit to being slightly unsure on this subject. Try as I might, I still maintain that Harry Potter's involvement in writing the bible tends to merge towards the grey after only an hour or more. However, with that cast aside, the thought of overcoming our lack of complete and utter compulsion with cleanliness is still somewhat seemingly dirty. Lavatorial moments are hard to digest. It's that old, dark fear of what lies beneath. We have a penchant for hiding our own excreta, just as Jack the Ripper had a liking for hiding bloodied kidney's beneath his pillow. It is indeed a paradox. We Scots still view the wide porcelain bidet as something of a hurdle, a strange object of which we just cannot get over, however it is time that the winds of change blew through our nations bathrooms. Therefore, the glossy abundance of leaflets I have returned with in favour of installing a bidet will not, I fear, go very far to assist them in their quest for the desired requirements in bathroom hygiene. Way too slippery for a start! As feared, our ethos of conquest and environmental destruction has distracted us from nature and our own bodies. If only I could remember what they originally dispatched me to retrieve. They may well be angry. Och well, as they say in the more informal parts of Glasgow, shit happens...
Chefs Fail Safe Hangover Cure
1 large glass
1 bottle Remy Martin XO
1 Cuban Havana cigar
1 bowl of tepid water
1 cheese grater
Place feet in to bowl of warmish water. Use cheese grater (my Christmas gift from Ms Scarlet last year) to remove hard skin and stimulate blood flow back into feet when nicely soaked. Pour a quarter of a glass of brandy. Dip cigar into glass, sip, puff contentedly, savour and repeat several times until bottle is completely empty. Repeat until hangover has completely disappeared or your wife has gone to her sisters in a huff. Important note: Place cheese grater back in kitchen draw immediately after use.