Now with a 7 hour plane ride between me and Scotland, I have had some time to reflect, because although I don’t have a thing for shitty weather, alcoholism and kilt-clad lads, I do have a special fondness for Scotland.
And after some consideration I think it’s really an appreciation for the perpetual cultural zeitgeist which, to be sociologically blunt, pretty much amounts to “… Fuck it!” Nowhere is this better exemplified than in their tourism industry.
Scot the Scottish Tourism Apprentice and his master are drinking ale by a fireside...
But Sir… our weather is dreary and depressing and the only thing we’ve ever done arguably better than other countries is make whiskey!
I know my boy, but...Fuck it! We’re gunna make it work.
We’ll start with the weather. You know the moors?
You mean our many “ open areas of land- usually above sea level- with poor drainage?”
That’s right... We’re gunna sex that shit up.
You heard me lad. We’ll get some product placement in those newfangled ‘chick’ novels… the crappiness of the weather will represent… tempestuous relationships… women love that shit. Get those batty Bronte bitches on the phone.
But sir, who would want to read that?
Nobody but… fuck it. We’ll make pretentious English departments in other countries feel like they’re being sexist and unsophisticated if they don’t force every single goddamn student they ever get their hands on read it!
Oh I see! What about that Shakespeare Fellow? I heard he’s writing something that takes place in Scotland right now… it’s called Macb-
Stop right there.…. Fuck it. From now on it’s called the Scottish Play. Send some of our goons to every single place it’s being performed and have ‘em smack the shit out of someone with a blunt object anytime they say the name. It’ll catch on. Fuck I’m brilliant.
But sir… even if we get people here… how do we make them stay?
We get them piss drunk of course. We’re good at that. Here’s how I want the main street arranged: pub, fruit-stand, pub, pharmacy, pub, pub, pub with prostitutes in the back of the pub, charity shop, pub.
What if they don’t drink?
Then they’re idiots! And idiot tourists love two things: old stuff and magic stuff. We’ll give ‘em tours of the castles.
You mean the crumbling piles of rock all over the place? But they’re just… old walls.
…Fuck it. We can make up anything we want to say because the only physical evidence is a bunch of fuckin’ rocks. Battles! Bravery! We'll sell swords in the giftshop. And then for magic…
Hmm… you know what? Fuck it. Giant fish dragon. In a lake. Is it magical? Is it a dinosaur?
Exactly. They’ll eat it up. Go round up some drunken fishermen, a half broken camera, and a noodle with an eyehole cut out. And while you’re out- you know those ridiculous tablecloth skirts people wear because we like to go commando? … fuck it. We’ll sell ‘em to tourists at $200 a pop. Oh! And you know that obnoxious squeezebox thing that sounds like you’re squeezing a dying cat?
Sir… you can’t mean… the bagpipes?
Get a whole bunch of guys, I’m talkin’ like 500 guys, playing the dead cats and wearing tablecloths. We’ll get people to pay $60 a seat, get the audience wasted and then… set stuff on fire.
(Here we have the Edinburgh Military tattoo... thousands of $60 seats booked more than a year in advance.)
Sir… you’re truly a genius. How can I ever repay you for all you've taught me?
Go make our national animal the most hilariously fruity thing you can possibly think of. Oh- and get me a drink. or five.
Anything for you sir.
And the official animal of Scotland is (…fuck it)
a unicorn! That’s right, who needs biological taxonomy when you have whimsy?
Even better, true to the nature of a loveable drunken bum who you might poke with a stick, but a looong stick just incase he ever musters enough motivation to lunge, Scotland’s motto is
“Nemo me impune lacessit” which means “no one provokes me with impunity.”
So you can provoke Scotland. You can poke and provoke and overtake its monarchy all goddamn millenia. But sooner or later… (probably later) you’re gunna get… well... (they haven’t gotten around to that part of the slogan.)
But you do not have provoking impunity, sir. There are consequences. Oh Yes. Something of undetermined nature and magnitude at an unknown future date is going to… do something. You will be somethinged. Badly. And that’s what you get for fucking with Scotland biatches.
H (no one facebookpokes me with impunity) annah