Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stone Over Water by Carl MacDougall (Minerva 1989)

Tuesday, Aprll 22:

Helen ls too attentive. I think she knows more than she pretends to know which would not be hard since she pretends to know nothing.

Miranda's eyes are everywhere. On Monday I phoned her and she phoned me today. The message is always the same.

Last night I went to the attic and found three pages typed on the Underwood. It's bad enough discovering your father was a closet radical without extra evidence arriving daily.

If I find more of my father's writings, I'll burn them.

SOME OBSERVATIONS ON SCOTTISH DEFINITIONS WITH A VIEW OF THE NATIVE PHILOSOPHY

The ensuing remarks are not intended to trespass upon the domain of such specialist publications as The Scottish National Dictionary or Dwelly's Gaelic-English Dlctionary. I merely wish to inform our English and foreign visitors of certain usages which are common throughout the Lowlands, Borders and most tracts of the English-speaking Highlands and Islands.

HOW SCOTSMEN DEFINE EACH OTHER

A Braw Bugger(1)

One who can shite(2) with the best of them.

A Dour Bugger

One who cannot shite yet refuses to take the medicine.

A Thrawn Bugger

One who can't shite, takes the medicine yet refuses to shite.

A Canny Bugger

One who can't shite, takes the medicine, still can't shite, returns the medicine and has his money refunded.

An Uncanny Bugger

One who can't shite, takes the medicine, won't shite, returns the medicine, has his money refunded, then shites.

Note that the Braw Bugger and the Uncanny Bugger, the alpha and omega of this spectrum, have one common characteristic - their bodily functions are unimpeded by normal imperatives.

1: The term bugger when applied by one Scotsman to another has no sexual significance, even even in sheep-rearing parishes. Since, to the Scot, a man is the highest form of created life, to call a man 'a man' is to overpraise him.

2: The male Scot prefers excretion ro sexuality because, although both are equally inevitable, the first is less expensive.

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