the ruglonian conspiracy

Alex, who bags groceries at Denninger’s in Burlington commented on my Nairn’s oatcake purchase. Seems he’s from Rutherglen and environs too.

This is only funny if you’re Scottish …

The Globe and Mail reports:

Monday, August 15, 2005 Page A5

Kingston — More than 11 million litres of liquid manure that spilled into a river in New York state is taking much longer than expected to enter Lake Ontario.

The cow waste flowed into the Black River in northern New York, near the town of Lowville, after the wall of a holding lagoon at a dairy farm blew out late Wednesday or early Thursday.

On Saturday, the manure seeped westward, heading toward Black River Bay, which flows into Lake Ontario. By yesterday, it still had not entered Black River Bay, said Jim Keech of Utilities Kingston. [CP]

the glasgow taxi outings

The Glasgow taxi Troon trip is 60 today. I remember we used to get let out of Mearns Primary School to wave to the taxis as they’d head up the A77 in convoy. That would have been 30 years ago, oh my.

Quest for the Lama on the B766

On Cinders McLeod‘s recommendation, I just read Anne Donovan’s Buddha Da. It’s the story of an ordinary Glasgow house painter’s search for Buddhist enlightenment. It’s written in quick, brilliant dialect, and is packed with humour and pathos.

There’s an excerpt from Ralph Magazine. There are a few typos, but you get the idea.

i demand my 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine!

Canadian Irn Bru doesn’t have caffeine. That’s wrong in so many ways.

fear the canadian irn bru!

About this time of year, many Scots will be using Irn Bru to quell a raging hangover. There’s nothing quite like the reddish-orange, sugary, fizzy drink to make the pain go away. It’s the combination of sugar, liquid and caffeine that does it.

Scottish expats in Canada aren’t so lucky. We’re not allowed to have caffeine in anything other than cola, so the ‘bru that’s imported here is caffeine free. It has all the bite and zing of wet cardboard.

I don’t understand why cola can have caffeine, and nothing else can. They allowed Red Bull in on a technicality. Since Irn Bru has been used as a pick-me-up for generations, I feel that Canada’s policy discriminates against my culture.

Where there’s a culture of heavy drinking, there’s also a culture of dealing with it. Canada is placing the wellbeing of Scots at risk by not allowing caffeinated Irn Bru.

yet more unfunny faux-Scotticisms

[Yesterday’s Globe & Mail had a cartoon by Graham Harrop. Subtitled “Jock Layton“, it showed a character yelling across the legislature floor: “Ye’ll No Talk To Me Like That, Mon! Yer A Wee Haggis An’ Ye’ve Got Yer Troosers On Backwards If Ye Think We’re Passin’ That Load O’ Tripe!“]

Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 11:35:14 -0500
To: Arts /at/ GlobeAndMail.ca
Subject: yesterday’s Backbench cartoon

I am offended by Graham Harrop’s cartoon in the 30th December Review section.

I am Scottish, and to me, ‘jock’ is a racial epithet. No-one in Scotland would use any of the expressions used in the cartoon.

Consider the situation if the cartoon had made fun of any other minority speech pattern. The whole ‘Comedy Scotsman’ thing went out with the 1970s, and I’m disappointed to see such a thing in the Globe & Mail.

Stewart Russell
Scarborough, ON.

and this makes news in Scotland: Krankie hurt in beanstalk tumble

Krankie hurt in beanstalk tumble

It’s a pretty good headline, but doesn’t compare with the 1993 outcry over Mr Blobby imposters in the Hemel Hempstead free rag: Fête Fumes Over Bogus Blobby

Tablet on Wikipedia

There’s now a rather short Wikipedia article on Scots Tablet. I also discovered, thanks to A Spoonful of Sugar, that there’s a similar South American sweet called tableta de leche.

I guess we’re all Jock Tamson’s bairns, united worldwide with bad dentition.

Enoch, the Money Mart ad guy

It seems, by an almost impossible coincidence, that I’ve spoken to “Uncle Angus” from the Money Mart ad. I learnt from a copy of Penguin Eggs, a Canadian folk music magazine, that the part is played by Scottish-Canadian singer Enoch Kent.

Back in May 2002, before we had a place to live (and probably long before Enoch knew he’d play this part on TV), famed Toronto Glaswegian (well, okay, from Busby) Tam Kearney and his wife Lynn very kindly offered their place as a house-sit. Tam and Enoch were working on a recording at the time.

Just before Tam and Lynn got back, I answered the phone. Enoch, getting a Scottish voice on the line, very quickly launched into a torrent of things they had to do before the recording could be released on CD.

It took me a while to convince Enoch that, no, I wasn’t Tam, and yes, he’d be back in a couple of days. That Scottish accent of mine can really get me into trouble at times.

Maybe Enoch needs the money from the ads. Buy his CDs instead!

More on the annoying pseudo-Scot

After sending in a complaint, I got this response from MoneyMart’s Director of Corporate Communications, Lorne DeLarge:

Dear Mr. Russell;

Thank-you for taking the time to provide us with your comments regarding our
television advertisement. Let me say that it is not our intention to
offend, demean or disparage any individual or group of people with our
advertising. In fact, we take great pains to ensure that this does not
occur. Money Mart prides itself on being a responsible corporate citizen
and a responsible advertiser. We do not condone discrimination of any sort,
nor would we knowingly engage in it.

We would like to describe the process that we followed for creating and
approving this commercial. We feel that it is important to know the extent
of due diligence that we undertake prior to releasing a commercial.

We have three goals when we create our advertising: (1) the ad needs to be
memorable, (2) the ad needs to clearly display our advertising message and
(3) the ad needs to be likable. We strive to ensure that our ads fully
reflect these three goals. Any ad considered demeaning or discriminatory
would not fulfill our third objective.

When creating advertisements for television, we undergo multiple steps to
test and measure how well we are doing at achieving these three goals.
These steps include initial vetting and refinement of advertising concepts;
focus group testing with randomly selected Canadian consumers; approval by
several advertising standards organizations and finally, exposure of the ads
to a wider audience prior to airing.

Each step of the process was designed to ensure that the objectives for the
ad were fulfilled. If we had received any indication that this particular
ad would be considered offensive, we would have taken steps to rectify the
situation. I think that you will agree that our process is both exhaustive
and thorough.

This ad was about an exaggerated, “over the top” presentation of an exchange
between two generations who have different values and priorities when it
comes to money, not about disparaging an identifiable group.

We thank-you for taking the time to provide us with your thoughts.

itively by Mike Myers in “So I married an Axe Murderer”, and then it jumped the shark. It’s just not funny any more, as the Toronto Star notes.

money mart’s annoying ad

Money Mart, a Canadian cash advance company (I won’t dignify them with a link), has an annoying advert where a guy goes to his stingy Scottish uncle for a loan. It plays on every Scottish stereotype.

I’m Scottish. I’m offended.