I had a semi-epiphanous moment this weekend: In the United States of America, a Scottish accent automatically makes whatever you say funny. For example: Mrs. Doubtfire, Shrek, Groundskeeper Willie, and that bad-acid-trip-induced freakish stick of gum in the Extra ads.
As I say, this was only a partial epiphany. I guess I've always known it, because I've always fallen back on a Glasgow accent to make something funnier. But the point was driven home when I came home from the Renaissance Festival dressed in a kilt.
There is a group of people in my apartment building who do little more than sit on the front steps and drink and smoke. They are a very friendly group and they were delighted in my showing up wearing a kilt. My wife told them that I had been playing with the waitress at a restaurant earlier in the evening, ordering in a Scottish accent, and the stoop gang was heartily delighted by my retelling of the tale. Then I said a few more things in a Scottish accent and it was as if I were Billy Connolly in his prime, they were laughing so hard.
If you are a fledgling Scottish comic, unable to earn your keep at home, you should move to the United States -- they will give you money for talking.
I should note at this point, for the sake of legitimate Scots, like Jenny, that my Scottish accent is really quite bad. It's just good enough to amuse Americans who don't know any better. I would certainly never endeavour to perform my Scottish accent for a Scot. Unless I was eager for a good throttling.
I used to know a guy who was convinced he could do a spot-on impersonation of an American (he was not an American, obviously. Although, that would make for a much funnier story -- an American walking around proudly demonstrating his ability to sound American), and he would insist upon performing it for me at any given opportunity. I had to sit on my hands to keep from punching him.
For one thing, it was an awful impersonation. He sounded like a guy from Norwich (which he was) doing an impersonation of a drunken John Wayne.
"Ha, ha! That's exactly how Chris sounds, isn't it?" he would say to other people in the group.
They would just avert their eyes. I do not sound like that -- not even when I've been drinking; not even when I'm trying to impersonate John Wayne.
Secondly, who would find it amusing to sit and listen to someone caricature his or her accent?
So, the moral of this rambling story is this: Scottish accents are funny, unless you're Scottish.
Yes, I went to the Renaissance Festival this weekend -- also known as Ye Olde Geek Fest. But I had fun nonetheless. How can you not enjoy roast turkey legs, beer, and loads of women dressed in those cleavage-enhancing dresses? Cleavage makes everything better.
My wife insisted upon buying me a kilt. She says I look sexy in a kilt -- how can I resist kilt-wearing in the face of that? I now own two kilts. My Scottish heritage is suspect at best, but I own multiple kiltage.
I took a handful of pictures while I was at the festival -- I'll post them when I can be bothered.
Speaking of my extreme geekiness -- I finally started reading this today. It makes my head hurt.
Mmmm. Who's hungry?
You know, perhaps it's just me, but if you are the sort to throw things at the prime minister or scale Buckingham Palace dressed as Batman, there's probably a reason the government won't let you see your kids.
The United States has a cricket team?!
Remember that episode of "The Simpsons" when Springfield got a monorail? Life imitates art.
According to this story, "power windows can generate 60 to 80 pounds-per-square-inch of pressure, enough to chop vegetables."
Perhaps they should use that fact as a selling point: The new Ford Focus slices, dices, juliennes and gets 42 miles to the gallon!
Today, I challenged an editor to sneak the phrase "ball-licker" into a useable news headline. He came up with: "Food Aplenty At AA Ball; Liquor Missing" -- that's a thing of beauty.