Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Jock and the Beanstalk
I had a chat with the guests at the safari camp the other day, as they waited for their bus to arrive. A shy young woman called Miss Lillywhite told me that she worked for a large publishing house. She said that one of her current projects was re-writing a book of much-loved fairy tales in non-sexist, non-racist language.
“I had no idea that fairy stories were such a repository of political incorrectness,” I remarked. “Can you give me an example?”
“Do you remember when the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk says ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman’?”
“Yes, how funny that was!” I exclaimed. “In a dark and macabre way, of course,” I added gravely.
“Well we’re changing that to ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of a farmer’s son’.”
I nodded thoughtfully. “I see your point. It was obviously bad form for the giant to single out a particular race of humans for his main course. And I don’t believe for one minute that an Englishman’s blood has a distinctive odour. Had he said ‘I smell the armpits of an Englishman’ he might have had a point, but…”
One of the advantages of being a 500-pound gorilla is that you don’t often get interrupted in mid-sentence, but this proved to be one of the rare instances to the contrary. As I faced the young lady, the crisp voice of a sardonic Scotsman passed by my shoulder:
“It’s just as well the giant didne eat him cuz he’d a bin constipated for a week!”
I turned round to see a tall, sturdy man of middle age, with a mischievous twinkle in his grey eyes.
“What ever do you mean, Sir?” I asked. “Does the flesh of the English lack roughage? No more so than the flesh of the Scotch, Irish or Welsh, I’ll be bound. The giant would surely have taken vegetables with his meat, to say nothing of bran flakes for breakfast!”
“I mean the English are so full of shite it would have clogged up his gut!” explained the man with a smirk.
I smiled knowingly. I had met enough Scottish humans in my circus days to know that rubbishing the “auld enemy” was a favourite pastime of theirs.
“How very ironic that you should make such a remark in present company,” I said, “for it is precisely the kind of ignoble sentiment that Miss Lillywhite is excising from the new version of the fable she is drafting.”
“O aye?” replied the Scotsman, looking at our female companion in wry amusement. “So you’re working on a clean version of Jack and the Beanstalk, are yer?
Miss Lillywhite nodded.
“Well yer may have your work cut out. Ah’ve always thought it was a parable warning against the dangers of masturbation. It’s pretty obvious what that sprouting beanstalk represents, don’t yer think?”
I chuckled at the man’s tarradiddle, and was about to make a sceptical yet civil remark, when I noticed with dismay that Miss Lillywhite was blushing furiously. It pained me to see her in such a condition, so I decided to make a loud and preposterous statement in the hope that it would draw attention to myself and ease her discomfort.
“What the devil are you blathering about man!” I cried. “The beanstalk was obviously a giant stick of celery, or perhaps a stick of giant broccoli - a triffid-like harbinger of doom for humans and ogres alike! Man, in his vainglorious pride, dabbles with bewitched beans in defiance of his sacred texts, creating a monstrosity that will smite him hip and thigh!”
As I had hoped, my outburst attracted the attention of the rest of the tour party, several of whom quickly gathered round to participate in the persiflage. The debate quickly developed into a series of rapid-fire exchanges between the Scotsman (whose name was McTavish) and the newcomers (who were English). The former, I might add, was more than equal to the challenge, for these Caledonian folk assuredly have the gift of repartee. Miss Lillywhite, meanwhile, drifted away, and I noted with satisfaction that her cheeks had been restored to their customary pale complexion.
Presently, the safari bus arrived and the guests began to take their seats. The last to board was one of the men who had been bantering with the loquacious Scotsman. Before entering the vehicle, he uttered these words to me in a low voice:
“I’ve got a good one for McTavish: ‘Why do Scotsmen have long, thin dicks? Because they’re a bunch of tight-fisted wankers!’ Wish me luck!”
My only response to this quip was to place my hand over my mouth and shake my head in disapproval. After the bus had driven away, I fell to the ground and howled like hyena.
I wish Alec Salmond would go away with his mad ideas and his comically animated eyebrows.
Now, not being English or a Scotsman I'd probably need some proof about that long and thin thing.
*chuckles* I never knew it! LOL!
> “Well we’re changing that to ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of a farmer’s son’.”
The thought that came to mind her was that although it rhymes very well, 'famer's son' would be derogatory, too, suggesting that the social status/ occupation of his parents mattered to the giant... ;-)
I always find it such a shame that the tight fist myth goes on. Particularly since it is a made up thing. But what is worst about it is that it was made up by an actual Scotsman who used it as part of his stage act to get cheap laughs from English audiences. He was called Harry Lauder and if there is a Scottish version of an Uncle Tom then he was it.
I'm not sure of his penis shape or size though, but I do think he was a bit of a wanker, who has done no end of damage to our reputation.
Sam: It's as if they want children to become sissies. Hansel and Gretel's witch had it coming.
Miss Naughty: Poor Miss Lillywhite, I do pity her! That joke about Scotsmen was probably not anatomically correct.
Ulaca: Dian Fossey taught us a lot of words - persiflage, perspiration, percy-thrower. She was fond of the letter 'p'.
Eve: I think we can safely say that the giant was no snob. A snooty giant would have only eaten a rich man's children.
Kyknoord: The cow was the mistress he shunned in favour of self-abuse. The giant was the policeman who caught him at it.
Misssy: Heh, I'd thought you'd having something interesting to say about it! Would you believe that I once heard a Scotsman say that it was only people from Aberdeen who had a reputation for padlocking their sporrans! Aye, you've got a few traitors in your ranks alright!
Here in Scotland, racial and other kinds of discrimination are frowned upon except for when the English are the recipients. The English may be trashed and villified with perfect impunity -- scorned as a bunch of silly, ineffectual pansies or divisive, pretentious, elitist posers.
And people will believe anything as long as the English come out looknig stupid. 95% of the kids in my daughters' classes are convinced that what happened in the movie Braveheart was the unvarnished truth.
No, that's when it f*****g started!
One wonders how things would have panned out if Guido Fawkes had succeeded.
Yeah, it was the original pick and lick.
Lady Daphne: We gorillas say that the oil belongs to the Earth. Digging it out is like desecrating millions of graves.
Nursie: Thanks! You can have it for free!
Misssy: Ah, so that explains your warm and generous personality. God knows what you see in those Aberdonian tightwads.
Hossenpheffer: Anatomical literalism won't get you any laughs here. Come back when you've thought of a joke about the Scotch being careful with their cash.
Mrs Cake: A lot of women seem to go for the accent. Perhaps it has a soothing avuncular quality.
Randall: Don't forget the Stewarts were deposed by the House of Hanover. Most present day Scots imagine their ancestors were Jacobites.
Mr Alien: We're not doing aliens anymore, that was the last post. "Pick and lick" is a nasal gag which looks out of place in a genital context.
Emma: I've heard that kilts actually keeps the bits and pieces quite warm. As long as the wind doesn't gust from below, the gonads are well insulated.
Given the parlous state of scotch bollocks, it was probably more pick than lick anyway.
Toe etc: I`d always assumed Scotch bollocks were very well ventilated.
Secret Agent: Every race of humans has its own peculiar scent.
Hossenpheffer: Not bad, but the casual reader would have to read my previous commment to get it.
Ulaca: I`m finding it very hard to visual that hybrid!
Sabrina: Try Helen Bannerman as well, who coincidentally was a Scot.
Clea: Don`t think sbout that for too long!
Mr Boyo: The inhabitants of Khorasan are mongrelised victims of the Mongols, so we can excuse then a little mockery at the expense of the Pathans.
so, therefore, the racist english slant would be within keeping of modern times.
just like how black people can call each other 'niggers' and how south park can bag jews etc.
Hossenpheffer: You'll have to learn how to ride a scooter if you want to impress Mrs Cake.
Dr Maroon: In your own time, Dr, I know you're a busy man of business.
Kiki: That's an interesting point, I wonder who did write it. However kiddies must be protected even from ironic references to race, these days.
Gadjo: What an intellectual comment! Just the kind of statement an Englishman might make fun of. I suspect the English don't bear historial grudges because they are used to winning. Defeat penetrates the soul more deeply than victory.
Mzungu Chick: What a fool he was to let you go, Miss Chick.
You were the first person I thought of -- but was embarrassed to cuz DAMN, again! Anyway, glad to 'see' you here again -- I've come back after crackling my online course open for a couple of secs & just throwing up my hands at the whole mess -- going to deal with the quiz tomorrow with whatever I've grasped this week. Good night from PS, CA <3
Oh and - here's a completely unrelated link :
Happy Birthday, Jenny.
Gadjo: My last sentence was profound because the words were not mine! I think the author's name is Albert Hourani. Mr Kipling was surely right, but it is far from easy to follow his prescription.
Letty: Your comments fill me with the desire to rest you on my knee and feed you chocolates.
Mary: I'm surprised that American-Scots are like that. The American-Irish I knew about.
McChe: Ah, I thought you'd turn up for a Scottish post! Let me add my birthday congratulations for Jenny to your own.
Panu: Thank you, Miss, I hope a few humans would behave in a similar fashion.