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.

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i absolutely hate it when people fuck with fairytales. disney is the worst...and they should be stepped on. if a story doesn't have someone cutting off their own toe to fit in a glass slipper, then it's just not worth reading. i thought so as a child and i think so now.
Do you know how hard it is these days to find a version of Little Red Riding Hood where the grandmother gets eaten and then cut out of the dead wolf's tummy? The 3 little pigs' wolf has been bowdlerised right out of the cooking pot at the bottom of the chimney and Hansel and Gretel's witch doesn't even get pushed into the oven which is a fundamental plot-point of the tale!!

I wish Alec Salmond would go away with his mad ideas and his comically animated eyebrows.
Ahh, my hero! You saved poor innocent Ms. Lillywhite.

Now, not being English or a Scotsman I'd probably need some proof about that long and thin thing.
Persiflage, eh? Always wondered what those sweet nothings were that Dian Fossey whispered in your Congolese ear.
> It’s pretty obvious what that sprouting beanstalk represents, don’t yer think?”
*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... ;-)
Miss Lillywhite's discomfort notwithstanding, I would have been interested to hear the rest of McTavish's thesis (particularly as to where the cow, Jacks mother and the giant all fit in).
Oh dearie dearie me...

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.
Kara: Too right, it's like Tarantino movies without violence. How many kiddies know Snow White's stepmother was tortured to death?

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!
That stereotype of the thrifty Scot was eagerly embraced and promoted in my family, partly as a joke, but partly with real seriousness and pride. And though most of the Scots in my family came to the States hundreds of years ago, they brought with them their loathing of the English and passed it on to their children. I find that sad.

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.
Sticks and stones may break our bones, but you won't get your independence until the oil's run out.
"partipate in the persiflage"

Darling, your source is right about folk from Aberdeen actually. You do know I'm a Glaswegian, don't you!
When these scotchmen actually do happen upon some pussy, the process must resemble a pencil rattling around in a pissing pot.
But they do have such a lovely accent... Id quite like to have one tell me a bedtime story :)
I thought all that across Hadrian's Wall hatred disappeared with James I. Shows how much I know about British history.

having my cake.

I can do scottish.
"I thought all that across Hadrians Wall hatred disappeared with James 1."

No, that's when it f*****g started!

One wonders how things would have panned out if Guido Fawkes had succeeded.
One thing that's always puzzled me about Scots...why they used to wear kilts in possibly the most inhospitable climate in Europe sans knickers? I mean, their nuts must have turned into frozen raisins, their male parts into icicles.
"....their nuts must have turned into frozen raisins, their male parts into icicles."

Yeah, it was the original pick and lick.
Mary: I put it down to the narcissism of minor difference. Few outside the British Isles can differentiate between the English and Scots. Don't quite a few Americans think Scotland is in England?

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.
Scotsmen speaking have no effect on me but Susan Rae reading out the midnight shipping forecast...
Pick and lick was obviously a shit concept which never caught on, unlike other scotch inventions...... like butterscotch for instance.

Given the parlous state of scotch bollocks, it was probably more pick than lick anyway.
Hahaha. If the giant were to have smelled anyone, it would have to be the armpits of the French and their French cheese. The English might have a certain scent from their rotting teeth too.
Tease a Scotsmen about the love of his life? Now that really would be cruel.
Fellow with the John Inman teeth giving the Nancy Reagan stare: "You're my Jowl in the Crown".
You know i never realized just how politically/racially/religiously etc etc incorrect all these children's books are till i took a course on english lit and read the bluest eye by toni was such an eye opener!
Classic! Not only do I not understand Scotsmen when they speak, now I'll be thinking pencil dicks.
A Persian colleague tells the same dick joke about Pathans, as they rub their ruba'i between two palms, preferably their own, as if making a fire with a stick. At least in Khorasan province.
Kevin: I`ve never met the woman, but she sounds like a party girl if she`s doing her stuff at midnight.

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.
GB - A Scottish accent doesnt me think about my Uncle, I promise... I might need you to protect me from Hossenpheffer if he really can talk the talk
It's walking the walk I have the problem with.
Goddamn you Bananas, I can't keep up. fe fo fi fum
wasn't it written by an english-person though?

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.
The Englishman's last remaining virtue is that he can take a joke at his own expense. This will eventually see his culture reduced to a self-perpetuating squalor, but at least it'll save him from becoming a grudge-bearing history-obsessed grumpyboots; cf. Roman Empire (Decline and Fall of), Sodom and Gomorrah, EastEnders.
My EX husband was a Scot - enough said!! :)
Mrs Cake: My protection is yours free of charge, Mrs Cake. I'm trying to think of which Scotsmen you might fancy.

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.
‘Why do Scotsmen have long, thin dicks? Because they’re a bunch of tight-fisted wankers!’ I know the perfect arsehole scot to use this on...thank you so very very much!
Thanks, Mr Bananas, though your comment is probably more profound! Yes, defeat penetrates deeply. But now the Celts and other former slackers have caught up with the English by understanding that hard work secures you victory rather than defeat, their next task on the road to civilisation is to appreciate (as the Englishman does) that they must "treat those two imposters just the same" (Mr. Kipling).
Congratulations, Miss Letty. I can read your feeds for the first time. Yes, it's working.



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
Yes, a lot of Americans are surprised to learn that Scotland and England are separate countries. But a lot of us of largely Scottish extraction are more Scottish than the Scots and have inherited a loathing of the English from their elders. I'm not sure which group depresses me more: the happily ignorant or the knowledgable who have nurtured their ancestors' rancor. I think I'm going need to write about it.
Mine is short and stubby, but then I have a lot of Irish blood in me, and the natural Catholic repugnance of wasting my seed.

Oh and - here's a completely unrelated link :

Happy Birthday, Jenny.
Daisy: Well use it sparingly, old darling, I wouldn't want to be the cause of an international incident.

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.
ah gorilla it's such a wee thing...hardly think it could start an incident all it's own...oh yeah i am being bad :)
Its so wonderful to see such a fantastic species that care about what pure, good women feel embarrassed about. Ah, apekind still has hope while mankind has not!!
Daisy: So it's thin but not long. Ah well.

Panu: Thank you, Miss, I hope a few humans would behave in a similar fashion.
I'm so exhausted after reading all these comments about English prigs and Scottish pricks I'm completely forgotten what I had thought of saying.
That's OK, Mandy, I'm sure it will come back to you.
"I chuckled at the man’s tarradiddle" - you shouldn't have been looking up his kilt, ye cheeky monkey!
Scotch is a drink, not a nationality!

You posted this on my birthday, by the way. Nice timing. ;)
Not according to Dr Maroon, Nicola. Hope you had a happy one.
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