CALEDONIA CALLING… Direct from the desk of Elmer Whitefeather Hail!
Bon diable, A guid Scotch New Year to all Caledonia Calling deriders. Happily, increasing numbers desire this deontology from your tartan footman and from shores as far as places like ITLLY, SPANE, INGLAN' and EMBRA. A bonny Alba cuddle and the grandest felicitation to each and every one of you's.
We here at Whitefeather Cottage had a wonderful holiday season. The shoplifting this year was most touching. Just one downside when the neighbours tried to spoil it by getting up a petition against our Christmas lights. The Whitefeather estate was prepared meticulously; only the very best is good enough for my offspring. I had Harry, our groundsman, mow the lawn and he found a car! Mrs Paisley, our dedicated housekeeper and credit to the working class – she works for 90p a shift but I don't mind, you must pay well to attract good people from the underclass – busied herself applying weedkiller in all the rooms. A bit more of this type of respect, coupled with a good work ethic from the proletariat and together we could make Britain great again!
Well, that's 2006 consigned to history. Another year gone. Have you ever known so much horror, nay ribaldry, in the one year? The economy, Cash for Honours, industrial action everywhere, PFI in the health service causing hospitals to close, global warming and Tom Clarke MP speaking in the House of Commons. Comrades, friends, we face a challenging, new, thrilling and dynamic epoch. I can hardly write this communication, such is the unbridled excitement surging through my body. I can't remember the last time I felt so excited. Mrs Whitefeather says she can't remember either! For this last year has been an uphill struggle for us Whitefeathers. Gloom, suffering, despondency, hardship. I like to think of it more as sheer misery. Still, look to the future I implore you. Love your fellow man. Co-operate with him. Trust him. And together we can all go forward to a brighter, better future. If you can believe that, you'll believe ANYTHING!
That's alright for HIM to say, I hear you cry. He's always cheery you protest. But no. Like many of you, I often sit and suffer. Don't worry though I got some ointment for it. I don't know about you, but I hate looking back on the old year. I mostly dwell on those things I regret. Speaking of Mrs Whitefeather, I was cleaning out her saddlebag the other evening (between Emmerdale Farm and River City) when I found an old medal of her's. Coming from a mining community, it was when she won Miss Coalface, 1980. We've been inseparable ever since. A bit like chewing gum on the sole of a big boot.
It's hard to imagine life without her, but I try. She has been on a diet since Christmas and so far, all she's lost is her temper. Brethren, Toryboy David Cameron's drug shame and Jade Goodie's career in the balance. Blair is in trouble (I always preferred Bruce Forsyth myself) but it seems Lionel has been selling titles! Nobody in Scotchland believes it of course and the expensive police inquiry (which you and me are paying for) will fail to find a single boxer who won't blame the ringside judges. Whitefeather cottage was the chosen gathering place of ALL the Whitefeathers, their weans, dogs and an assortment of waifs and strays over the holidays. Elmer junior (my eldest) continued the habit of a lifetime by giving me a super-size jar of Germolene and his mother a bottle of Sloan's Liniment.
Elma (my youngest) presented me with a bottle of recycled toilet water – well, she is very conscious of the environment! I cooked dinner and was able to get my own back on them all at once. I barbacqued spam on the toaster! Condiment was available, but Elmer jnr complained that a know, most of my 13 children have gone off the rails. My dear wife ( a spiritual soul) led them before dinner with that great old Pentecostal thumper, "ALL THINGS ARE THINE – NO GIFTS HAVE WE". We listened to a few Bach fugue's accompanied by my daughter Esther's splendid breakdancing. Mother then regailled all with tales of how ugly I was as a child. She recalled how she put shutters on the pram when she took me out and told of the day Barney Bottomsworth had handed me a banana, saying to her, "That'll keep the monkey going for a wee while, hen". It was Barney who informed me that our family tree had no branches. Apparently, when I was born the midwife was so shocked she slapped my father.
Now, as most of you know, most of my 13 children have gone off the rails. My dear wife ( a spiritual soul) led them before dinner with that great old Pentecostal thumper, "ALL THINGS ARE THINE – NO GIFTS HAVE WE". We listened to a few Bach fugue's accompanied by my daughter Esther's splendid breakdancing. Mother then regailled all with tales of how ugly I was as a child. She recalled how she put shutters on the pram when she took me out and told of the day Barney Bottomsworth had handed me a banana, saying to her, "That'll keep the monkey going for a wee while, hen". It was Barney who informed me that our family tree had no branches. Apparently, when I was born the midwife was so shocked she slapped my father.
In my quiet moments in these trying times I have been busy philosophying. And here I give you your highly regarded pettijogger's desideratum on my trail of thought, inspired by that excellent song by Max Bygraves when he compares life to a deck of cards. The 2,3 and 4 invoke thoughts of numbers attending the 2 SSP's meetings (that's the Scottish Socialist Party and the Sheridan Socialist Party). The 5 indicates the position they will occupy in the May elections, unless there are 6 candidates. The 7,8 and 9 reminds me of my honeymoon – for that was the hotel room number. Mrs Whitefeather was unable to join me because cruelly, that was the very night her life-long headache problem began. The 10 makes me recall the parble of the 10 virgins, 5 wise and 5 foolish, although I suspect there is no such thing as 5 wise virgins. The Jack is the heir to the Whitefeather fortune and inheritor of the title, Elmer jnr. He was stopped by an angry animal rights activist last week who raged against him for wearing a suede coat. "A cow was murdered for that coat," she shouted. "I didn't know there were any witnesses," said the boy. "Now I'll have to kill you as well". Bless! The Queen is, naturally, Mrs Whitefeather. The King is your humble correspondent. I think it was Socrates who wrote, "To be is to do". Voltaire diallectically reversed this to say, "To do is to be". I sing, "Do be do be do".
Since my readership has increased I gather from my in box that my dispatches to you from this dark, miserable, Calvanistic, damp, wee region in the north of Britain is having something of a beneficial affect. Replies suggest that after reading my informed, analytic, cerebral, thought-provoking missives, many of you are realising that your own lives are not nearly so terrible as you thought. It is my pleasure to know, in all modesty, I am a tutelary saint. Still, I am finding that the constraints of political correctness is having the adverse effect of curbing one's artistic talents – stifling my cosmopolitan creativity. So do not ever mention these publications to anybody in my family, please! As always, I leave you with a dollop of my wisdom, this time in the form of a question. Q) Why do black spiders kill their male partners immediately after mating? A) To stop the snoring before it starts.