There were some disparaging comments sprayed around here the other day about some of the gifts we Scots have given the world. Yes, we are thrifty. We don’t like wasting anything. We figured out that if you take all the bits of a sheep that can’t be sold as food (for human consumption, anyway), stuff them in the sheep’s stomach with some spices and cook it all up, you get either a damned fine meal or something to instill fear into the hearts of your enemies.
And yes, we gave g*lf to the world. Sorry ’bout that one.
But, with the exception of that one little slip, just about every single useful and necessary invention known to the modern world has come from Scotland, and here’s a little story to illustrate (it must be true, ‘coz I found it printed on a tea-towel at my Mum’s place):
“The typical Englishman finishes his breakfast of toast and MARMALADE invented by Mrs Keiller of Dundee, Scotland and slips into his RAINCOAT patented by Charles MacIntosh from Glasgow, Scotland.
He walks to his office along an English Lane which is surfaced by TARMAC, invented by John Loudon MacAdam of Ayr, Scotland – or, he drives his car which is fitted with PNEUMATIC TYRES patented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland. Before he acquired a car he used to travel to his office by train which was powered by a STEAM ENGINE invented by James Watt of Greenock, Scotland.
In his office he deals with mail bearing ADHESIVE STAMPS invented by John Chalmers, of Dundee, Scotland, and makes frequent use of the TELEPHONE invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND.
At home in the evening he dines no his favourite traditional ROAST BEEF from Aberdeen Angus, raised in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and then watches an item on TELEVISION, an invention of John Logie Baird, of Helensburgh, Scotland. The program he watches is about John Paul Jones, Father of the UNITED STATES NAVY, born in Kirkbean, Scotland.
His son prefers to read TREASURE ISLAND written by Robert Louis Stevenson, born in Edinburgh, Scotland, whilst his daughter plays in the garden on her BICYCLE, an invention of Kirkpatrick MacMillan, of Thornhill, Scotland.
It is impossible for an Englishman (or anyone else, for that matter) to escape the ingenuity of the Scots!
In desperation, he turns to his BIBLE only to find that the first persion mentioned in the Good Book is a Scot – King James VI, who authorised its translation.
He could, of course, take to drink, but Scotland makes the finest WHISKY in all the world. Nearing the end of his tether he could uplift a rifle to end it all, but the BREECH-LOADING RIFLE was invented by Captain Patrick Ferguson, of Pitfours, Scotland.
Anyway, if he escaped death he could find himself injected with PENICILLIN, discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming, Bacteriologist, of Darvel, Scotland, or given CHLOROFORM, an anaesthetic first used by Sir James Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.
Out of his anaesthetic his mood would not be improved if his Surgeon told him he was as safe as THE BANK OF ENGLAND, which was founded by William Paterson, of Dumfries, Scotland.
Perhaps, in order to get some peace, he should request a transfusion of guid Scottish blood so that he too would be entitled to ask –
Wha’s Like us? – Damn Few And They’re A’Deid!”
I reckon all that almost makes up for giving g*lf to the world, don’t you?