Yesterday we celebrated Robbie Burns Day (a little early, the real date is 25 January) with a traditional Robbie Burns Supper for 160 people. On the menu: roast beef, HAGGIS, mashed tatties, peas, champit neeps, gravy, followed by pies and shortbread. The haggis was piped in by a Highland bagpiper to the strains of Scotland the Brave. Silly me forgot to take the camera so I "borrowed" this pic from the internet.
The Space Cadet was given the task of giving The Toast to the Lassies, which he did with poetry and a lot of laughs, and I was elected to give the Reply to the Toast to the Lassies. I was kinda nervous to stand on the stage in front of 160 people, however here's my speech:
Thank you. Such inspired poetry!
What a pity Robbie Burns himself can’t be here to hear you, I’m sure he would be sitting with his mouth open struck completely speechless at your poetic talents…
I have to admit I was a little surprised when asked to give the Reply to the Toast to the Lassies this evening, as I don’t have a single drop of Scottish blood in me. Sorry, it’s all English!
However, many years ago, I was forced to stay overnight in Scotland when my plane broke down at Prestwick Airport on a flight from London to Toronto, so perhaps one night at the Railway Hotel in Glasgow qualifies me for the task. And if any of you have ever stayed at the Railway Hotel, you'll know it's not for the fainthearted.
First, a little story:
Our minister (name withheld to protect the innocent) was visiting patients at the local Hospital the other day.
She asked the first patient “How are you feeling today?”
First patient “ Well, here’s a hand my trusty fiere and here’s a hand of mine…”A little surprised, she spoke to a second patient “And how are you feeling today?”
Second patient’s reply “O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us.”Astonished at the answer, she moved on to talk to a third patient.
The third patient replied "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley."
Amazed, our minister turned to the doctor in charge, and asked “Is this the psychiatric ward?”
“Oh no” replied the doctor, “This is the burns unit.”
(You have to know a bit of Burns to get this joke!)
Robbie Burns certainly loved the lassies, and many of them, of that there is no doubt.
You have a Burns poem about you if your name is Anna, Alison, Katie, Mary, Jeanie, Chloris, Clarinda, Nancy, Nell, Molly, Polly, Peggy, Bessie, Jessie, Eliza, Maria, and Delia.
And probably a few others who I have missed.
Of course, the love of his life was Jean Armour. Jeanie had four children by him before Robbie married her, five more after, and he fathered several more children with other ladyfriends during their marriage. He certainly loved those lassies!
It is said that there are three rings in marriage. The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and suffering.
Of wedding rings, Burns wrote:
"She asked why wedding rings are made of gold;
I ventured this to instruct her;
Why, madam, love and lightning are the same,
On earth they glance, from Heaven they came.
Love is the soul's electric flame,
And gold its best conductor."
You men may not be great believers in the institution of marriage, but let me remind you of something. There is only one thing worse than being a bachelor - and that is being the son of a bachelor!
Here’s a few facts about the laddies:
· Men love to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved.
· Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.
· Men think that they are marrying Miss Right, but unfortunately her first name usually turns out to be Always.
· Any married man should forget his mistakes - no use in two people remembering the same thing.
· A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
· Men hate going shopping. That's why the men's department is usually on the first floor of a department store, two feet from the door.
· When men play their favourite game, golf, they yell “Fore”, hit six, and write down four.
So ladies, stand, and drink a toast
To the lads we honour most
They are heroes, strong and Spartan
They are our heroes wearing Tartan!
Ladies, raise your glasses for a toast… To the laddies!