Scottish Humor

The Irish think that they’ve got it all sewed up with St. Patrick’s Day.  Here are some Robbie Burns Day, Scottish jokes.  Not too many, mind.  We’re very frugal with them, too.

***

Callum decided to call his father-in-law the “Exorcist” because every time he came to visit he made the spirits disappear.

***

“How’s the flat you’re living in, in London, Jock?” asks his mother when he calls home to Aberdeen.

“It’s okay,” he replies, “but the woman next door keeps screaming and crying all night and the guy on the other side keeps banging his head on the wall.”

“Never you mind,” says his mother, “don’t you let them get to you, just ignore them.”

“Aye, that I do,” he says, “I just keep playing my bagpipes.”

***

Have you heard about the lecherous Scotsman who lured a girl up to his attic to see his etchings? …. He sold her four of them.

***

Winters can be extremely cold in northern Scotland, so the owner of the estate felt he was doing a good deed when he bought earmuffs for his farm worker, Archie.

Noticing, however, that Archie wasn’t wearing the earmuffs even on the coldest day, the owner asked, ‘Didn’t you like the earmuffs I gave you?’ Archie replied, not wishing to upset his employer, ‘Och, they are a wondrous thing.’

‘Then why don’t you wear them then?’

Archie explained, ‘I was wearing them the first day, but somebody offered to buy me a drink and I did not hear him.’

***

Jock walks into a bar one day and stammers, ‘Does anyone here own that South Doberman Pinschers outside?’

‘Yeah, I do,’ a tattooed biker says, standing up. ‘What about it?’

“Well, I think my little Scotty terrier just killed him.’

‘What are you talkin’ about?’ the biker says, disbelievingly. ‘How could your little runt kill my Doberman?’

‘Well,’ mumbled Jock, ‘it appears that he got stuck in your dog’s throat.’

***

After last night’s game between England and Scotland, 10,000 beer cans were left in Trafalgar Square by Scottish football fans. Both of them have been arrested.

***

How many Scotsmen does it take to change a light bulb?
Och! It’s no that dark!

***

Alisdair Biggar, a Scotsman, applied to join the New York City police force.

The inspector glared at him and asked, ‘How would you disperse a large, unruly crowd?’

‘Well,’ replied Alisdair thoughtfully, ‘I’m no too sure how ye do it here in New York, but in Aberdeen we just pass the hat around, and they soon begin to shuffle off.’

***

A Scots boy came home from school and told his mother he had been given a part in the school play.

“Wonderful,” says the mother. “What part is it?”

The boy says, “I play the part of the Scottish husband!”

The mother scowls and says, “Go back and tell your teacher you want a speaking part.

***

Hamish McHarg, a Scottish minister, was making his rounds to parish homes to receive their tithes and offerings.

One of his parishioners gave, but had a distinctly stingy attitude when parting with his money without receiving something in return.

As he put the gift away, Hamish commented dryly, ‘Tha Good Book says tha Lord loves a cheerful giver, but the Church o’ Scotland canna be so choosy.’

***

At an auction in Glasgow a wealthy American announced that he had lost his wallet containing £10,000 and would give a reward of £100 to the person who found it.

From the back of the hall a Scottish voice shouted, “I’ll give £150!”

***

A Scotsman was out shopping on a busy Saturday and he had a set of bagpipes in the back of his car. It was so crowded he had to park three blocks from the store where he was going. As he got to the store, he suddenly realized he had not locked the back door of his sedan. He raced back to where he had parked. But it was too late. There were now two sets of bagpipes on the rear seat.

Book Review #11

a world lit only by fire

Title: A World Lit Only By Fire

Author: William Manchester

When I published my Torture of Faith post, my well-read and well-respected visitor, Jim Wheeler, suggested the above book as background reference reading, to explain the historical era.

As too often happens, I whined and wheedled. My library didn’t have a copy that I could borrow for free.  The nearby Chapters bookstores didn’t have a copy in stock.  I could order one, but objected to actually paying for it.  Jim sensibly reminded me that I had obtained the copy of Malleus Malificarum(Wiki link) thru Inter-Library Loan; I could do the same with this one.

The book eventually arrived, not from the gigantic Toronto Library system, but from the King Township Public Library – Nobleton branch. King Township is part of what is known as the Holland Marsh, the most fertile part of Southern Ontario, north of Toronto.  Nobleton is a town of 4000 located within it.  Why this rural area would have a copy of this book, when the metropolis doesn’t, is a mystery.

I was in love with it before I even got through the introduction. It introduced me to the word ‘catenas’, which are things or occurrences that lead inevitably, like links in a chain, from one to the next.  Like the chain they describe, I linked it to two other words I already knew, ‘catenary’ which describes the shape of a free-hanging chain, (Think McDonalds Golden Arches – or the St. Louis arch.) and ‘concatenation’, which is the formation of a chain of events.  I know!  There’s only two people in the world who give a shit about this verbal trivia – and I’m both of them.

This book describes Europe from about 1500 to 1550, just at the end of the Dark Ages, and the beginning of the Renaissance. Martin Luther and Henry the Eighth both split from The Church, and it was losing control, and its collective mind.  Catholics tortured and burned Protestants at the stake.  Protestants tortured and burned Catholics.

This book should be required reading for all the blindly-believing ‘Good Christians’, especially Catholics. It describes over two hundred years of some of the most sinful, licentious behaviour of The Church, from the local priests, right up to the Archbishops and Pope.  The Church was operated for the benefit of the religious leaders.

Tithe money bought opulent palaces and jewels and extravagant clothing – and wars to conquer countries to wring more money from. While thousands starved in the fields, the Pope threw lavish, drunken parties.

Sex was a competitive sport. The Vatican supported two whorehouses, which explains people with the name Pope.  They are descendants of bastard sons.  Many convents operated as brothels, funneling money from the nobility and rich merchants into The Church.

Positions in The Church were bought and sold, so that the buyers could gain more power and income. Several Popes simply appointed friends and relatives.  One Pope made Bishops of two young nephews who had absolutely no religious training.  Indulgences were handed out like Halloween candy.  If you gave The Church enough gold, you could commit any act, and still go to Heaven.

I’ve run into most of this information piecemeal, but it was both pleasant and disturbing to see it all laid out in an all-you-can-sin buffet. The religiously-naive would be horrified to see the quiet, historical listings of all the mistakes of the ‘Infallible’ Popes, the changes in the ‘unchanging’ Catholic Church, and the gamut of sins of all the ‘Holy, Sanctified’ religious leaders.

Until this time, many rulers, both religious and nobility, were illiterate and ignorant – and proud of it. Peasants knew only what they were told. Even the elite were only vaguely aware of occurrences at any distance, and days, weeks, months after they occurred.  After Gutenberg perfected the printing press, more people learned to read, and knowledge began flowing – the beginning of the end for the Church’s control.

The Church had invented Purgatory as an extortion racket. It all came to a head when one Pope wanted money to wage yet another war.  The selling-indulgences scheme had folded faster than a Kardashian at a spelling bee, so the Pope announced that, for those who ‘donated’ enough gold, time spent in purgatory by relatives could be reduced or eliminated by his prayers.

The now widely-read Martin Luther published a tract questioning if that were true, and asking why the Pope wouldn’t do so merely for the sake of supposedly good Christian souls and their obedient kin still here on Earth, and not for the money, “like some brazen harlot”.

While it could still use some updating and improvement, the Catholic Church is a thousand times better today than it was five hundred years ago. If you’d like a look at a time when peasants were regarded as worth less than the animals they kept, and society was run to wretched excess by hypocritical, entitled rulers, both secular and religious, this would be an enlightening book.   😯