WOW #27

Bagpipes

Today, we look at my Scottish heritage from the outside. The Word Of the Week is

Doodlesack

Doodlesack, a respelling of German Dudelsack “bagpipe,” literally “bagpipe sack,” is a rare word in English. The German word is, or seems to be, a derivative of dudeln “to tootle” (unless the verb is a derivative of the noun). Even in German Dudelsack appears not to be a native word but is likely to be a borrowing from a Slavic language, e.g., Polish and Czech dudy “bagpipe.” Doodlesack entered English in the mid-19th century.

I can’t blow my brains out.  I may huff and puff on my blog site, but the last time I could extinguish all the candles on my birthday cake, I was about 9 years old.  I love the soul-stirring skirl of the pipes, but I couldn’t inflate a set of bagpipes.  Even just picking one up is like wrestling a spastic squid.

Bagpipe music is not for everyone. Like kimchi, it’s an acquired taste that not all people acquire.  At a cultural festival in the park, when a piper stopped playing, a little old lady approached him and said, “If you stop squeezing that cat so hard, it will stop screeching.”

Click here if you’d like to see and hear AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck’ played on a set of flame throwing bagpipes.  A British couple got, what they thought were, really cheap tickets to a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert.  They flew to Dublin to see a show by “The Red Hot Chilli Pipers“, a cover band that does all the Pepper tunes on bagpipes.

I read a Scottish adventure/mystery story one time, where the hero was a piper. He was practicing, standing on a rocky crag above a deep, fast, mountain river, when a sniper shot at him.  He tumbled into the raging waters and, although the shooter watched for a long, long time, he never surfaced…. until the next chapter.  Scottish pipers have lungs as big as their bagpipes.  He held his breath for almost 4 minutes.

My hometown had a well-established, and forgiving, Scottish Presbyterian Church. Shortly after World War II, a series of Scottish preachers immigrated to Canada.  Each would be placed in our town for a few years, until he’d learned the social ways and lost most of his Scottish burr, and then another would come out to replace him.

The Presbyterian Manse was directly across the street from my house. As a small boy, three ministers in a row brought their bagpipes with them.  On the upper floor, there was a double-wide, 40-foot-long hallway, with 10 foot ceilings.  When they had successfully composed the week’s sermon, each would celebrate by striding the hall while playing the bagpipes.

As soon as I would hear the first skirl, I would rush over, (I was allowed to) let myself in, and sit, out of the way, in absolute awe at the close-up sound of the pipes. Sadly now, the only time I seem to hear bagpipes, is at a funeral, if someone important dies.  ‘Amazing Grace’ is a lovely song, but I pine for ‘Scotland the Bra’e.’

Doodlesack indeed!!?  Making fun of my cultural music and instrument??!  That’s as bad as me making fun of rap music….no, wait, that’s justified.  Rap – so that Negroes with otherwise absolutely no talent, can make outrageous amounts of money.

Stop back again in a couple of days, when my rants aren’t quite so outrageous.

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Hot Dog

Hot dog stand

Two guys immigrate to America.  On their first
day off the boat they are wandering around New
York City seeing the sights.  As lunch time
approaches they decide they are hungry.  They
then come up to a street vendor selling hot dogs.

One says to the other in a shocked tone, “My God.
Do they eat dogs in America?”

“I don’t know!” says the other, equally appalled.

“Well,” says the first, “we’re going to be
Americans, so we must do as they do.”

They approach the vendor bravely. “Two hot dogs,
please.”

The vendor hands them their food in a pair of
paper sacks.

The two immigrants sit on a park bench to eat
their lunch.  One looks inside his sack,
hesitates and turns to his partner and says,
“Uh, which part of the dog did you get?”

Hot dog

***

A young woman was so depressed that she decided
to end her life by throwing herself into the
ocean.  She went down to the docks and was about
to leap into the frigid water when a handsome
young sailor saw her tottering on the edge of the
pier crying.

He took pity on her and said,  “Look, you’ve got
a lot to  live for. I’m off to Europe in the
morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on
my ship.  I’ll take good care of you and bring
you food every day.”  Moving closer he slipped
his arm round her shoulder and added, “I’ll keep
you happy, and you’ll keep me happy.”

The girl nodded yes.  After all, what did she
have to lose?  That night, the sailor brought her
aboard and hid her in a lifeboat. From then on
every night he brought her three sandwiches and a
piece of fruit, and they made passionate love
until dawn.

Three weeks later, during a routine inspection,
she was discovered by the  captain.  “What are
you doing here?”  the Captain asked.

“I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,”
she explained. “I get food and a trip to Europe,
and he’s screwing me.”

“He sure is, lady,” the Captain said.  “This is
the Staten Island Ferry”

***

Did you hear about the lawyer who named his daughter Sue?

***

Hear about the psychic midget who escaped from
jail?

Yeah the headlines in the newspaper read
“SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE”.

***

Little Matt is sitting in the back of math class,
obviously not paying any attention, when the
teacher calls his name. “Yeah teach?” he says.

“If  there are three ducks on a fence and you shoot
one of them with your shotgun, how many are
left?” Matt answers “Well, teach, if I shoot one
of them with my shotgun, the loud noise is going
to make them all fly off.” “No, Matt, there will
be two left if you shoot one with your shotgun,
but I like the way you’re thinking.”

“Well,teacher, I’ve got a question for you. There are
3 women that come out of an ice-cream parlor, one
is biting her ice-cream cone, one is licking it,
and one is sucking on it. Which one is married?”

The teacher is a little taken aback by the
question, but answers “Well, uh, gee Matt, I
guess the one that’s sucking on it.” “No teach,
the one that has the wedding ring on her finger,
but I like the way you’re thinking!”

#450