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Issue 22 - The public burning

Whisky Magazine Issue 22
May 2002


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The public burning

Michael Jackson has a touch of Talisker's Syndrome

God must have noticed that I have spent a lot of time drawing attention to the good works of monks in producing alcoholic beverages, even to the extent of crediting them with having inspired the siting of such distilleries as Miltonduff and Strathisla.

He and I have never been well acquainted, but He spoke directly to me the day I occupied the pulpit. I don't suppose He is easily impressed, but this pulpit was very dramatic, in elaborately-carved hardwoods, loftily positioned above the congregation. I was there only once, but I had a fine time with my 15 minutes of deity-by-proxy.

God was in Old Testament mode. He was in the mood to raise Hell, though he settled for doing so metaphorically, not figuratively. Remember the iron-clad Scottish God who fired sparks from his fingers in The Ruling Class? You didn't see it? A classic movie, starring that fine drinker Peter O'Toole. God did not sound Scottish when he spoke to me. He said he was English, but he had an Irish accent. He spoke swiftly and provocatively.

As I listened, it was my synapses that sparked and smoked, forming a red mist. I felt like a man who had just had his first shot of volcanic lava, and was about to spit it noisily back into the crater. I became a hellfire preacher. My lips moved involuntarily, spewing a lava-stream of invective. Tourette's Syndrome? Talisker's, more like.

I thundered ‘a modest proposal': that one in a hundred marketing folk be slaughtered in a seasonal cull. My frame of reference s...

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