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Issue 83 - The missing haggis

Whisky Magazine Issue 83
October 2009


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The missing haggis

Dave Broom and the vexing case of the vanishing main course.

We had taken our seats in the rather fine Council Chambers in Wigtown. Wine had been poured and Raymond Armstrong had uncorked a bottle of Bladnoch 16 Years Old. Bring on the Burns! To be perfectly honest, Burns Suppers fill me with a certain sinking feeling (come to think of it the same goes for ‘awards ceremonies' or ‘gala dinners.' Let's face it I'm just an antisocial bastard). It's the enforced jollity I suspect, the flummery, the unquestioning adherence to convention (which is a different thing to tradition in my book).

The Wigtown Book Festival's Burns Supper however was about to be given an extra boost by the appearance of our master of ceremonies: a Rabbie impersonator frae Kilmarnock dressed in the part, complete with wig and sideburns.

It struck me when he started to speak that some of Raymond's 16 Years Old might have already been consumed but, hey, if method acting works for DeNiro and Day-Lewis then why not a Burn's impersonator?

Though somewhat garbled, his introductory remarks seem to set out the running order. We return to the conversation and wait for the cocka- leekie [WM translators please note: this is a chicken soup and not a venereal complaint] only for our MC to leap to his feet and cry “Be upstanding for the haggis!” This surprises the waiting staff somewhat who are hovering around a vat of soup. An equally bemused piper rushes in and starts playing. We all clap (more or less in time). No haggis. Time passes. The piper is going puce. The MC ...

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