Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kirkin' o' the Tartan

Just got back from the dentist.

I like my dentist, but today he irritated me.

Its heroic enough to endure everything else.

The prolonged prick of the needle. The anesthetic swallowings. The endodontic excavation. The Salival suctioning. The tortuous Tools of the trade.

But then, in the middle of the procedure, his eager young hygienist proceeded to query him about how to do root canals, a procedure that, mercifully, was not being performed at the time. Accordingly, while the dental drill droned and whined, I had to eavesdrop on a conversation concerning how much of the tooth needs to be "filed", how deep into the root the canal needs to be "cored", and other such baroque contributions to the sadistic soundtrack of the dental surgery.

Anyway, not much I can do now but wait for the freezing to subside, and reflect on the non-holiday that seemed to be observed in Stoic solitude yesterday.

Bomber and I met at an ambiguously Celtic pub last night to mark the event of Rabbie Burns Day, which is akin to a national holiday (minus the holiday) for the Scottish diaspora around the world. It turns out that I missed the piping in of the haggis, but otherwise there was no acknowledgment that anything was being marked. At least not that we could observe. Not even a Caledonian soundtrack, whether it be "Road to the Isles" or "Mogwai Fear Satan". Or some greasy jazz-blues from Jack Bruce. Hell, why not even the Bay City Rollers, via whom I had been K-telled into submission by my sadistic sisters when I was a little kid.

We did observe the rather fetching sartorial regime of the servers, and Bomber brought along his unannotated bargain bin edition of Burns to read aloud from. But otherwise our commemorative observance commenced up in Bomber's office, where a bottle of Glenfiddich was skillfully sequestered in a storage cabinet.

The single malt also shepherded a swap between Bomber and I. Phil Kessel and Patrick Marleau were the principals of the deal, and I think we both went home satisfied with the transaction.

Finally, for the boys out there, mind you pay heed to Robbie's poetic prescience:

If ye gie a woman a' her will,
Gude faith! she'll soon o'er-gang ye'


  1. "On peace an' rest my mind was bent,
    And, fool I was! I married;
    But never honest man's intent
    Sane cursedly miscarried."


  2. Good stuff FE. The dentist stuff had me squirmin', The Robbie Burns recap had me laughin', the word selection had me thinkin' and the tune had me floating away into land of highlands, haggis and home brew.

  3. Address To The Tooth-Ache

    My curse upon your venom'd stang,
    That shoots my tortur'd gums alang;
    And thro' my lugs gies mony a twang,
    Wi' gnawing vengeance;
    Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
    Like racking engines!

    When fevers burn, or ague freezes,
    Rheumatics gnaw, or cholic squeezes;
    Our neighbors' sympathy may ease us,
    Wi' pitying moan;
    But thee -- thou hell o' a' diseases --
    They mock our groan!

    Adown my beard the slavers trickle!
    I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle,
    As round the fire the giglets keckle,
    To see me loup;
    While raving mad, I wish a heckle
    Were in their doup.

    O' a' the num'rous human dools,
    Ill har'sts, daft bargains, cutty-stools,
    Or worthy friends rak'd i' the mools,
    Sad sight to see !
    The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools,
    Thou bear'st the gree.

    Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
    Whence a' the tones o' mis'ry yell,
    And rankd plagues their numbers tell,
    In dreadfu' raw,
    Thou, Tooth-ache, surely bear'st the bell
    Amang them a'!

    O thou grim, mischief-making chiel,
    That gars the notes of discord squeel,
    Till daft mankiud aft dance a reel
    In gore a shoe-thick; --
    Gie a' the foes o' Scotland's weal
    A towmond's Tooth-ache!

    Robert Burns

  4. FEL,
    Would have liked to join you and B-ber. Instead a friend and I drank a whole bottle between us and recited Burns into the wee hours. Friday we went to a Battlefield Band concert in lululand.