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English Language Evening Invaded by Marauding Scots and Fine Auld Scotch
Rabble Burns

There was nae Larkin’ aboot at the auld Chekhov center on Friday, May 15 and deep into Saturday or so it seemed, as old ‘mad McMitchell’ [ed. note: respectable author and teacher Ian Mitchell] rambled across the Highlands like a demented Haggis wi’ a broken wing. Mercy was in shorter supply than the Bruichladdich Visskiy, doled out generously by Veld-21 in quantities to make only an Aberdonian smile (if such a thing is philosophically possible) as he droned like a wounded set of pipes, now in Gallic, now in Glasgie maybe in Russky too, for his dram-swollen tongue was harder to bear than the very pitchpine pews of the Kirk. In his hands Philip Larkin sounded flat and dull, no tricky feat I grant, but his Para Handy was near as paralytic as his interlocutor, and fair as paralyzed as his pained imprisoned philologically poisoned parish. Like an aged stripper whose dress might once have been fetching but has long been carryin’, he feigned and feinted to let loose each tale, specs waving on and off his nose as he teased his rabbit-eyed audience with an interminable will-he won’t-he. He found it harder to get to the end of a sentence than me [another paralytically morose Scotsman]. Improbable, but proved possible! After a monologue that bettered Rumplestiltskin’s longest nap, at last: the magic moment arrived, a wee molecule of Malt in a medicinally miniscule measure, so a brief moment it was too, especially as some Sassenach Kulak – that’s repetitious, I ken - hogged the bottle tae himself. But it was not all Gallic gloom, doom and Dounreay, as the throngs of sponging freeloading skinfl ints who only turned up for a free noggin will ne’er try that again.

A taste of Scotland’s finest, indeed. As ever, ELE evenings are erudite, intense and rewardingly unpredictable. An unusual number of first timers got excellent value for their Rb.50.


Ian Mitchell

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