At the risk of triggering some snowflakes by using the name Trump without an accompanying 20,000 word hate fest, I decided it would be appropriate to rehash this old post which I have been using for ten to twelve years on this special day in the Scottish cultural calendar, simply inserting the name of the incumbent US President and updating a few details.
On a visit to a military hospital where soldiers wounded in action in Syria and elsewhere were recovering from their injuries Donald Trump told the medics that he wanted to meet all the patients. Despite being warned it might not be possible due to the seriousness of some patients condition, when the tour party came to a ward with a sign on the door that read: Absolutely No Entry except to specialist medical staff the President said he wanted to go in.
"That really is not wise Mr. President," the senior doctor warned him, "these men have a rare and terrible condition, its best they remain quiet, the slightest excitement might upset them."
"Nonsense, everybody is uplifted by my plan to Make America Great Again," the President insisted.
In that case, as you are their Commander - in Chief I cant refuse but want it noted I'm letting you in only under duress, the Doctor said.
They went in. Everything seemed normal, the patients lay quietly on beds, read or watched TV.
Then Obama approached the man in the first bed and said, Hi buddy, how're you feeling. I've heard hospital food can sometimes be sub - standard. Are they feeding you well?
The man sat bolt upright, his eyes widened and his nostrils flared as he began to declaim:
Fairrr fa your honest sonsie face
great cheiftain o the pudding race,
aboon them a ye tak your place,
painch tipe and thairm.
Well worthy are ye o a grace
as lang's my arm.
"Oh jeez, I feel so bigly for the poor man," the President said to the Doctor." I wish I had listened to you now. Still I must greet all the men now I'm here."
With that he headed for the next bed.
How you doin' soldier, I guess you are all suffering from some extreme kind of post traumatic stress disorder. My personal shrink tells me a lot of people with similar conditions find it helps to keep a pet. Can I ask how do you feel about having a pet, a small animal that could stay by your bed?
Again the man's demeanour changed as he began to recite:
Wee cowrin sleekit timrous beastie
oh what a panics in they breastie,
why wad ye run awa sae hastie
wi blethrin brattle.
I wad be laithe to run and chase thee
wi murdrn pattle.
"Wow this really is terrible, is there any hope for these guys?" Trump asked the Doctor who sadly shook his head as they approached the next bed.
Well, said the president, maybe they'd respond better if I let them know how much they're appreciated.
They came to the next bed where the President said to the occupant, "Son, I want you to know America is so proud of you and your comrades in arms. Your Yuuuuge sacrifice will never be forgotten. Have you a message for the boys and girls still out there protecting liberty and American values."
And the soldier replied:
Scots wha hae when Wallace bled,
Scots who Bruce has aftimes led,
Onward tae yer gory bed,
Or tae victorie.
Wha fae Scotland's king and law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw.
Free men stand and free men fa'
Let him follow me.
"I'm sorry Doctor, we have to leave now, I cant take any more of this said Trump, What is wrong with these men, is it some terrible psychiatric affliction.
The Doctor said, "No Mr President, its the Burns unit."
Tonight is of course Burns night, the anniversary of poet Robert Burns, when Scots gather to share a feast of haggis, tatties and neeps (turnips) washed down with Ouisce Beath (water of life aka Whisky,) and celebrate the life and work of a national hero.
Another Scottish poet who is not so celebrated as Burns perhaps deserves a mention. William McGonagall, reputedly the worst poet ever published in the English language deserves to be remembered if only for his ability to be unintentionally hilarious. Read my Tribute To McGonagall and a poem in the master's style, Ode To Porridge