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Diana decided to sit quietly in the barmkin and study her Lenten passages.

Murgatroyd was at an auction, so theoretically she would get some peace.

Mrs Connolly kindly brought her a Drambuie coffee before she took out the


A bit early in the day, Mrs C? Diana queried.

Ach, it’s cold outside.  It’ll warm the cockles of your heart and put some

hair on yer chest, Mrs C opined.

Diana wasn’t really desirous of becoming hirsute in that- or any-


Could you…eh, would you mind not hoovering yet?  I have to meditate

on some passages.  You could polish the silver first, if you like.

Nae bother, Mrs C agreed.  You meditate on yer passages and Ah’ll

clean the passageways. But whit’s that yer reading noo?

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Oh, it’s just about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane…you know,

when He was betrayed by Judas’ kiss.  Peter became really angry and

lashed out at the High Priest’s slave, who was probably compelled to

be there.

Sounds like that Jeremy Clarkson, sighed Mrs C.  These bullies always

go for the soft target.  The poor wee soul was only trying to do his job.

Or not, according to Clarkson, replied Diana.  Anyway, it says here in

my notes that the victim was probably called Malchus.

I thought he was called Oisin, ken? said Mrs C.

No, I mean the High Priest’s slave.  Fortunately Jesus healed his ear.

Portrait of a clean shaven man wearing a furry winter hat and smoking a pipe; facing to the right with a bandaged right ear

He wisnae oan hand fur Van Gogh though.  But his wis self-inflicted,

Ah suppose.

Diana wished that Mrs C would stop dusting and leave her in peace.

Ah suppose Peter wis a big chap like Clarkson.  He wis probably famished

after a long day of discipleship and jist lost his rag and threw his weight aroon.

Ah don’t fur wan moment think he’d have had a private helicopter tae take

him tae a boutique hotel.  He must have taken the sword aff wan o’ the


Still, he didnae lose his joab over the stramash, did he?    He wis actually

promoted tae chief bouncer at The Pearly Gates, as far as Ah recall... Och,

fools rush in where angels fear tae tread, but once they’re oan the side o’

the establishment, they’ll keep ithers o’ their ilk oot.

Like making the bully Head Boy? Diana developed the thought.  She’d

never been a fan of the idea at school.

Ah’m no’ sayin’ there shouldnae be consequences fur the belligerent,

Mrs C continued. Clarkson is goin’ tae be hauled up before the Sanhedrin,

or The High Heid Yin.  MacQuarrie’s his name, Ah think.  He’ll proabably be

crucified upside doon.

Well, if Clarkson had been observing Lent, he’d have been saying cheerio

to meat anyway and he might have stayed out of trouble till Mardi Gras,

Diana laughed.  Brawn and brain.  Clarkson has both, but needs the

latter to control the former.

If Peter wis alive today, smiled Mrs C, whit kind o’ car wid he hae


A Popemobile? ventured Diana.

Mebbe an amphibious vehicle, Mrs C pushed on.  Like that James Bond

wan.  Then he could have driven over water.

Vehicle - Wet Nellie

I suppose Judas shows us that there is hope for villains such as Clarkson,

Diana tried to conclude the session.

But whit aboot the poor wee producer fellow?  His masters might not like

him if he’s seen as damaged goods.

He’s probably had his fifteen minutes of fame now, suggested Diana.

He’ll lapse into Malchian obscurity, but will, no doubt have sustained lifelong

scars.  At least he will have a story to tell – or sell.

So, that’s where we get the phrase  ‘givin’ somebody a severe Malky’ ? 

Ah’ve never thocht o’ it before.  Mebbe Ah should dae some o’ thon

studies an a’… Right, Ah’ll leave ye tae it then.  Whit did ye fancy fur

yer lunch, did ye say?

Just a cold platter, said Diana.  Thank you.

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