(Wikipedia Creative Commons. 99 cone with Monkey Blood sauce:
Handbridge, Chester: 31/7/2009 by nikoreto)
As recent readers are aware, I have been fascinated with all
things Japanese in the past month or so. I came across Zen parables
in the midst of all my reading and was amused by the word ‘koans.’
Somehow it reminded me of a Glaswegian pronunciation of ice
cream cornets. Then I envisaged a conversation between a ‘Glesca
philosopher’ – a glorified Rab C Nesbitt and his side-kick- and so I
thought I’d share it with you:
(Sorry about the formatting- it looks great in
Edit and then won’t transfer properly)
KOANS ‘n’ a’ that
Wullie: So whit’s this Philosophy course yer doin’?
Jimmy: Uch, Ah’ve always wanted tae dae some studyin’ at ra Uni.
W: Whit huv ye learnt aboot?
J: Och, this week it wiz a’ aboot koans.
W: Pokey hats?
J: Whit? Naw – koans. K-O-A-N-S. No like the ice-ey, ‘n ‘at. It’s when a psychological impasse is created an’ then yer intuition takes o’wer an’ ye get a satori.
W: Don’t tell everybody – they’ll a’ be wantin’ one. Ah kwite like stories, but it disnae mak’ sense tae me, aw this.
J: It’s no’ meant tae make sense, ya muppet. It’s supposed tae be ‘an ineffable, deeply-affecting mental flash that illuminates the cosmos.’
W: Like when ye first realise Irn-Bru isnae really made fae girders? Or yer wean pokes a pencil in a soaket?
J: Haud oan! Jakushitzu achieved it when he was slapped. Wuman says…
W: Aye wummen say too much! Wan wumman- mah mammy- used tae slap me aboot the heid and said that wid cure me o’ the wisdom o’ emptiness. If it wis a school day, she ca’d it a rude awakening.
J: Mebbe she wis a bit o’ a … philosopher?
W: Ah dinnae ken aboot that, but she was devoted tae windae hingin.’ That wis her particular form o’ meditation.
J: A bhikkuni?
W: Naw, she preferred a wan piece: a piece an’ jam, actually. She developed her mantras oan the beach. I called it her pokey-hat philosophy. That’s how I got it mixed up wi’ yon koans. See, Ah asked her why Ah could only hiv a ’99’ and no’ a ‘100.’
J: Whit did she say?
W: She said perfection didnae exist in sublunary Saltcoats. And when I complained that the ice cream didnae go a’ the way doon tae the bottom o’ the cone, she telt me that wiz because Ah wuz tae gie the dug the last bit o’ nothingness. Aye, an’ if Ah drapped it on the grass, she said Ah hud two choices: take it; or leave it.
W: ….is a piece o’ string? Aye, that wiz wan o’ her favourites.
J: Ach, awright, Ah’m aff tae the pub. Comin’?
W: Ah didnae think ye’d be allowed…. Yer religion, like….
J: Nae bother. Huv ye never heard of The Drunken Buddha?
J: Chi-Tien… He took aff a’ his claes until he wiz in his bare scud and then he burl’d his wulkies in front of his superiors. Granted it wiz a different culture and century. Ye only get that type o’ behaviour at airports noo, or thirty-eight thousand feet up, but monks like Chi-Tien reckoned non-conformity wuz a good thing. Ah widnae put it past the Dalai Lama either, though he might draw a line at burlin’ wulkies an a’ that.
W: Ach, we’re no’ Zenophobic in Glesca, but we dinna care tae let it a’ hing oot. We’re no’ really intae the moment; we dae the past far mair effectively. Changin’ the subject, though, if it comes tae a cone, Ah must admit tae likin’ a Flake and some fake raspberry sauce.
(he clears his throat.)
J: Crushed nuts?
W: Naw, laryngitis! (They laugh.) Stanley Baxter- classic.It might huv been Chick Murray, but Ah’m no’ arguin’ the toss.
J: Naw, doan’t. We Buddhists dinnae go in fur conflict. Ah kin show ye a koan, by the way. It’s jist roon the coarner. Philosophers keep puttin’ it oan The Iron Duke’s heid.
W : Royal Exchange Square. Right! Very funny! Tell me whit’ they keep dain’ it fur. Whit does it mean?
J: The same as a single end clappin’ : a tale tell’t by idiots, signifying zero. It means we’re a’ bampots, or cone-heids.
W: Aye, well that’s hardly a revelation! Ye don’t need tae huv been tae Gilmorehill tae work that wan oot.
J: Next week we’re dain’ Nirvana. Literally it means ‘blowin’ oot.’
W:That puts me in the notion furra curry.
- pokey-hat- an ice cream cornet
- wean- child
- windae-hingin’ – leaning on a window sill to observe proceedings
- scud- ‘birthday suit’; state of nature
- birlin’ yer wulkies – somersault
- Gilmorehill- site of Glasgow University
- piece n’jam – bread and jam sandwich
- single end- type of accommodation
- ice-y – the ice cream van
- bampot- idiot
(Royal Exchange Square: Wikipedia
Image : Rept0n1x)