Went to my first Burns supper, but it wasn’t what most Burns Societies would call traditional. For those that don’t know, tonight is Burns night. I think it’s his birthday, and to celebrate people eat haggis and read poems about haggises (haggi?), lads and lassies, then they have ceilidh.
Roger is an instructor at an English language school, and they had a big international Burns supper for the students, and we happily tagged along. The school supplied the Haggis, the neeps and the tatties, and all the students were encouraged to bring a traditional dish of their home country. It was held in a community centre, the place was packed, and there was table upon table of exotic foods. It was like Epcot of eating.
They piped in the Haggis and a Scottish man in a booming voice read the Ode to the Haggis. Some young man (with a meerkat accent) read the Ode to the Lassies, and a Chinese woman read (also in a heavy accent) the Ode to the Laddies.
Then the ceilidh started, which was SO MUCH FUN! Now, for those who don’t know what a ceilidh is, it’s a dance to Scottish folk-type music. (The Haggis pipers didn’t stick around. I guess they had another gig, so it was iPod Scottish country dance music.) There are different dances to different songs, and they all involve doing specific steps. I’ve linked a clip I’ve found on YouTube. This is what a ceilidh is supposed to look like:
The one at the language centre looked nothing like this…it was better. They hired a very strict ceilidh master who gave instructions before each dance, then clapped along during the song. When people didn’t do the steps right she’d start barking orders, but she never seemed to catch on that hardly anyone spoke English, and those who were in the advanced English language classes still couldn’t understand her accent. She stood in the middle yelling, ‘You to this side… You to that side… Get a partner! Get a partner!… No girls can’t dance together! …Then go under their arms! No their arms… Arms! ARMS!!!!’
Eventually she got so frustrated she just started physically moving people around. Everyone was running into everyone. No one knew who their partner was. No one was even trying to do it properly, and it turned into various versions of moshing to the rythm of Scottish country dance music. It was brilliant.
HarryPotter and I decided it would be more fun to also not understand her, so we started talking with foreign accents, looking confused and bumping into each other. At one point I was laughing so hard and HarryPotter was spinning me in circles, I got dizzy and fell over. People thought this was part of the dance, and they started spinning each other and falling down. The Fascist ceilidh master got so mad she stormed out.
Someone then decided to plug their own iPod into the speaker, and it turned into a disco. Right good fun.
We lost track of Roger. I think he went home with a Brazilian bird he was talking to. HarryPotter and I closed down the place, and we never stopped speaking in a foreign accent. I adopted an Irish/Australian cross; yes, I know they speak English, but that’s why I thought it was funny. Yes, I’m hilarious. HarryPotter adopted a Russian/Nigerian cross with a hint of Miguel from Fawlty Towers.
Great night! Best Burns supper I’ve ever been to!
PS-I called MyAuthor today as she requested. I thought she was going to ask about Goatee and I, but I was wrong. She didn’t know about the break-up. The rumour that she heard was that I’d screwed up the finances at MNM. I couldn’t believe it. If the finances are a disaster it has nothing to do with me. I have done the best I could with no training. She said she was only telling me because she thought I should be warned. So some dick in the office is reporting unfavourably to London about me, and the rumours are spreading. Part of me appreciated MyAuthor telling me about these rumours; I like to know if people are talking about me behind my back. Then again, there’s not much I can do about it. I originally planned on telling her that MNM was going to drop her, but in the end I decided to keep my mouth shut. Just like there’s not much I can do about rumours circulating about me, there’s not much she can do about MNM dropping her.