The PseudoAvengers and Mr Whippy

‘Dougal. There’s a report coming in of trouble in the Windy City’

‘Michty Me! Again…. mair trouble. Was there no trouble there aboot 5 years ago wi a bairn who’s balloon got stuck up a tree?’

‘I think this is a bit mair serious Dougal’

‘Mair serious???? Ooh. Isn’t this jist magic. Ever since we joined the maist secretist secretist government agency in the world, it’s jist been great. I mean, t’was so secret I didn’t even realise Ah was in it until you telt me Donald’

‘Well, Donald, the FB Aye needs to stick to it’s motto ‘Secretus Nae Kenna’ – If Na’body kens yer their, Naebody kens’

‘Aye….it makes ye swallow yer pride when ye hear it’

‘Aye Dougal Aye…..it does’ *raises eyebrow and frowns* ๐Ÿ™‚

‘So, Donald, is it a weans balloon that’s stuck this time or don’t tell me, it’s thae #TeamTartan yins again. They’re a bunch of troublemakers richt enough’

‘Neither, Dougal. Have ye ever heard of the PseudoAvengers?’

‘You mean like thoan Marvel comics wi spiderman, Thor and thoan yin that looks like a rock?’

‘Aye, sort of. They’re like them but they don’t quite have what you would call ‘super powers’.

‘Whit dae they have Donald?’

‘Well, Spiderman produces spider silk stronger than steel which he can jet onto things, enabling him to leap tall buildings and get to the supermarket a lot quicker than you on your moped. Whereas the PseudoAvengers have the likes of PhotoCopierMan for example’

‘Whit can he dae – use a photocopier? Wi can aw dae that – hee hee’

‘No, PhotoCopierMan can take a picture with his eyes and produce good photocopies and bad photocopies’

‘Good and Bad. Whit dae ye mean?’

‘Well Dougal, the good photocopies come out of his mouth…..’

‘….Och……ye don’t mean that bad photocopies come out of………’

‘Exactly Dougal, we also have MoonMan who lights up when it gets dark. Another useless talent which only comes in handy when a torch isn’t available or KnitterWoman who can knit a jumper in 0.8 of a second or MarmaladeMan who’s bright orange, sticky and got bits’

‘Jeezo Donald, whit a useless bunch!! So, how could they be causing trouble?’

‘well Dougal, there are loads of them for a start, we don’t know where they all are, what useless things they can do. Even worse, they think they are just like the Avengers and are starting to try to fight crime, save children’s balloons from trees and other things that the police and the FB Aye are here for’

‘So, what trouble is there down in Edinburgh then……?’

‘Well, there are reports from FB AYe agents that, MoonMan, MarmaladeMan and ScrabbleMan have been seen together in the Meadows. There are reports that people have been fleeing the scene, reports of sticky stuff being dolloped on people and buildings alike. Perhaps these PseudoAvengers are not only useless but they’re troublemakers as well. We need to go down there and find out……’

100 miles down the A9 and a bit beyond, ScrabbleMan, who could not only make words from seven scrambled up letters, but could tile a whole bathroom in five minutes, was hiding behind a bush in Edinburgh’s Meadows……..

‘WOAH! – I WISH you wouldn’t do that MoonMan, always scares the crap out of me, lighting up like that just when you least expect it!’

‘I can’t help it…..it gets dark – I light up…..I wish I could stop it happening but it’s the burden I pay for being ‘special’. ‘

‘Well, it’s not much bloody use when we’re trying to hide is it? You’d have been better staying in the van! It’s all gone quite anyway, we might as well head towards the Castle and see what’s been going on’

They hadn’t gone far when they found a large dollop of white stuff hanging from a beech tree.

‘Well, what is that my friends? Either the seagulls around here are getting scaredly ginormous or that mad Putin has unleashed some mighty weird chemical warfare on Edinburgh……… DON’T TOUCH IT MOONMA…….’

Too late, MoonMan, shining more brightly by the second, gave it a sniff, stuck a moonbeam enhanced finger into the mix, licked it and turned…….’

‘It’s Mr Whippy Ice Cream…….delicious……’

‘Mr Whippy Ice Cream, twelve feet of it, hanging from a tree in the Meadows……..what’s going on’

‘Yep. He’s right. It’s creamy dreamy Mr Whippy ice cream – marmalade flavour I would guess’ said MarmaladeMan, who’d forgotten, most things he licked with his finger, tasted of marmalade’ ๐Ÿ™‚

Suddenly their newly found communal desire to find a large spoon and get tucked in, was shattered by a noise over to the right. The three PseudoAvengers walked over to the path. the sight that met them made the large blob of ice cream hanging from a tree seem as mundane as finding an odd sock in your laundry. There, lying on the path was, what looked like, a large glace cherry with a pair of womans wriggling legs sticking out the bottom.

Mr Whippy
Mr Whippy

‘Well, I’ve seen it all now. Ok I think I’ve worked it out’

‘What do you think’s happened ScrabbleMan?’

‘Ok, I think our lady friend here has been advertising Mr Whippy Ice Cream in a very badly designed costume. Lost her bearings whilst dressed in a large glace cherry, banged into a tree, losing her ice cream and toppling over onto said path for us to discover’

‘That would be a great theory but for several reasons…..’

‘What’s that old moonbeam me son?’

‘Those, that and that over there….and that’

As MoonMans light became brighter, the sight that unfolded in front of them in the dim Edinburgh light was baffling. There were two more giant glace cherries, one with legs and the other without. Further over to the left, near some park benches were what looked like giant smarties and a 99 flake.

‘Right, so let’s go through that theory of the woman advertising ice cream again……..’

‘Well, it was just a postulation’

It took them nearly ten minutes to free the petrified woman and a twenty something male rollerblader from their sweet prisons. They looked slightly sticky. Well, a LOT sticky, but otherwise, unharmed by their ordeal. Now they’d get to the nitty gritty of WhippyGate……..

‘So, one minute you’re heading towards the Grassmarket, the next a giant glace cherry lands on top of you and that’s the last thing you remember?’

‘Yes. it wouldn’t have been so bad but I’m a type 2 diabetic…..’

‘What about you son…do you remember anything before you…..ahem, were abducted by a cherry?’

‘Well, I remember three giant frisbees coming towards me through the air. I skated to the right, then to the left, then to the right again. I was just about to spin and take off along the path when I spotted it……’

‘Spotted what?’

‘A giant Mr Whippy’

‘A giant Mr Whippy???’

‘Must have been thirty foot tall. firing giant smarties and glace cherries in all directions. I tried to turn back, but it spotted me, next thing all i can see is red all around me and that godawful smell of glacier cherries. I’ll never eat one again’

The PseudoAvengers looked at each other. As the saying goes ‘this was pure mental!’

‘Okay, I know you’re dazed and traumatised. How many fingers am i holding up’

‘Three’

‘Where are we standing?’

‘In the Meadows, Edinburgh’

‘Okay son, get yerself home……’

‘Thanks for getting me out of the cherry’

‘Aye, nae bother son.

As the dazed woman and rollerblader headed home the PseudoAvengers gathered their thoughts.

‘I’m glad normal humans can’t see what we really look like, as getting trapped in a giant glace cherry only to be rescued by a torch and a bright orange sticky mess, might have been enough to send the poor souls over the edge. Anyway, bizarre though we are, they were a pair of loons …..a giant Mr Whippy giving out free, but bizarrely dangerous, free sweeties…….mair like some marketing campaign that’s gone squeegy…….’

It was about that point that the hundreds and thousands started falling on top of MoonMan’s head…….

‘Sheesh, that’s sore…..and that’s sore as well…..run for cover boys’

They’d just made it under the trees when they saw it. At the far end of the meadows, there was indeed a thirty foot tall Mr Whippy shooting hundreds and thousands into the air like there was no tomorrow.

‘THAT, is either the best manually operated object since Warhorse, OR, it’s a feckin giant Ice Cream monster set on carnage…. I think we might need to call on some help…….’

The next morning Dougal and Donald, the secretist secret agents of Scotland’s most secret Government Agency, the FB Aye, arrived in Edinburgh. There had been reports of several incidents across the city overnight, including a Japanese tourist who’d felt sick and been taken to hospital after trying to eat her way out of a giant glace cherry, four american tourists who’d rolled down the Royal mile on a sea of hundreds and thousands and a Venezuelan woman who’d become pinned against the Scott’s monument by a giant smartie.

‘I’m telling you Dougal, I knew these PoundShop Avengers would be trouble. Contact Agents Mellor and Taylor. Tell them to meet us at the coordinates as planned. Let’s show them what Highlanders can do when they’ve been starved of haggis for a day!’

It was just about then that their car was hit by a large wodge of raspberry ripple sauce………

At the PseudoAvengers Headquarters, deep underneath the centre of Edinburgh, FiloFaxMan was trying to organise some sort of plan…….

‘Hold on a second. My FiloFax is a bit over endowed at the moment. It’s here somewhere’

‘Why don’t you ditch that thing and use a computer like everyone else?’

‘Ok GadgetWoman….smartypantses…..one things for sure….you can’t hack a FiloFax’

๐Ÿ™‚

‘Here it is. here it is. According to the information from ScrabbleMan, which is a bit disjointed, as, as per usual, he hasn’t used any words greater than seven in length, we have pinpointed some potential weaknesses in our Whippy friend.
First of all, assuming it’s a normal 99 cone, it’s not going to be very strong. We all know when cones get soggy, they tend to leak and drip all over the your hand. If it’s also filled with whippy ice cream, it’s going to be susceptible to rain, heat and being licked.’

‘So, we could arrange a flashmob session and lick it to death?…’

————————————————————————————————————————

‘Donald, can you open your door?’
‘I’m trying Dougal. I’m trying…….oops…….yeeuucchh…..maybe that wasn’t a good idea’

Melted
Melted

As their blacked out DB9 filled with raspberry ripple sauce, Donald and Dougal panicked and jumped out of the car. Now covered in very sweet raspberry ripple sauce, they found themselves out in Princes St. moving very sweetly, but slowly….wading through a sticky mess. As a giant wodge of chocolate sauce hit them, Dougal and Donald realised this was not going to be a childs balloon stuck up a tree sort of day.

———————————————————————————————————–

BREAKING NEWS – Edinburgh – the Capital of Scotland is in chaos tonight after a giant Mr Whippy caused mayhem across the city. Reports are coming in of giant sweets enveloping tourists and city dwellers alike. Rumour has it that events are so dangerous, even the secret FB Aye may have been called in to rescue the city.

————————————————————————————————————

‘Okay, GardenHoseMan, HairnetGirl, ChewingGumMan and MarmaladeMan. We ALL know what we’re doing yes?’

‘YES’

‘Okay let’s go dae this’

————————————————————————————————————-

As Mr Whippy reached Edinburgh Castle, tourists scattered faster than a politician after a general election. Having clambered the wall, it continued it’s sweet but chilling mayhem within the castle walls. As he reached the esplanade a giant hairnet landed on top of him. This not only stopped him in his tracks, but caused large chunks of Mr Whippy Ice Cream to flop on to members of the public and soldiers of the 3rd Highland Regiment.

‘Ok GardenHoseMan – GO!’

GardenHoseMan got his sprinkler out and aimed it at the cone. At the same time ChewingGumMan ran at speed round the feet of Mr Whippy, dropping well chewed chewing gum on the ground. something he wasn’t proud of, but which came with the territory.
MarmaladeMan now stood in front of the now very attractively hairnetted MrWhippy.

‘Chase Me…..Chase Me’

As MrWhippy lurched forward his feet got stuck in some well masticated spearmint. His now soggy cone, gave way and he lurched on to the castle embankment.

As tourists clapped, minutes later GardenHoseMan was using his hose to clear up the last of the mess. The PseudoAvengers had averted a sweet disaster for the city of Edinburgh.

‘Dougal, whit are you doin?’

‘Ma Dad never let me have sauce on my ice cream’

‘Jesus…that’s not right Dougal…..we need to talk’

——————————————————————————————————-
Back at the PseudoAvengers headquarters………

‘Well done everyone. We may not silver surf, spin webs, get green and muscly when we’re angry throw giant hammers, lift trucks or leap giant buildings in one go, but…….what we have proved is we ‘useless’ avengers can save people and make a difference. We should not feel powerless or ashamed of our ‘powers’. Onwards and Upwards………’

‘PseudoAvengers and Mr Whippy’ was brought to you by David Linden, qosfc1919 on Twitter and Dodo Productions ยฉ 2015

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The 2nd Annual TAFTAS

The Nominees for the 2nd Annual TAFTA’s (Torthorwald Village Annual Film and Twitter Awards) are as follows…..

Best Comedy Writer

@qosfc1919 for creating SMILE voted the 75th millionth best blog in the world
94 yr old Hilda Von Voomswinkel for the Church Gazette Newsletter
Bob from the village for his ‘Paving Slabs’ blog voted 74,999 millionth in the world
FT for thehistorytwins.wordpress.com

Most Evil Character

Vladimir Putin for ‘The Man Who Stole The World’
Sepp Blatter for ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

Best Actor

Charlie the Dodo for ‘Honestly I’m Not Extinct’
Mad Malkie for ‘The Last Christmas Present’
#Jeremy for ‘The Mouse Who No One Knew’

Best Actress

Edith for ‘Edith and Maisie – The Polling Station
Katie the Yak for ‘I’m a Princess’

Best Romantic Fiction

@A_Turner_Author for her Kindle book ‘Trusting Thyme’

Best Crime Thriller

@Mark_Leggatt for ‘Names Of The Dead’ out July 2015

Best Character in a Blog Story on TheWorldAccordingToDave.wordpress.com

Edith for ‘Edith and Maisie – The Polling Station’
Jake for ‘The Last Christmas Present’
Team Tartan for ‘FT’s Tartan Diaries’
Dave for ‘The Wedding Parts 1-3’

Best Hashtags

#CantGetToWork
# ArmyOfTinyCybermen
#Poundshop
#LittleSparklesOfLight
#LampPostBirdCount
#TheVillageGossip
#EvilVendingMachine
#Jeremy
#TaxiForDave
#FreedomFriday
#HolaAmigos
#DavesMantras
#BadExperiments
#TheScotsmonautsAreComing
#TeamTartan

The Wedding – The Final Countdown

Last time we had another SHIRTGATE PART 2, we had SANDWICHGATE, LATEGATE, CHURCHGATE. If that’s enough to explain it all, or you actually read Parts 1 and 2 ๐Ÿ˜ณ, then let’s go………

Never had a wedding drained the guests so much, before actually getting to a wedding. Many would have given up by now and gave it up as a bad job, but not us. We were resolute in our mission to attend this wedding, no matter what๐Ÿ˜ณ……blessed with the knowledge it HAD to be better than what we’d encountered thus far. At last, Borthwick Castle loomed on the horizon. We’d made it in time. ๐Ÿ˜

Borthwick Castle
Borthwick Castle

The scene that met us was one of serenity and beauty. Lovely manicured lawns, populated by lovely manicured people carrying glasses of champagne…….CHAMPAGNE…..they were already into the CHAMPAGNE!!!! Now, I was starving, but as the old saying goes, any old port in a storm. I can’t remember who welcomed us onto the lawn or whether I even acknowledged them, but, within seconds, I had my paws round a flute, nay flaggon, of France’s best. At last, as the 13% sparkly bubbles descended my parched throat! I felt peace descend upon me……….

‘RIGHT THAT’S WE’RE LEAVING!’

It was Fran! I nearly sprayed my peasant squashed nectar into the middle of next week.

‘what’s wrong? We only just got here….!’

‘You’ll never guess what Uncle Gavin just said to me…..’

‘what?’

I was already in monosyllabic mode. We’d barely been on the bloody lawn for 5 minutes. The sparkly champagne bubbles had barely had time to burst in my throat and something had happened.

‘He asked me if I was “number 1 or number 2” ‘

Oh crap. The silly old bugger. Of all the sentences on all the lawns, he had to pick this one, this time and that sentence. That was him out of the running for ‘diplomat of the year’. At this point it’s worth knowing I’d separated and was now with Fran, so i could understand her getting a bit annoyed.

‘Look, he didn’t mean anything. Probably just his daft sense of humour. ๐Ÿ˜ณ Ignore it and get some sparkly down you’

Fran calmed down, and, it wasn’t long before we were called to attention to move into the castle for the actual ceremony. I was checking taxi numbers on my phone……๐Ÿ˜‰ We were escorted through a door and onto a narrow spiral concrete staircase. I don’t know what I was expecting, It was a castle after all ๐Ÿ˜€ Despite being reasonably fit,I was pecking by the time I reached the top step. There to greet us, were rows of pews on a fine carpet, surrounded by flowers and other weddingy things that you find at weddings. It was lovely. It was lovely until my sister came rushing over to me and exclaimed…..

‘You’ll need to come. It’s Dad, I think he’s having an attack!’

Now, given she was a Sister in a hospital, the words coming out of her mouth had to be taken with some high degree of seriousness. At the rear of the regalia’d hall sat Dad. He was struggling for breath and his lips were not a good colour.

‘Are you ok Dad’

The lack of a decent reply, told my brain, that, no, he wasn’t ok. He wasn’t the fittest of blokes and I’d forgot selfishly, he’d had to climb the 76 concrete spiral steps as well. I shouldn’t have felt so bad, as I certainly wouldn’t been able to lift him ๐Ÿ˜
I was about to phone an ambulance, when Dad got his nebuliser out and started puffing. Within a minute or two his colour returned and he started breathing properly again. Eventually we got him sat down on a pew and I knew he was ok when he said…..

‘Bloody weddings…….never again’

Just then my Aunt Jan and my Mum arrived from the opposite direction. They looked lovely in their wedding finery and not a bit out of breath’

‘How did you get up here?’ My Dad asked them.

I couldn’t help it……..’the LIFT’ I blurted out…

‘the LIFT……what BLOODY LIFT!’

My mum and aunt stood flummoxed, as the rest of us burst into laughter. Dad was back from the brink and even he smiled. To this day I’m not actually sure how mum and co. got up there. They certainly didn’t climb the 76 steps of the spiral staircase. So, the lift has become folklore, even if I’m not 100% sure there ever was one.

If you think I’m going to spend much time on the ceremony itself then you’d be mistaken. There were hats, veils, white dresses, kilts, music, standing up, sitting down and some ‘I Do’s’ at the end. That was it, they were married.

We were directed into a grand room to wait while preparations for the wedding meal were completed. I checked Dad was ok, saw more sparkly bubbles being offered and headed for a seat. I noticed there weren’t many so, I nudged Fran towards a two sweater sofa near a large warm open fire.

‘Get in there quick!’

We selfishly nabbed it, feeling pleased with ourselves for getting ‘pole posish’. We now only had the meal and the disco to get through and it would ALL be over. One night in the hotel and home to a warm bed and normal life. No shirts, no tantrums and no Moffat toffees (well, maybe one โ˜บ๏ธ) we were still high fiving and backslapping each other when this happened…….

‘Hello. ladies and gentlemen. We have a break before the meal, and….since half of you have travelled all the way from New Zealand to be here, we thought we would provide some traditional Scottish entertainment…….. I’d like to introduce Dougal who will……….’

Dougal who will…..what? Sing? Highland Dance? Play the bagpipes, the fiddle, toss the caber……WHAT? What was Dougal going to do……..?

‘………tell some stories…..’

TELL SOME STORIES……..WHAT? AT A WEDDING! Sheesh……. Then Dougal appeared. Dressed in the ubiquitous kilt and wearing a green beret. He looked the part and I shouldn’t have been so harsh on him……..until he took up residence right in front of the fire……right next to us…..

‘Ah’m here Ti tell ye a story, aboot a princess and a frog. One day a Princess was oot walkin along bi the river, the sun was oot, nae a breath o’ wind…….’

Fran and I looked at each other. Not only was our route to the champagne blocked, not only was our escape route blocked, within one sentence, we realised we’d picked the worse seat this side o’ Dalkeith. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the New Zealanders loved it, but, it was my worst nightmare. The only thing worse would have been if he’d asked Fran, in front of everyone, whether she was number one or number 2, or, even worse, shown my Dad where the lift was.

‘…..until she saw where the voice wiz cummin frae……on a stane beside the sparklin water, there sat a frog……’

Arrgh, so he went on, while we, parched starving and trapped, listened to Dougal. It served us right. ‘POLE POSISH INDEED’

‘……so, she kissed the frog…and guess whit happened……?’

The Frog and the Prince
The Frog and the Prince

Don’t say it turned into a Prince…

‘……it turned intae a handsome Prince’

Arrgh, help me please…….

Eventually, to tumultuous applause, ( I gave him a standing ovation ๐Ÿ˜ณ ) Dougal had run out of frogs, princesses and other Disney characters who’d obviously popped over to Scotland for the wedding. He left, his cruel work done, to go and write something about a girl locked in a tower with long golden hair or something.

With Dougal gone, we were escorted through to a lovely hall for the meal. Fran and I followed the rest of my immediate family to a table on the left. Mum seemed to know what she was doing so, we followed her. As, one by one, my family began to sit down, Fran started to look a bit confused…..

‘I can’t see our names’

She was right. Our names were not there. We went into ‘slightly embarrassed’ mode as we were now the only ones left standing. It turned out we’d been shuffled to another table complete with total strangers. Fran gave me a look. I sheepishly sat down and looked at my watch. We quaffed more french bubbles to make us forget we were the only ones shunted to the rear amongst the boyfriend of the best man and other important guests. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Soon, the meal and the speeches were over. It was the last leg……le discotheque. Well, actually, I didn’t know whether it was a ceilidh band or Bon Jovi. Sometimes Scottish weddings have a mixture of Scottish and modern music. I waited with baited breath…….
At least, having moved to yet another large room I the castle, we were back safely within the confines of my family. We’d all had enough percentage of the water, we’d even started laughing about all the things that had gone wrong. It was all behind us, we’d have a dance, drink some more, go back to the hotel. End of……

a New Zealand accent arrived…….it was the grooms mother.

‘ thank you everyone. I hope you’ve had a lovely day (๐Ÿ˜)….. We have some music now and I’d like to introduce the New Orleans Jazz Band. I hope you all like jazz music…..thank you once again……enjoy the rest of the evening….’

I turned to the rest of the family….

‘did she just say “Jezz” ? ‘

Suddenly, there were red and white stripey waistcoated, boater wearing, shiny instrument wielding punters everywhere.
Now, I like a wide range of music, but, unfortunately, jazz was not on the list. I couldn’t believe it. JAZZ, at a Scottish wedding! We all looked at each other.

All That Jazz !
All That Jazz !

As the first ragtime something or other kindled up, the 4 people who liked jazz got up to dazzle us with their jazz moves. My head finally sank into my hands. It was almost like someone was using a Dave’s Wedding Voodoo doll and was happily sticking pins in it with gusto.
After the 20 down to 10 ragtime hits had been completed, the New Orleans Monsters of Jazz moved on to the all time Top 10. I was praying they’d kill a jazz version of Living On A Prayer just to finish off the perfect day.

Suddenly, it was over, and, apart from having to wait an hour in the darkness for a taxi, nothing else went wrong. The Wedding Voodoo Doll controller had obviously run out of pins, or gone to bed.

The next morning at breakfast, we went through it all again. We laughed so much, we were getting strange looks from other tables. We packed our bags and, as we set of down Dalkeith High St. we were still laughing………..

The Wedding – The Final Countdown was brought to you by David Linden aka @qosfc1919 and Dodo Productions ยฉ 2015

FT’s TartanDiaries Episode 9 – Purple Haze

Allegedly the light was so bright, Leggatt’s pupils had run for cover………

‘Did you hear a noise?’

‘Mister Leggatt. I did hear a noise. We all heard it. It was Tompkins sneezing’

‘No, I heard another noise, footsteps, almost silent, but, just audible, like the footsteps of a killer’

‘Look, Mr Leggatt. There ARE no footsteps down here, and as for killers, I think that’s a bit rich coming from someone picked up with enough evidence on him, to bang him up for a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very……long time’

‘I think you’ll find, in order to make that last section of dialogue readable, you used way, way, way, too many ‘verys’ . Did you see a shadow………. there…….behind you?

‘Forget footsteps, forget shadows Mr Leggatt. I think you need to worry more about……..THIS!’

‘What is it?’

‘You, surely recognise it. It’s yours. A little black book entitled ‘The Names Of The Dead’

‘Ah’

‘Ah, Mr Leggatt, ah indeed. Not only the names of dead people, but where they died, how they died, and, even the murder weapon used’

‘Yes, it must look a bit strange, but, I can explain’

‘oh, can you Mr Leggatt? So, you can explain why the first person listed on your Names of the Dead, is called Derek, and dies after being pushed from a cliff near Edinburgh’

‘and what’s wrong with that?’

‘My God, not even one shred of remorse or should I say………..Inspector Morse’

‘what do you mean, remorse….I only made it up for my bo…..’

‘MR LEGGATT! I don’t care what you think you did, but someone called Derek was indeed pushed from a cliff near Edinburgh two weeks ago. He only survived after his braces caught in a whin bush’

‘Yes, but…….. Hey…..did you hear a creaking noise? As if a murderer wearing brown loafers, was creeping down a heavy piled carpet?’

‘Ok Mr Leggatt. I think we’d better start at the beginning……………or should I say…Once Upon A Time’

……..although we knew #TeamTartan might be in trouble, our ‘urgent’ journey to the Kelpies had been delayed. First of all Gigi refused to budge unless she got pizza. Dad decided he needed to buy ingredients in bulk for his continued #Disasterchef attempts to produce a dry rub which would make haggis edible to us Americans.

Mom, however, was fed up. Fed up with dry rubs, pop up hairdressers, police stations, fed up with drama, One Direction, Mojito Man, servers, sockets, suspects, Gigi’s…….. ‘people’…..and…..most of all…….she was fed up with #TeamTartan.

#teamTartan @qosfc1919 @thehistorytwins @Mark_Leggatt @YoorWullie @DeanStoker @FewArePict
#teamTartan @qosfc1919 @thehistorytwins @Mark_Leggatt @YoorWullie @StokerDean @FewArePict

I was the opposite. I thought I’d made the biggest mistake in my short life, swapping a two week looxshoory holiday in El Mento Loco, for, on paper, a damp boring fortnight with a bunch of Scottish Twitter addicts, who basically, had lost their way, the vote, their raison d’รชtre. Instead, it turned out the 45% had galvanised them into a force so strong, even the Queen and Prince Charles had tried to stop them. Since we arrived it had been one humungous Scottish rollercoaster
ride.

In the end, Mom decided she would visit the Scottish National Gallery, whilst Dad, Gigi and I headed to the Kelpies to find #TeamTartan.

‘Look, I’ve got tweets to tweet, blogs to blog, drawings to draw and #EvilSkyDish’s to fight. Who are you lot and why am I here?’

‘Dave, look, we know if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here……..๐Ÿ˜………but setting this work of fiction aside….you appear to be in huge trouble……’

‘what do you mean ‘trouble’? I work in a factory, support a football team that will never play in the Champions League Final and run the blog voted 57 millionth best in the world…..’

*chortles from those in the room* โ˜บ๏ธ

‘Don’t laugh. You never know, I might be in for the Booker Prize one day. That’ll wipe the stupid grins off your faces…..’

*more chortling and just a hint of guffawing*

‘look….I made you up……………who are you?’

‘Hmmmmm, I suppose when you put it that way, there’s no harm in telling you………you’ve obviously heard of MI5, MI6, the CIA and the KGB?’

‘Yes’

‘……and the FBI…….well…..we’re even secreter than the secretest, secret agency who do secret things while paid for by public funds, in the interests of……..eh…..the public and our national interest……..we are the Scottish arm and we call ourselves the FB Aye!’

‘pphhhhheeeewwwffft’

‘what are you spluttering at’

‘The FB Ayeeee. wtf’s that all about ha ha The Scottish Secret Police….. Brilliant! You’ll be telling me next you’ve infiltrated all levels of society and your leader is Jim Murphy ๐Ÿ˜€’

*heads turn…..cheeks blush*

‘Enough! Do you know anyone called Gigi, FT or a Mark Leggatt’

‘Yes. I follow them on Twitter. Well, not Gigi. She’s only 8, although she’s quite scary for her age’

‘so, you know Gigi runs a global comic subscription scam’

‘no no, we made that up for a laugh…..it’s just a funny thread we use on twitter’

‘ you think so…….and Mr Leggatt…you know him too?’

‘Yes. Nice man, writes stuff, works part time’

‘Hmmmm……this gets worse Davey Boy….this just gets worse and worse’ ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

————————

It was Gigi’s brilliant idea to hire a canal boat. This not only allowed us to sidle up to the Kelpies unnoticed. It also gave us the space to store Dads dry rub ingredients which were now getting way out of control. We’d find him scribbling his ‘formulations’, as he now called them, at every opportunity. He was the Leggatt equivalent of the Dry Rub Crimewriter. Some of the ones he’d come up with, were so hot they could scorch varnish off a chair leg at five paces.

Canal Boat by The Kelpies
Canal Boat by The Kelpies

‘What next Gigi?’ I asked my little sister.

‘We set up the scanning equipment, I make a few phone calls. We wait……’

‘Ok. I’m going to draw a Webcomic about an obscure artist Dave’s never heard of. That’ll piss him off, unless it’s too late and #TeamTartan are already goners’

My Dad was down in the galley surrounded by haggis in dry rub heaven. All was good.

‘So….Mr Leggatt, let’s continue……page 123 of your ‘little black book’ “……Marco is found dead , with only a tiny cut to his left leg. poisoned using an umbrella’

‘Yes, I know it’s been done before, but it was a Friday night, it was late, I couldn’t be bothered…….’

‘So you killed him……?’

‘NO…..I think your getting mixed up. I’m a writer. All those names are fictional, I made them up. What I meant was, I’d had a couple of martinis that night, and couldn’t come up with an original way to kill off Marco. I was REALLY getting bored with him and bloody jealous at the number of women he was bedding!’

‘So, you became jealous of a fictional character that you yourself had created…….?’

‘Eh…….yes……I had had a couple of drinks……’

‘Were you in Biarritz recently?’

‘Yes, we had a break in Biarritz…..why?’

‘Well, I think we’re about done’

‘Done with what?………..can you hear a whirring noise………what was that…….now it’s clicking……..are we safe here’

‘Well, Mr Leggatt, you see, a Marco Verucci was nearly killed in Biarritz a few weeks ago…….and guess what……..he’d been poisoned with………an umbrella!!!’

Gigi glowed green as a myriad of computers scrolled gigabytes of information across the screens.

‘It looks like they are being held in some sort of subterranean complex directly below the Kelpies. Yoor Wullie is being held with 2 others in one room, Leggatt is in a room of his own as is Dave. Nothing unusual there. ๐Ÿ˜ There’s only one way in. It’s heavily guarded. There is a ventilation shaft, but I’m not sure that helps us.’

Suddenly the door to the deck of the canal boat opened, followed by a body stumbling down the stairs onto the floor. Startled, Gigi and I turned around to find a green and very crumpled Mojito Man lying in front of them.

‘Mojito Man! Are you ok?’

‘Yes. I’ve come to save Debra. I miss my Bendy Girl. Not easy to be an Avenging double act, when there’s only one of you, plus, I miss my Saturday night, Mojito mashing, drinking partner’

‘That’s a noble quest Mojito Man, but, it’s like one of Leggats novels, neither Gigi nor I can fathom it out. If we don’t come up with something soon, it might be too late’

Just then there was a loud bang, the galley door burst open, and a purple cloud of hot dry haggis rub filled the room.

‘Sorry girls…… Last ball of the ninth….I think I just struck a home run……we have a haggis dry rub to die for’

It was Mojito Man who had surprisingly come up with the plan. As darkness fell, Gigi, Dad and I found ourselves playing baseball close to the entrance to the Kelpies.

‘Ok Gigi, hit me with your best shot’

‘Strrriiike’

‘Eh, Gigi, you’re supposed to be letting Dad hit it towards the guards remember? We’re supposed to be DISTRACTING THEM!’

‘He never let’s me win back home, so why should I let him win here?’

It soon developed into a slightly heated game, at which point both guards moved toward us.

That was the cue for Mojito Man to start climbing one of the Kelpies.

‘Could you move along please. This is a restricted area’

‘Ain’t it a ‘tourist attraction’ for……….tourists?

‘We have a temporary safety incident at this time. The attraction is closed’

Gigi was trying to kill dad, or at least maim him, hurtling the baseball towards his eyes. WHAM! Fortunately Dad managed to hit Gigi’s bullet. Unfortunately, his home run hit one of the guards square on the forehead. There was a cracking noise just before he toppled like a felled tree to the ground. As the other guard bent down to help him, Gigi took him out with a new Karate move she’d learnt only the other Saturday.

…………Mojito Man sat on top of the Kelpie. He didn’t like heights. It was only the thought of sharing a green Mojito and a packet of hula hoops with Bendy Girl, which prevented him from keeling over. He looked down at the ventilation pipe, unscrewed the top of the dust unit, opened the first bag, waited for my signal, then chucked the first of Dads Haggis Dry Rub down the pipe.

Having been questioned about their links to Leggatt and Gigi, YoorWullie, Debra and Stoker of the Dean had long since got bored. YoorWullie was just about to attempt to bore the guards to death with the history of the Jacobites, when Stoker of the Dean shouted’

‘Look there’s purple smoke coming out of that vent. What a lovely colour. It’s beautiful’

As the first guards breath caught the first pocket of Haggis Dry Rub, he sank to his knees coughing, spluttering, his eyes streaming. Within seconds the second guard was similarly indisposed.

‘Cover your noses guys, this is our chance to get away from these numpties.

YoorWullie and Stoker of the Dean followed Bendy Girl into the corridor. Stumbling, choking guards were running in all directions. They followed one particular group up a set of stairs and within minutes they were out in the open air in front of the Kelpies. They found themselves surrounded by men in black suits coughing solidly and three familiar characters playing baseball.

‘Over here Debra, follow us……’

It wasn’t long before Leggatt and Dave appeared, joining the rest of #TeamTartan in a race to the canal boat. Soon they were on the move, leaving the Kelpies looking particularly beautiful, covered in a purple dry rub shroud, backlit by the silver moonlight.

As Mojitos, Belhaven and Irn Bru were brought out in celebration at #TeamTartan’s escape from the FBAye, there was a large pat on the back for Mojito Man’s idea to use my Dad’s Haggis Dry Rub mix through the subterranean ventilation system. It had been a stoke of genius. ๐Ÿ˜

As the canal boat chugged it’s way into the Scottish mist, Leggatt placed his martini on the table……’Did anyone hear a noise…..?’

TeamTartan were back where they belonged………together โ˜บ๏ธ

I smiled, what could possibly happen next……… ๐Ÿ˜ณ

FT’s TartanDiaries Episode 9 – Purple Haze was brought to you by David Linden aka @qosfc1919 and Dodo Productions ยฉ 2015 โ˜บ๏ธ

Mark Leggatt really is a writer and his novel ‘Names Of The Dead’ will be published in July by Fledgling Press and online By Faber.

Also remember to visit FT’s webcomics over at thehistorytwins.wordpress.com

Burns Night and The Little Korean

Living in Dumfries, Rabbie Burns, the great Scottish poet, has been part of our lives since we were tiny. He’s buried in St Michaels churchyard after spending the last few years of his life in a house just across the street from the church. During January through to March there are Burns Supper celebrations all over the world, celebrating the great Bards works.

Robert Burns
Robert Burns

Years ago, the company I worked for, invited a customer from Korea to a small Burns supper, set up especially for them. The works had a place nicknamed ‘The Golden Trough’ where such events were held. It was my first time in the ‘Trough’, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I remember being introduced to the Koreans. They seemed nice people. They seemed excited about the prospect of the Burns Supper. Me?…. Well, I’d had Haggis, neeps and tatties the two previous nights, and, as a result, I wasn’t quite as excited as our Korean friends.
We were ushered through to the Golden Trough. It was nice. A bit cozy and bijou, with a lovely table decorated with candles, floral debris and obligatory tartan items.
We were seated, Scot, Korean, Scot, Korean, Scot, English ๐Ÿ˜ณ, Scot, Korean etc. The little Korean to my left turned round to me and said…. ‘I velly much rooking forward to tasting ra haggis’
I smiled at him and said ‘yes, It’s very nice…..’

Suddenly, the opportunity for a Scottish Korean cultural exchange was cut short by the bellowing of bagpipes from the doorway. A lone piper entered the room, followed by one of our workers, dressed in a kilt, carrying the haggis on a silver salver. Now, I love bagpipes. Especially when someone tries something new with them. However, in a tiny room, at full pelt, playing a tune you’ve heard a million times before, they are excruciating.
I nearly broke protocol and put my fingers in my ears, before realising this would not be a good tone to set for the evening. Thankfully, after 2 or 3 circumnavigations of the table, the bagpipes eventually stopped.

I’d never seen anyone ‘address the haggis’ before, so the next few minutes were an eye opener. The chap they’d chosen to do the address, was someone I worked with. He went at it with such vigour and aplomb. He was brilliant. By the time he’d slit open the haggis with a silver dirk, even I was scared stiff. As the blade slowly sliced open the membrane, the haggis oozed from the sheeps stomach like a slimy grey lava flow.

Realistically, it looked revolting. I looked round the table. The Koreans were mesmerised…………..

Address to a Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

After some loud clapping, smiling and more clapping, there was a gap while the dead haggis was taken away to the mortuary to be revived, only to be returned ten minutes later as…….. ………..TINY LITTLE PORTIONS WITH EVEN TINIER PORTIONS OF NEEPS AND TATTIES…..

What had happened to it? Had it shrunk in the microwave whilst being reheated. Or, had they dropped the silver salver on the way to the kitchen. Either way, despite having had haggis on the two previous evenings, the portion was miserly? One mouthful and it would be gone. I was starving as well, as I’d expected some huge seventeen course meal with wine. After all, it was called The Golden Trough ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Two seconds later my plate was empty. I turned to my small Korean friend. The sight that met my eyes has lived with me ever since. The little Korean was drenched in sweat. Beads of water trickled down his face. He looked as if he’d completed a half marathon from his seat.
He noticed me staring at him…….

‘I verry solly……..I no can eat…….ra haggis’

The poor soul was so embarrassed at not being able to eat our national dish. He was one step away from a panic attack. I touched his arm, smiled. I swapped our plates. Within two seconds, I’d cleared his tiny portion as well. An instant bond was formed between us, and, since that day, neither of us have ever seen nor heard of each other.

I have no intention of visiting Korea to reciprocate his brave attempt with Korean cuisine, but, as I’m having my haggis tonight, I’ll raise a glass to my little Korean. โ˜บ๏ธ

You can read about Robert Burns life here….

http://www.robertburns.org

‘Burns Night And The Little Korean’ was brought to you by David Linden aka @qosfc1919 on Twitter and by Dodo Productions ยฉ 2015

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 8 #TeamTartan Go AWOL

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 8 #TeamTartan Go AWOL

If you’ve never read any of Episodes 1-6 or even episode 7, none of this will make any sense to you……. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

As the summer rain battered off the apartment window, I reflected on how we’d come to the decision to come to Scotland in the first place. Madrid had been my first choice, followed by Barcelona, just ahead of Asturias, plus every other major and minor town in mainland Espana. After that, I’d have gone for the Balearics, the Canary Islands, Malta, Cyprus, most of the Greek Islands, maybe even Cuba.
Instead, we’d opted for Alba and #TeamTartan. So far, it had been the most exciting trip ever. Police interrogations, Gigi, Stoker of the Dean (@DeanStoker) and I, rescuing @YoorWullie from Edinbro Castle, and, with the help of @FewArePict’s alter ego SuperHero, Bendy Girl, stopping a bank robbery in Bruntsfield. This was SCOTLAND, a land of beauty, heroes and deep fried things. It was amazing!

I thought things might calm down a bit. I mean, even we Americans have an off button. I should have known better……..

The damp day had started off quietly enough. Dad, apart from waking the entire household again whilst he made coffee, was experimenting with dry rubs for haggis. I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t make some coffee, without it sounding as if a herd of drought stricken elephants had found a watering hole. ๐Ÿ˜

‘There must be a dry rub that makes this stuff edible, there MUST be!’

‘DAD! Don’t let #TeamTartan hear you say that. They still think we love it.’

While Masterchef Dad persevered with his dry rub mixes, I checked Twitter. Mom had gone with Gigi as my little sister had decided to set up a ‘pop-up’ hairdressing salon on Princess St. Gigi had arranged for five One Direction lookalikies to have their hair done by Gigi, while charging ยฃ5 for autographs and, no doubt signing as many people as possible to her Webcomic subscription.

Twitter was remarkably quiet. None of #TeamTartan were online. In fact none of them seemed to have tweeted since 10pm the previous day. Now, @Mark_Leggatt could disappear for days. If he wasn’t trying to get some oily interface project sorted, he’d be hermitted away writing his second novel with his Blackwing Pearl pencils. The rest of them though, were never far away from a keyboard or touchscreen. If YoorWullie wasn’t politely pointing out some Tory MP’s expenses error, Debra (@FewArePict) was on an anti-fracking theme, Dave was droning on about windfarms and Dean was playing catch up on what everyone had been tweeting. So, their current tweetless tweetlessness was very strange. I jolted as Dad sneezed…..

‘GODAMMMIT……I don’t believe it….’

‘what’s wrong now Dad?’

‘I finally found a spiced dry rub which was perfect for that offal stuff, it made me sneeze, and, now……it’s all over the floor…….’

‘but you wrote down what you put in right…..?’

The silence told it all. โ˜บ๏ธ

I switched the tv on…….

‘…….extra police have been called to Princess Street after a pop-up hairdresser stall attracted thousands of One Direction fans. All trams and buses have been affected as well as roads in and out of the city……….and, in other news, it’s been reported that five members of a Twitter group known as #TeamTartan have vanished. Relatives reported, despite those involved living as far apart as Milngavie and Dumfries, they disappeared at 10pm last night, and have not been seen since’

Oh great. my 8 yr old sister had brought the City Of Edinbro to a standstill and my raisin d’รชtre had vamooshed off the face of the earth. Where could the silly sods be? A noise from the corridor revealed Gigi and Mom carrying several large bags.

‘Don’t tell me that’s all the hair from the pop up Hairdressers?’ I quipped

‘Nope. It’s the money Gigi made from autographs, Webcomic subscriptions, and selling ‘One Directions’ hair to screaming girls. ยฃ50,000 I reckon’

‘…….and what happens when they find out it wasn’t the real One Direction?’

‘We’ll be back in Maryland by then โ˜บ๏ธ’

It was great to see, once she’d had it confirmed by DNA testing that Gigi and I were indeed Mom and Dads real children, that Mom was joining in the rest of the families mad schemes.

I took Gigi to the side and explained the news about #TeamTartan.

‘I might be able to help. After @YoorWullie ended up, firstly in jail, then being kidnapped by the Royal Family, I decided to put a bug on him. If he hasn’t changed his socks we should be able to find his location. Follow me’

Gigi entered the 128 digit encrypted code on her bedroom door. Something hummed, lights went green and the door opened. I’d never been inside her room before. Not because I hadn’t tried, it was mainly due to the 128 digit encryption code with 948 trillion possible combinations.
Once inside, my pupils widened. Not just because what was in front of my eyes surprised me, but because everything was a darkish glowing green.

‘the most sophisticated surveillance system in the world. I can track every one of #TeamTartan’s position to within one square metre, rotate my satellites to view their position, and watch their every move, except when they are in the restroom’

I gawped at the rack of servers, flashing lights, cables, the wall of flat screens and the one particularly large mouse.

‘ok, let’s have a look to see where they are’

Gigi pressed buttons, clicked the giant mouse a few times and waited.

‘hmmm, that’s strange’

‘what’s strange Gigi?’

‘at exactly midnight last night their locators stopped…..all at the same time’

‘stopped……all at the same time?’

‘I just said that’

‘where were they when you lost them?’

‘give me a minute….I’ll run the tri-locater on all of them and triangulate their last known position’

As things hummed, and the green glow enveloped us for a few more seconds, the curious group disappearance of #TeamTartan, started to make me feel nervous. How could four adult males and one grown woman disappear just like that.

‘there it is. They were all here…..’

Gigi pointed at the screen.

‘zoom in I can’t make it out…..’

The satellite image cleared. Gigi zoomed in further and further. We looked at the screen, we looked at each other, we looked back at the screen. We found ourselves staring at a picture of the Kelpies.

The Kelpies
The Kelpies

‘The Kelpies……. A tourist attraction….why would the five of them go there at midnight…..maybe they’re weirder than we thought’ ๐Ÿ˜€

‘give me a second………’

Gigi pressed more buttons.

‘both the sensors on YoorWullie and Leggatt have video cameras on them. I should be able to play back the last things they recorded before the signal disappeared’

Suddenly we were watching someone being pulled from the back of a car. Ahead, We could clearly make out Debra, Dave, Dean and Leggatt being taken towards the Kelpies by men in suits.

‘what on earth is happening. Why would they take them to a tourist attraction in Falkirk?’

‘I don’t know. Look, they’re taking them inside…….’

‘ok that’s it, let’s go’

we grabbed some stuff, a cold pizza and headed for the exit.

‘where are you two going…….’ yelped Dad, who was forlornly trying to recreate his crashed dry rub masterpiece.

‘we’re going to the Kelpies Dad, ditch the haggis, grab Mom and let’s go #TeamTartan have screwed up again……’ ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Episode 8 of FT’s Team Tartan Diaries was brought to you by Me @qosfc1919 ยฉ Dodo Productions 2015

Don’t forget to visit FT’s blog at thehistorytwins.wordpress.com

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 7 The Bank Robbery

FT’s Tartan Diaries Episode 7

If you’re new to FT’s Tartan Diaries you’ll need to read the following link first or nothing in the world will make sense to you, your legs may go wobbly and, your head may explode into a ball of candy floss ……….https://theworldaccordingtodave.wordpress.com/2014/12/29/195/

If you do know all about the history of a bunch of five Scots and four Yanks already, and you want to read on, then you are obviously as mad as a box of frogs……. Enter Episode 7 at your peril….. ๐Ÿ˜

FT

We’d only been in ‘Edinbro’ two days. Exciting? It had been as exciting as discovering the secret recipe for Irn Bru, as exciting as a full Scottish breakfast and a cup of tea on a cold Sunday morning, as exciting as stopping in the mist, as a twelve antlered stag appeared twenty feet away. It was EXCITING!

So far, we’d been arrested, found @YoorWullie had been arrested too. We’d been released thanks to ‘people’ Gigi knew. YoorWullie had then been kidnapped by an old woman, wearing a tiara and a man with a big nose and BIG ears, then taken to Edinbro Castle, where Stoker of the Dean (@DeanStoker ) Gigi and I had rescued him.

As another Scottish summer morning’s grey light, filtered through my bedroom curtain, I listened to the gentle hum of the server network from Gigi’s room. I smelt coffee. My Dad’s dry rub of brown sugar, garlic powder and cayenne pepper rubbed oven baked bacon, oozed from the kitchen. Dry rubbed chicken, dry rubbed bacon. Dad’s culinary skills knew no equal in the whole of the kitchen he now occupied. But I still loved him.

Mum? Well, Mum, having seen the madness eschew, and, knowing the crazy things Dad, Gigi and I got up to, had now gone beyond checking birth certificates, and, was now demanding DNA and blood samples from us all, to enable paternity checks to be carried out. Even though she was stretching every sinew to prove we weren’t her kids, I still loved her.

As for Gigi, instead of running her Global Empire from Maryland, by the sounds coming from her room, she was firmly in control of the FTSE Index from our Edinbro department. I know anyone reading this must think, why couldn’t Mum and Dad see through the pretence, and realise that, despite being only 8yrs old, she wasn’t just playing the memory hungry version of Candy Crush Saga. She was indeed running a Global Comic Subscription scam from her room, hence the server network. However, when she put ‘Cute Face’ on, everyone just melted. It got all gooey and slushy with cuddles, love etc. After that, all questions about servers, cables, the bank of flat screen tv’s and the constant phone calls were forgotten. At the end of the day Mum and Dad loved Gigi.

I loved her too, especially when she told me she’d sent a camera drone down to Dumfries with an electronic device on it. She’d set it up so’s #EvilSkyDish would receive a burst of interference all the way through the live broadcast of the Manchester Derby. Dave would be so pleased. ๐Ÿ˜ณ She was MY darling little sister and was learning fast.

The original plan had been to travel to Milngavie to meet @FewArePict for a bit of Gaelic shopping. I wasn’t sure whether this meant Gigi and I would have to cover our faces in wode and visit a tattoo parlour. However, the whole thing was kyboshed when it emerged Milngavie was closed for the day.

Instead, we’d arranged to meet FewArePicts alter ego Bendy Girl, and Mojito Man (the green rum avenger) near The Meadows, for a bite of lunch, or in Mojito Man’s case, possibly some biting of his fingers. We left Dad reading YourWullie’s new kindle book ‘Guddling Troot for Beginners’, and Mum on the phone to the DNA profiling centre apparently trying to ‘hurry them along’.

We decided to head up to Bruntisfield, as, apparently, there were a couple of nice cafรฉs and hotels where Gigi might get pizzas and donuts. Debra (FewArePict) turned out to be even nicer than I’d expected. I knew not to mention the referendum result nor Gigi’s business links to Fracking in the Milngavie area. Mojito Man, however, had fallen over twice and seemed to still be a bit worse for wear from the night before.

Debra explained…..

‘I don’t remember meeting him. Apparently, he appeared on a night out, I was enticed by his greenness, got embroiled, and that was it, I’d lost 24 hours of my life. It’ll be a long time before I have another Mojito, but, someone’s got to look after him’ .

We were just passing a large bank when we heard shouting….

‘Stop….stop those men……..they’ve robbed the bank!’

We turned round to see three men with hoods running toward us. As they reached the gate where we were standing, Gigi looked at me. We had to do something. Just then Mojito Man fell over again, tripping one of the robbers. As he fell, Gigi gave the robber one of her best moves, a ’roundhouse to the temple’. He groaned and slumped to the floor.

‘did you see what that wee kid did?’ Shouted one of the other robbers.

‘Leave him, the clumsy oaf’ said the other robber.

By the time he turned to look back at us, Gigi and I had climbed on the low wall, and jumped, taking him out with a double drop kick. The last of the robbers was now fleeing speedily towards the Bruntisfield Hotel.

‘it’s ok let me deal with him’ said Debra.

At which point, she brought a rugby ball from her bag, stretched her arm back, and launched it like a quarterback into the air. The rugby ball spun in the air like a rocket. Gigi and I stared as the robber disappeared into the distance followed by Debra’s rubber missile.

‘Ouch’

Boomph……he was down. She’d done it. Our wheelchair rugby heroine had just gone and taken out a bank robber with a rugby ball from 300 yards! She’d get a game for the Miami Dolphins. ๐Ÿ˜€

Gigi turned to me….. ‘Right, can we get donuts now….?’

I laughed out loud.

‘Yes Gigi…. We can do donuts now’ โ˜บ๏ธ

…….after picking Mojito Man up off the ground, and, as a crowd gathered around us applauding, Gigi, Mojito Man (with a bit of help), Bendy Girl and I headed off for donuts and Irn Bru………….

I WAS BEGINNING TO LOVE SCOTLAND SO MUCH ๐Ÿ˜€

Episode 7 of FT’s Tartan Diaries was brought to you by @qosfc1919 aka David Linden and Dodo Productions ยฉ 2015 Don’t forget to check out FT’s blog at thehistorytwins.wordpress.com