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The things I get roped into [Jan. 24th, 2011|04:29 pm]
So, hey, Mere, can you do the "Reply from the Lassies" on Burns Night? One of the guys gives a toast to the Lassies and then one of the girls is supposed to give a sassy toast back.

Oh, sure, I said. And really didn't give it much thought beyond that. After all, I also had a traditional Scottish dessert to make. But I had to find something that was non-alcoholic, didn't suck, could be prepared in advance, and ideally was something I'd eat. Those Scots will put booze in anything. And while I abandoned the necessity of me LIKING the dessert early on, still, it was a battle to find something that didn't include booze OR candied citrus peel and a metric f-ton of raisins. Gag.

So impossible, that I wound up re-inventing the Dundee Cake, and coming up with my own version of Whiskey Sauce on the side. So, it really wasn't until the day of the Burns Dinner, with the Captain rehearsing the Address to the Haggis in the next room, that I sat down and thought "okay, so what is this Lassie's reply thing? Google, clue me in."

Crap. No. Seriously? A fifteen minute original speech? Referencing...crap.

So, here it is. In case you ever volunteer to do it.

This sounded like a lot of fun. Sure, I'll do it, I said.

And then I looked into it. 15 MINUTES? Seriously? If I'm going to be funny for 15 minutes without stopping, I'm doing it on a stage. And I'm getting PAID.

How come the men's toast to us gets to be so short? Admittedly, the average woman speakes about 7000 words a day and the average man only 2000. So, this SHOULD be a piece of cake. But really, we shouldn't be boastful and make you men feel inadequate. As is so often the case. So, you'll get the abridged version. That way, we know the men will be able to keep up.

And then I read that I should give this in a Scottish Brogue. I don't know why a single clip from the movie Fargo will give me a Minnesota accent for days yet I can't hold a Scottish one for more than a sentence without wandering off into Ireland, or Wales, or 16th century England, or heaven forbid, Piracy. But obviously the Scots in me is pretty diluted and my Danish ancestors got around, so you get American with a glaze of British Isles, like a fine pastry. Like a TART.

And I learned that I'm supposed to reference Rabbie Burns a lot. But honestly, Ode to a Mouse with its delightful phrase "Wee sleekit cow'rin tim'rous beastie" Which is just fun to SAY. And the famous phrase "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley" which pretty much sums up my daily LIFE. Well, that's pretty much the extent of my Burns repetoire.

But god bless Google. A few minutes on the internet led me to more information. I found a lot of refernces to his love of women, his popularity with women. And his RAMPANT infidelity.

Which, considering that both my ex-husband and my boyfriend are seated a the table tonight...well, that's just comedy gold, people. But I don't know all of you THAT well and I'll be sensitive to the fact that you might not find that as side-splittingly funny as I do and the jokes I could make might even make you feel uncomfortable, so let's just have a moment of silence for the unmined FUNNY.

Instead I will take on the entire...what's the opposite of fairer? Hairier? All right then, the Hairier sex. Which is also funny, again considering my ex-husband and my boyfriend.

I was curious, reading about Burns night traditions. The men get to do all sorts of speeches and toasts and ceremonies and we women have to wait until now until we finally get a chance to speak. But then I thought, I guess we're all accustomed to coming after the men anyway, are we ladies?

Don't get me wrong. We LOVE men, don't we girls? After all, we spend our entire lives PURSUING them. When we're young, we put posters of them on our walls, watch them, talk about them, dream about them. Later we try to dress them up and get them to DANCE with us. To get them to take us out and spend MONEY on us. We fight with other girls over them. We dress and act the way we think MEN want us to look. We obsess over looking ATTRACTIVE enough for them. Funding an entire publishing industry in the process.

We CHARM them, we SEDUCE them, we WIND them around our fingers. We test drive them, parade them around the family and friends. Heck, we even swap them around a bit, don't we, until we get just the RIGHT ONE.

And then we spend the rest of our life wondering what the hell we're supposed to DO with them now.

But that's unfair. You men have your strengths. I mean the 3 P's of course. Paycheck, well THAT comes in handy. And when it comes to rodents or spiders, or that creepy guy hitting on us in the bar, you're very good at PEST CONTROL. And then, of course, there's the THIRD P. The most IMPORTANT P. My FAVORITE P. The Pension.

Oh, you thought I was going to say Penis.

But we honor Burns tonight. A whiskey lover who hated the tax man, yet became one himself, for the steady paycheck. A true romantic who adored women, but clearly couldn't decide on just one. A man sometimes gripped by deep despair and sometimes great joy. A guy with a really, really thick Scottish accent.

He's given us so much -- wonderful poetry and a possibly plagiarized song that we Americans butcher shamelessly once a year. But most importantly, he's given us an excuse to get together with good friends, our loved ones, our spouses and partners, and share a lot of laughs and good times.

Frankly, what more could you want in a man?