23 August 2010

Real Men Wear Skirts, er, Kilts

Though there is some Scottish somewhere in my heritage, it has been largely eclipsed over time by Irish and Italian (mmm, stout and pasta—why am I stuck with the fattening cultural lineages?). Scottish also appears in my wife's heritage (more predominately so) along with a smattering of others.

Our son really is a mutt.

Anyway, my wife has fond memories of Scottish-themed events, like the Highland Games, from her childhood. She was thrilled to discover there was a Highland Games event this summer, conveniently located right down the street from our house.

After an unsuccessful attempt to wrangle the Doozer into a kilt ("No . . . wear . . . that!"), which had previously been worn by my wife and her mother, when they were but toddlers, we headed off to the Games. And the chance, perhaps, for the Doozer to get in touch with his heritage.

My frame of reference for Scottish culture is largely informed by pop culture, things like Trainspotting and Mike Myers comedy ("If it's not Scottish, it's crap!"), but upon arriving at the games I saw nary a heroin needle or Fat Bastard anywhere. Apparently, I'd been misinformed.

Since he wouldn't wear a kilt (and was too young for the whiskey tasting), we took the Doozer to the event's kid-friendly area. There was an activity center where kids could decorate a shield with a Scottish crest, a field where they could join a militia (and earn a shilling!), another field where they could see a bunch of Scottie dogs, or they could attempt Sean Connery's favorite pastime . . . baby golf.

Okay, so Connery probably plays regular golf.

But the piece de resistance of the kids' area had to be the activity that sounded completely absurd on paper and in reality was perhaps the most awesome thing ever.

Baby. Caber. Toss.

Yes, that's correct. Baby caber toss. And though we didn't get to see a real caber toss (apparently they just let random people out of the crowd attempt it—don't they have anybody on reserve who can actually do it? We paid for this, you know), we were afforded the glorious opportunity to watch the Doozer partake of his very first caber toss.

"Doesn't it make you proud to be Scottish?"

Then there were the bagpipers and drums, the fish and chips, delicious Scottish short bread. The wee bonny laddy was really in his element. And might have a serious future as a caber tosser. Is there much call for that out in the real world? Who cares, we're going to start training right away. And we're definitely going back next year.

Maybe next time he'll wear the kilt.

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