The Power of Giving
“O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
An' ev'n devotion!”
To a Louse, Robert Burns 1786
Dear, Dear Rabbie,
You wrote this in spite of all the criticism and even punishment you got in your time. So, maybe no’ such a good gift! Just imagine if you had to contemplate the ‘how you were seen’ by folk other than friends and even they can be kindly critical.
Friend Ay well, your voice although it’s maybe ‘just polite’ it could be a bit poncy.
Neighbour That ‘know all’ is forever phoning the Cooncil about details:- untidy messy gardens, bins left oot on the street, puddles filled in for cars but no fur pedestrians, et cetera, et cetera. GIVE UP HEN!
Colleague Thought you said you would try the Waist Winners to get rid of the belly - even tho’ it does match your wobbly big bum!
Family You can cook?? I’m sick o’ they burnt fish fingers. Have you thought of reading a recipe book or buying a take away?”
NAW! Forget the ‘giftie’ just let’s walk and talk in oor ain accustomed, oblivious way and hope they all ‘see’ in spite of everything, that we’re no bad wee spuds.
The scene is the Shanny Market. Bus Stop outside the entrance, or is it the exit? Hell, must be both.
Nan (To a wee mannie) Scuse me, is there a bus will take me frae here tae Drumchapel?
Mannie There sure is hen an it’ll be here any moment – well a bus moment which can mean any aul time.
Nan Well, ah don’t know that ah want tae take it. Ah could take the train - jist daen a wee bit o’ recognisance.
Mannie Ye don’t want tae bother wae the train hen. Don’t miss this bus it’s a lovely ride, ah do it every week and ah wouldny miss it.
Nan Well your enthusiasm’s catching. I’ll maybe gie it a whirl.
Mannie It’s no whirl hen, ye wouldny believe the comfort- nice steady pace and yer in the toon in no time. Ye don’t need some “Power” tae gie ye a “Giftie”. Gleasga Cooncil bus service is a brilliant, just a brilliant gift. Huv ye goat a OAP ticket?
Mannie Well, there ye go a great ride fur nothing - whit more could ye ask? Here she comes, all aboard.
Nan Great! There’s quite a crowd.
Mannie C’mon hen, you’re second efter me so get on afore they stampede.
(Nan is somewhat mystified and gallantly pushed forward and on board.)
Mannie Sit doon quick afore ye get shuvved doon. Ye want the middle o’ the bus fur maist comfort - less struggling, an forty per cent o’ accidents is going to be on the front or the back unless some eejit loses his heid and rams us any auld place.
Woman in crowd Hurry up you two - stuff your philosophy tilyer bums on a seat and yer brains and tongues get a bloody rest.
(To be continued…)