The latest topical insight from Aberdeen musical sketch comedy team, The Flying Pigs.
Kevin Cash, money-saving expert and king of the grips
As if we hinna suffered enough this past year, fit a fleg I got tae read that efter an unexpected surge in demand the UK his been hut by a 99 Flake shortage. It looks like a’ the fowk that were panic buying bog roll and tagliatelle last year his moved on tae ice cream accoutrements. Fit next – sprinkles?
I ken it’s universally popliar, but I dinna ging in for the 99 cone masel. For me, the transient pleasure o’ an intense chocolate hit fan ye start on yer Mr Whippy canna compare wi’ the mair consistent delights o’ a slider.
Onywye, even though I am personally unaffected by this latest calamity, I can still come tae the rescue o’ foonert flake fans. Here’s foo tae beat the shortage wi’ oot breaking the bunk.
First up, dinna be fooled – the flakes fit they pit in yer cone is half the size o’ the proper eens fit ye can get in ony shop, so jist get yersel’ een them and cairry it roon wi’ you fariver ye ging. Then, faniver yer buying an ice cream ye can jist, snap it in twa and hey presto – a 99, plus a snack for later.
Jist mind it’s still in yer pooch if its a hot day, or fan ye pit yer hand in tae get it oot, fowk will look at ye funny and cross the street tae avoid ye. Shouting: “It’s OK, it’s only chocolate!” disnae convince naeb’dy. Ken?
Of course, the truly frugal like masel disnae waste cash buying flakes fae the newsagent neither, and I canna expect my pal Mick the Pill tae ayewis hae a handy box fit his fallen off the back o’ a Lidls.
So instead, try my hamemade alternative – a celery stick dipped in cocoa. It’s the perfect substitute. Weel, fae a distance, ony wye. And fit’s mair it’ll keep saving you money weell intae the future. Eence yer kids hiv tried it they’ll niver deive ye for an ice cream iver again.
View from the Midden, rural affairs with Jock Alexander
It’s been an agrestic wik in the village. We hiv watched carefully as Covid restrictions start tae relax, secure in the knowledge that maist o’ us are too deeply imbued wi’ the bracing aromas o’ the countryside tae be likely tae be hugged by onyb’dy. And then we read aboot the UK Government scheme tae pay aul fairmers up to ten thoosand pound tae retire, and it a’ kicked aff.
Skittery Wullie wiz affa excited tae hear aboot the scheme, and convinced himsel that he must be in line for a humungous-sized payoot on the grounds that fan it comes tae really aul’ fairmers, naeb’dy can beat him. He says he can trace his piggery back tae an agreement signed by William Wallace in 1305, and claims he shook the man’s hand himsel, though he did admit it wiznae attached tae the rest of him at the time.
Then realisation dawned that the scheme is only for English fairmers and that Scotland’s plan will be “different”, so the village is noo up in arms and writing a heartfelt letter tae Holyrood passionately putting forward the intricate, yet cogent argument: “Fit wye can we nae get a massive lump sum an’ a?”
Feel Moira is particularly het up aboot the injustice of it a’, and has taken the drastic step of claiming the village is actually under English jurisdiction, as shown by the recent Scottish election result wi’ Aberdeenshire West the only blue bit in a sea o’ yella. We did try tae explain tae her aboot the workings o’ a’ representative parliamentary democracy, but much like the time we tried tae teach Haldie Winton’s bull tae roller skate, it wid hiv been a lot less painful if we hidna bothered .
As for me? Weel, fairming has been my life, so if this scheme wiz tae come tae me, I hid tae ask masel: “Wid I tak the money?”
I gazed oot across the rolling fields, and thocht fit a privilege it is to be connected to my ain history by fairming the land as my forefaithers did for centuries. I thought o’ tradition, community and the dignity o’ honest toil.
Then I thocht: “Ye can stick it, this is 10 grand.”
A mannie my age shouldnae be getting up at the crack o’ dawn wi’ a yarking back tae muck oot coos in the dark, so I’m hudding oot for a retirement pay oot, or as we cry it noo, a golden clarty-hand-shake. Cheerio!