Few of us are that confident yet to go out for a proper slap-up. When we last dined out at one of Stornoway’s finest eateries at the beginning of the year, a husband and wife were next to us.
When their food arrived, his wife reminded the man: “Murdo, you always say grace at home to give thanks for the meal that the Lord has provided. You should bless the food now.”
He wasn’t keen, saying: “Yes a’ Mhairi, but here they have a chef who knows how to cook…”
Mhairi told me later that Murdo had heartburn afterwards – and it served him right. Putting up a few words may have brought approval – and presumably better digestion.
There were quite a few stories in the last week to chew over. Don Fear was the mild-mannered teacher who won a cool £1 million on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?
Personally, I thought I did quite well. I’m not saying I got all of them and I certainly hadn’t a clue of the answer to the final big money question. It was: “In 1718, which pirate died in battle off the coast of what is now North Carolina?”
Hmm, I have Carolina in my mind. Thank you, James Taylor, but that doesn’t help right now. How many non-fictional pirates can I remember?
Er, Captain Kidd? The choice was Blackbeard, Calico Jack, Bartholomew Roberts or Captain Kidd. Ach, the first two are made up. Blackbeard is from a fairytale by Charles Perrault, I reckoned, so it must be yon Roberts or the captain.
Don chose Blackbeard. A cartoon pirate? Seriously? Ha-ha-ha. Sorry for laughing but that is never, never, never going to be the answer.
Guess what? It was Blackbeard. Ker-ching. One million smackeroonies for Don. I was the dummy. Just because we think we know does not mean we actually do, apparently.
Boris Johnson, are you listening? We all remember when Boris said everything was ready for an easy Brexit because the Internal Markets Bill was oven-ready, don’t we? Or that was what he apparently thought. In reality, that Bill is so poor the government is thinking of breaking the law and ditching parts of it.
Then along comes former Labour leader Ed Miliband from the political wilderness the other day to show how Boris had no idea what was in that Bill.
Ed roasted Boris in the Commons, challenging him to admit he hadn’t even read it. Boris couldn’t even respond. He just shook his head, as glaikit as if he had just been asked about the death of a pirate off Carolina in 1718. You had to feel sorry for him. Maybe you had to, I didn’t.
Boris isn’t doing well with the battle against Covid either. Since the Dominic Cummings episode, there is a bit of a suspicion that the UK’s series of precautions are not due to planning but because of happenstance and that the leadership doesn’t have its eye on the ball. It keeps falling out with advisers. It is playing catch-up with other countries.
Yesterday, the big question on the Jeremy Vine show on Channel 5 was not how well the UK Government is coping, but whether it should pack it all in.
There are suggestions Boris has enough to deal with getting his head around Brexit and that he should hand over the entire UK Covid response to cool, calm Nicola Sturgeon.
Seriously? Ha-ha-ha. Sorry for laughing but that is never, never, never going to happen. Then again, I have been wrong before. Is this another Blackbeard moment?
My former home island of Great Bernera is still waiting to hear when they are going to have a proper bridge to the rest of mainland Lewis after the existing one suddenly went shoogly. Heavy vehicles are now banned.
Maybe like Mhairi’s idea for improving Murdo’s digestion, they should put up a few words. My friend Norman Angus tried that.
He was looking across to Caolas Iarsiadair, that just means the Earshader Channel, when he said out loud: “Oh Lord, grant me one wish.”
Suddenly, a booming voice said: “Go ahead. You’re through now.”
Norman pleaded: “Build us a proper bridge to mainland Lewis so the big bin lorry can come over here every fortnight.”
The Lord replied: “But think of the logistics. Those big supports required to reach the bottom of Caolas Iarsiadair. I can do it, of course, but it would cost £5 million. Think of another wish – a wish to honour and glorify me.”
Being a man of the world, Norman Angus thought for a bit. Finally, he said: “Lord, I wish I could understand women. I want to know how they feel inside, what they are thinking when they give me the silent treatment. Why they cry and what they mean when they snap “nothing” when I ask what is wrong.”
In a flash, God said: “Sorry Norman, there’s a limit to what even I can do. Now, do you want two lanes or four on this new bridge?”