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The Flying Pigs: Covid vaccine passports fir Club Tropicana? Weel at’s nae gaan tae work

Covid passports and clubbing might not realistically go hand in hand (Photo: Kieran Jack)
Covid passports and clubbing might not realistically go hand in hand (Photo: Kieran Jack)

The latest topical insights from Aberdeen musical sketch comedy team, The Flying Pigs.

Tanya Souter, lifestyle guru

I da ken aboot youse but I am reeling fae the news that Aiberdeen is the least hygienic place tae eat oot in Scotland. According tae data fae the Food Hygiene Information Scheme, one Aiberdeen food business oot o’ six his standards o’ hygiene fit is “unasseptable”. Shocking at, is it?

We’ll niver get the night-time ecomony o’ the city cintre back take its cosmopolitan best if wir restaurants is roch, wir cafés is clarty and wir takeaways is teeming wi’ campylobacter.

The Flying Pigs

Saying ‘at, I da think they’re ‘at bad masel’, and I hiv dined at a’ the top eateries in toon – the Little Belmont Hut, the Tasty Tattie, Get Stuffed – and lived the tell the tale. In fact, it’s actually quite comforting tae ken that faniver I’ve experienced the age-old Aiberdonian rite o’ passage fit is the 2am tactical boak on Union Street, it wis the macaroni pie fit did it, and nae the 17 sambucas.

Still, it’s a’ aboot good health these days, is it? Just look at the latest in the Covid saga. Scotland is gan tae hae passports so ye hiv tae prove ye’ve been vaccinated afore they’ll allow ye tae get a’ sweaty and up close tae folk in clubs.

Imagine spending twa oors queueing in the freezing caul tae get in tae Club Tropicana (far the drinks isnae free, by the way, and they get real snippy fan ye bring it up) and fan ye get tae the door yer supposed tae ging through a high-tech check-in process wi’ yer phone camera and QR codes and a’ yon muck. Weel, at’s nae gaan tae work, is it? By ‘at point in the evening if I hinna lost ma phone, I canna work it. Fan I send a text it jist looks like a good hand at scrabble.

I see we’re also gan tae be gi’ein the vaccine tae 12 tae 15-year-auls. Luckily, my Beyonce-Shanice has nae fear o’ needles. Nae since I taen her tae get her tattoo daen for her birthday. She wis ‘at brave aboot it, she didnae really need me there at a’, except tae mak on tae the tattooist she wis 18.

J Fergus Lamont, arts critic and author of Stock Room Time Machine: McKay’s of Queen Street – a retro retrospective

How heartening it is to see culture and the arts continue to thrive despite the persistence of the pandemic. I was particularly impressed with the recent work of the anarcho-comedy collective, The UK Government.

You will not have heard of them, they have received little or no publicity, but their latest satirical farce, The Reshuffle, ranks as one of the most hilarious and pointed lampoons I have ever seen, and I include in that the Singing Kettle’s establishment rocking Boogie Woogie Zoo.

“Making Nadine Dorries culture secretary is like putting Piers Morgan in charge of the Samaritans

One can properly say that The UK Government are the true inheritors of a proud comic tradition stretching into antiquity, from the plays of Aristophanes to the songs of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

The Reshuffle can claim particular contemporary credit for the inclusivity of its satirical sweep, as it holds up a mirror to the world in which equal opportunity is given to male and female incompetents.

What joy to see popular comedienne Liz Truss named as foreign secretary – as if that could genuinely happen to someone who famously described themselves as “not very diplomatic” and who remains best known for her uproarious “cheese” routine, first performed in 2014 and still highly quotable. “We import two-thirds of our cheese, that is a disgrace.” Brilliant.

New foreign secretary, Liz ‘Cheese’ Truss (Photo: PA)

The most superbly Swiftian feature was, of course, the absurdist notion that Nadine Dorries could go from deserting her post as an MP to chew kangaroo anuses on I’m A Celebrity to becoming UK culture secretary.

I found this inspired piece of casting especially entertaining, given her well known antipathy for the BBC and previously voiced views on “left-wing snowflakes killing comedy”, as well as the “dumbing down” of pantomime. (A nonsense, of course. I refer you to my earlier work, Fit Like, Cinders? – a post-Chekovian analysis of the Inverurie Panto.)

I do not wish to ruin this delicious joke by explaining it, but one could say that making Nadine Dorries culture secretary is like putting Piers Morgan in charge of the Samaritans.

All in all, a triumph of comedy; not so much Beyond The Fringe as beyond the pale.

I laughed and laughed until I could laugh no more.

And then I wept.


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