I recently returned back to the United States of America after my trip to the savage land of Scotland. It was a reminder to me how much I do not like doing things when I’m on vacation. What happened to the days of Hawaii, when I went there to relax and lay on the beach? Or the staycations, where I woke up late, sat on the couch, and the most strenuous thing I did all day was play video games all night?
Now that I’m older, and mostly out of school, I don’t want to spend 24 hours hopping from plane to plane, airport to airport, cramped seat to cramped seat, only to arrive in a country where they drive on the wrong side of the road, the driver is on the wrong side of the car, and country is on the wrong side of the world.
The whole theme of Scotland’s favorite person to roast, William Wallace of Braveheart, was freeedddoommm. And yet, the whole time I was there, I didn’t feel near as freeee as I do when I am sitting on my couch in my house in the United States of America. Because of the strict nature of traveling, I could only bring a backpack and one small suitcase. I had to wear my clothes and unders a couple of times each.
In addition, they had some of the most cockeyed showers I had ever seen. The knobs and the twisting and the turning made Mission Impossible seem like a little-kids 8-piece puzzle. Did you know that the famous Scotland Yard isn’t even in Scotland? What is the point of naming a yard after your country and then locating it in London? Seriously…do we name our police the Canadian Mounties?
The main draw of Scotland was its many castles and old buildings. They were built of bricks and stones that broke people’s bones and it had this really nice black soot mold stuff growing on the outside of all the buildings. You know what we do with old buildings in the United States? We condemn them, tear them down and make new buildings. Who has time for castles in the United States? I’d rather live in a mansion that has good wifi and a theater room.
Don’t get me started on the plugs there. They don’t fit any of our devices. We had to bring all these adapter things when we went. Other countries should know by now that they should be adapting to us.
And the accents. Supposedly they are speaking English, but nothing I’ve ever heard before. They kept sounding like people in England and Ireland, and some people in Arkansas. The same language, but so strongly accented that we couldn’t understand them. They might as well have been speaking Russian. They kept using weird words like Aye, and Wee to describe things like “Yes” and “Little”. Just say words I can understand.
Have you ever seen these weird kids that dress up in the outfits like suits of armor and kilts and have pretend fights from the 1600’s and call themselves LARPers? No one in Scotland LARPs. It’s because they don’t role play there. They really wear kilts and suits of armor. They actually have sword fights in the middle of the street. They actually storm castles and herd cows, or as they call them coos. They even have these emo cows called Highland Coos, that grow their hair out to cover their faces. If you’ve ever seen Robert Smith of the Cure, the cows grow their hair out just like him.
Even though I didn’t like the Highland Coos, I did have to respect them. They were celebrity cows. Scotlanders revered them so much that they didn’t make them into meat, and they didn’t milk them. They were just like celebrities in that they didn’t really do anything. Everyone just wanted their pictures. While all the other cows were getting milked and then made into hamburgers, the Highland Coos just hung out, got their picture taken, and got book deals, merch in all the Scottish gift shops, and most important of all, got their own kitchen magnets.
All I know is that you really shouldn’t have to travel all the way across the world just so you can get pictures of things that are right here in America. Things like rocks. Houses. Grass. Battlefields. Cemetaries. Cows. Emos. LARPers.
Regardless, I was able to take a picture of where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter. It was this red cafe called the Elephant House. So, you know, like a Starbucks you could find right here in the US.
Bitter Scottish LARPing Ben