HE’S taken to wearing shorts. He noticed, he said, that his legs were a “bit pale”. This is like describing Ramesses II as a “bit dead”.
To be honest, his legs are a “bit pale”. They have a tendency to glow faintly in the dark.
Of course, he isn’t the only one to reach for the shorts. Summer, my friends, is here, and the one nation that can’t handle the sun has gone hot-weather-wear crazy.
Those little bits and pieces bought years ago for that holiday in Tenerife, Cancun or Skegness are being dredged from the back of the wardrobe and hastily cleaned and donned, much to the dismay of the many cats who have been using them as bedding. Look closely and you can sometimes still see the evidence of Coco, Fluffy or Gertie. Especially Fluffy, who is a long-haired white.
Still, at least we are clothed. Far more worrying is the need for Scottish men to remove clothing when the sun gets hot.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are times when a bit of torso action makes my day. In fact, at the risk of coming over all 1970s Top Of The Pops presenter, the only time I ever paid much attention to a football or rugby game was when the shirts got swapped, or – oh, be calm, my beating heart – when some particularly enraged curly-haired team captain ripped his shirt off in fury at a ref’s decision and, with a toss of his permed glory, flung it across the grassy sward whilst his biceps rippled in the sun and his jaw set with a determination to find me in the crowd, sweep me into his muscular arms, crush me to his mighty chest and . . . sorry, what was I saying?
Oh yes, right, it was all very well when Kevin Keegan exposed that worked-out torso back in the 70s, but please, have a thought for the passerby if your belly looks like it could provide a sunshade for the toddler in the buggy in front of you, or your chest boasts those faint rims of rib cage that make you think that if you wetted your finger and rubbed them the right way you might get some musical notes, like a that trick with the half-empty wine glasses.
Blink and you’d have mist them
A long time ago I was told – and this could be rubbish, since I am incredibly gullible – that haar was also known as Raiders Fog, since those pesky Vikings would take advantage of the sudden thick cover to rush ashore and get up to those things that Vikings did so well – and usually without their shirts on, even though it was cold.
Now that’s tough.
Get the Taliban on Jeremy Kyle
Oh gee, you guys in the Taliban! You’ve said sorry because you didn’t actually mean to shoot Malala Yousafzai on her school bus one day because she was a smart girl determined to get an education.
No, no, you shot her because someone told you she was spreading fibs about the Taliban. Well, why didn’t you say? This changes everything.
I mean, there you are, big burly blokes – with your shirts firmly on, I note – armed to the back teeth, romping about shooting people right, left and centre. Then when you get fed up with that, you just blow schools up – but a 15-year-old girl frightens the living daylights out of you. I had no idea you were so sensitive.
Silly boys, this is not how we do things these days. Can I recommend that if you think someone is spreading porkies about you, get yourself on the Jeremy Kyle show and have a lie detector test?
Personally, I’d pay a stonking amount of money to see a weeping Talib on the Kylester stage, blubbing that “me life’s been ruined, Jeremy…”
Apology accepted. Not. As we say in Scotland – a nation where education is practically a religion – away ye go an’ bile yer heid.
We won’t throw the towel in... even when haar comes
Mind you, who can blame us for going a bit sun-crazed, especially here in Edinburgh. You know exactly what I mean. The nation burns and scorches, Carol the weather girl is issuing warnings and hosepipes are banned but – oh ho! – what’s this we see here in the Capital silently sneaking up from Portobello? Oh yes, my friends, the haar, that killer of sunshine and dampener of spirits that I suspect lurks somewhere off Inchcolm.
So we leave off the shorts and spaghetti strap tops? We do not. That is what the bath towel is for. It’s a handy cover-up, then use it to lie on the beach when the haar naffs off.
In many ways, this multi-use garment echoes the original Highland plaid. Wrap around for mountain hiking, lay on the ground for
I’ve yet to see towels evolve into acceptable dress for eightsome reels, though.