S & M Files, Part XII

Distribution Permission

This version of S & M Files is freely distributable provided that the copyright notice remains intact. All material in the Annals, unless otherwise stipulated, is copyrighted (1999-2006) to Michelle A. Hoyle & Stephen B. Dodd.


In which Michael & Maria visit S & M in England, and take a sidetrip to Scotland.

Michael: Wow, our first guest appearance on the S&M files! Apparently all you have to do to get on here is get engaged (right Chris?) or fly halfway around the world! What should we write about?

Maria: We could just cut straight to the chase and describe our near-death experiences (the real reason for being invited to contribute to this auspicious periodical).

Michael: Aw, c'mon, the drivers in Scotland weren't that bad.

Maria: Actually, I was referring to the rush hour smog in London and our disturbingly frequent proximity to terrorist bombs.

Michael: I particularly enjoyed the bomb we stood a few metres from in Edinburgh Castle as we foolishly tried to buy souvenirs from the gift shop. Being shuffled deep into the bowels of the Castle for four #$!@ hours while the Scottish SWAT team evacuated the nearby buildings and upgraded the package from "bag" to "suspicious bag" to "possible threat" to "confirmed explosive device" to "exploded device" was less entertaining. Although, the fact that the bomb went off right at the entrance, meant that we got to be evacuated via the secret tunnel the military had dug right through the basalt core of the ancient volcano the castle was built on top of. Just like a James Bond flick!

Maria: It didn't help that while we were locked in the castle we could read all the stories of how it had endured previous seiges, with food running out and wells drying up…the worst part was that all the washrooms were located near the exterior walls and security decided to shut them all down but one - at which point all the trapped womens' bladders shrunk by a factor of two. Leaving you the choice of waiting in line for hours, or fighting it out with all the other trapped souls (who no doubt remembered the food-running-out-during-the-seige stories) who crammed the lone cafeteria fighting over the remaining scraps of food - i.e. the $12 sandwiches!…

Michael: …and the last piece of chocolate pear pie! Yum! Of course this pales in comparison to the $42 plate of plain old boring french fries at Harrods which would've cost 79 cents in Canada.

Maria: Or the $17 shopping BAG from Harrods - big enough to hold a small book or a large creampuff!

Michael: I'm not even going to ask what they'd charge for a large creampuff…

Maria: I have it on good authority that it costs ONE POUND to use Harrods bathroom facilities. But why pay to pee at Harrods when you could pee for free in the public flower gardens of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton!

Michael: Ah yes, the woman who was "taken a bit short"! Right there amid the hollyhocks, a smiling face peering out, no doubt wondering why the strange Canadians want to have a conversation with her while she's relieving herself.

Maria: No wonder everything grows so tall there.

Michael: Just like at the cemetery,…er, I mean "park". With all the lovely mausoleums…er, "topiary" popping up among the gravemarkers, sorry, "paving stones". The trees seemed to grow quite successfully there as well. So many lovely places to run and play…especially that sandbox. I can just see the kids now: "Mommy, mommy, guess what I dug up in the sandbox today - great grandma's femur!"

Maria: Yeah, well at least those bones aren't coming up all by themselves - like they do in Greyfriars Cemetery in Edinburgh: where the dead aren't just spinning in their graves, but rising from them as well! Mass graves, that is.

Michael: I find it interesting that when Greyfriars was founded several hundred years ago, they walked five steps down to the field. Especially considering that WE had to climb two stories UP a hill to see the graves. Hmm, what do you suppose the hill is made of?

Maria: Perhaps it's the bones of the Mackenzie poltergeist which has attacked 57 visitors to the cemetery mausoleums in the past 18 months…

Michael: …hey, we paid good money for the pleasure of visiting that mausoleum in the hopes of being attacked ourselves! Come to think of it, we also paid good money to visit the lair of the vicious bunny on the Isle of Skye in the North Atlantic (all you Monty Python fans will appreciate this)…

Maria: Something not at all vicious were those cute and friendly "hairy coos" (the national animal of Scotland) who particularly enjoyed Scotland's national (non-alcoholic)drink: IRN-BRU. Mmmm, smells like Dubble Bubble, tastes like cream soda, goes down like battery acid! Scotland's answer to Gatorade!

Michael: Yeah, well nothing compares to Scotland's national dish: haggis! Oh, sweet haggis, a heavenly concoction of sheeps lungs, livers and hearts, boiled in a sheeps bladder and delicately flavored with oatmeal and salt! Tastes as good as it sounds! I could've eaten that every day!

Maria: You DID eat it every day! In fact some days you had it twice! Crispy haggis, mushy haggis, haggis not quite spiced enough to hide the organ taste…oh, and what did our traveling companion from Vietnam say? "This tastes like dog!"

Michael: My only regret is not trying the deepfried Mars bars. I bet they don't taste like dog.

Maria: The Scottish do seem to like strange things; the illustrious Robbie Burns wrote "Ode to a Haggis" and "Ode to my Bloody and Bruised Toe" or some such thing…

Michael: …and the guide who told us about that had the nerve to make fun of Canadians because one of our great writers wrote about a thousand pages on his favorite subject: Cheese! I say, if we're going to make fun of a nation, let's pick on the Americans: six of them on our bus, every one a university grad, and not one of them knew the words to their own national anthem!

Maria: They looked particularly bad when the three Canadians on the bus were able to sing "O Canada" in English AND French!

Michael: Of course, I could also mock the Australians, seeing as how one of them went sleepwalking in the middle of the night in my hostel room and proceeded to urinate on the two spaniards passed out on pot in the next bed…

Maria: Hmmm, but that's another story…

[stay tuned for part two of M&M's amazing British adventures; coming soon to an e-mail in-box near you!]

[Michelle's Mind]

S & M Files
Ep. 1 (I) | Ep. 2 (II) | Ep. 3 (III) | Ep. 4 (IV) | Ep. 5 (V) | Ep. 6 (VI) | Ep. 7 (VII) |
Ep. 8 (VIII) | Ep. 9 (IX) | Ep. 10 (X) | Ep. 11 (XI) | Ep. 12 (XII) | Ep. 13 (XIII) | Ep. 14 (XIV) |
Ep. 15 (XIV) | Ep. 16 (XIV)