Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Xmas ... (and tartan underpants)

... to my three regulars. You're persistence in popping by May Contain Nuts in the face of my paltry and pathetic efforts these days is truly inspiring. (Wondering where I could possible stick more "p"s in this sentence.)

By way of thanks, I'm going to be as lazy as I've been for most of the last year and replay a blog I posted  a long time ago, but dinnae worry, it's a goodie.

Remember the Tartan Underpants?

Some of you may already know that as a lad I was a dervish in a kilt, a demon at the sword dance, yes people, I was a Highland Dancer.
I can’t remember the age I was when I started (4, 5 or 6) but I stopped as soon as I grew out of my tartan underpants. Twenty one. No, I’m joking, I was around about 11 years, 3 months and 2 days. But who was counting?
Blame the nuns. They thought it was character forming. There was one issue that the nuns didn’t foresee when they took steps to mould the future me.  The wee fella Malone had the knack. He was doing well with the highland dancing and being asked to perform at Burns Suppers, St Andrew’s Nights and Christmas parties for geriatrics around the country (well, North Ayrshire).  
The problem? Tradition was a big thing in all of this. I danced with real swords, to a real bagpipe player while wearing a real kilt.  How far could the nuns allow me to take tradition? Many non-Scots reading this will surely be fascinated to know that “a real Scotsman” wearing a kilt does so without underwear. Yes, we were going commando long before anyone else. (Apparently this was a military thing and men in Scottish regiments were banned from wearing kilts. To ensure this rule was not broken Sergeant Majors were known to fix a mirror to the end of a golf club and walk along the line scanning for visible danglies )
Could the nuns afford to make this eight/ nine/ ten year old lad a true Scotsman? If there was a mishap, male specific body parts (MSBP) would be on show. What if the lad slipped? Group shudder. What if when he slipped his kilt ended up over his head, Holy Mary, Mudder of Jaysus?!
This was a major concern. The sight of, the thought of, the mention of MSBP was enough to bring on group hysteria, much gripping of rosary beads and rapid and repeated signs of the cross. They could not, would not allow private parts to be on display. The world could not, would not face such an evil and depraved display, Jaysus, Mary and Joseph.
A compromise was found. I was to be made a pair of underpants from the same tartan as my kilt. This meant that if I kicked too high the MSBP would not be displayed. They would in fact be invisible. All the audience would be faced with was a pair of disembodied legs.
Said knickers were made. Not only were they the same tartan – they were of the same rough, heavy woollen material. However, before you all wince, they were lined. So not only would tradition be maintained (sort of) and dignity preserved (praise be to God), there would be efforts made to keep chafing to a minimum (awww, bless).
From a distance of time I can smile, rub the scars (yes, there was chafing. I remember tucking my shirt into the pants around my thighs) and wonder if the “seamstress” was told that these knickers were for a boy. There were tight, flat and there was absolutely no room for MSBP. Thankfully these parts were pre-pubescent and yet to reach their...ehm... full potential (TMI?) but "stuffing" was nevertheless still required.
I’m betting the maker of the tartan undies went on to bigger and better things. Didn’t you ever wonder where Drag Queens stick their man-stuff?  Under the sequin and lace panties, I'm willing to bet you they’re wearing a pair of tartan underpants.

I'd like to adapt an old Scots greeting and offer you this - Lang may your lum reek and your danglies dangle. 
Here's to a Merry (and inclusive) Christmas (ooo, controversial) to each and every one of you!



  1. I wish we had a video of this :)
    Merry Christmas, Michael!

  2. Merry Christmas, Michael. May your danglies always dangle free.

    And I agree, I think we need a video of some of this dancing. :)

  3. will you still want me faithfully lingering after you're famous??? cause you'll never shake me loose. just so you know. and i like the thought of you in a kilt, a hem away from screaming 'freedom! freedom!' anyhoo, have a wonderful Christmas! by the way, today's picture looks like invasion of the body snatchers. love thea

  4. Happy Christmas to you too Michael.

  5. Dez and LG, I am happy to report there is no video evidence. I am THAT old.

    Anonymous Thea, happy to have you lingering. Just so long as you continue to leave some words as well.

    Thanks Sarah, have a good un.

  6. well, you can always record some of your choreographies for me and Luanne on camera :PPP We would be overjoyed to watch it, especially if you would be Scottishly clad :)

  7. Then the title, May Contain Nuts could lose the "may". HOWever, my dear Dez, I have forgotten everything I ever learned as a child dancer and would merely end up making a tit of myself.

    #Walks off muttering... now where did I put that kilt?

  8. michael, i cannot post under my 'real' name anymore. i'm not 'authorized' - i swear i didn't do anything bad. but i shall continue to zing, i mean post on your blog. did you say tit? thea