It all started about ten years ago, when a good friend of mine decided, for one reason or another, to get married in full Scottish dress, I looked at the prices at the wedding suit hire place and thought 'Bugger that' and decided to make my own. It's not hugely difficult, you just need 8 or 9 yards of material, put a few pleats in it, bang on a waistband, hack a couple of belts apart for the fastenings and One Eyed Murdo that lives in the croft up the road's your Uncle.
You have to be pretty confident to get away with it though, certainly in England. I get abuse shouted at me occasionally by the odd white-van man as they drive past at speed, cleverly forgetting about that time that they dressed as Ginger Spice, edible thong and all, for 'Our Chardonnay's 13th Birthday party.'
But the positive responses far outweigh the negative. You have to be carefull of course, I mean, there's the whole 'crossing your legs' minefield (Am I right ladies?) and if you're sitting on a low seat, knees akimbo, and there's someone directly opposite you... Well, watch their eyeline to see if you're accidentally doing your 'Last turkey in the shop' impression. You also need to be aware of a little something that I like to call 'Unsolicited female attention'.
a) An average bloke
b) Not a male model by any stretch of the imagination
c) Not rich
d) Not young
e) Not famous
I don't normally tend to get followed around by clouds of adoring females trying to let loose the Dandy Kraken, but when I'm all kilted-up... Well, that's a different kettle of HRT therapy, I've lost track of the number of times that I've been ruthlessly assaulted by hordes of (presumably Kraken-Starved) middle aged women, or hen parties, in pubs - And it pretty much always plays out the same way.
- I'll walk into a bar (I've been told that I tend to throw the double doors open and strut into bars like Frank 'n' Furter facing into a wind machine, or Michael Jackson in the video for 'Bad' , when I'm in the kilt - thinking about it, It's possible that I bring some of this attention on myself) and heads will turn.
- Men wearing football shirts will shake their heads, mutter 'F'kin homo inna skirt' under their breath and try not to make eye contact from that point on, because they'll immediately turn gay, obviously. (Ignoring for a second that I'm a heterosexual as a Grizzly Bear with a Chainsaw, jumping out of a burning Lancaster Bomber eating a dinosaur drumstick with mushroom gravy.)
- Women, usually groups of women with between 5 and 8 members will nudge each other and point as I walk to the bar, there may be the occasional quiet 'Och Aye th'noo' Which I can quite happily ignore, with me not being particularly Scottish.
- The people I am with will shake their heads in a 'Not a-bloody-gain' way get their drinks and wander off to find a table.
- There'll be an 'Excuse me' or 'Are you Scottish?' from behind me, they mostly come at you from behind you see... Mostly... So I turn around and see a female person, who has probably had a few more Bacardi Breezers or WKDs than is strictly good for them, and is slightly red around the cheeks, and has been styled by Vivienne at Primark.
- I turn around and say 'Aye?' - Meaning 'What can I do for you, lady who would probably be quite pretty if you weren't wearing the entire Boots No.7 display counter and if you had drawn your eyebrows on when you were still sober?'
- They then invariably ask, 'Are you... you know?' and stare at my Gentlemans' Area - It doesn't help that I don't wear a sporran either. Because I invariably wear a jacket with pockets, and Scotsmen will tell you that that's what it's for, it acts like a medieval man-bag - That's not it's main use - It's mainly there to disguise any physical evidence that you find someone particularly attractive.
(It's the old question... The one that always gets asked... Do I wear a kilt in the 'Traditional Style?' - Let me put this one to bed right now... You're effectively asking if I, with malice aforethought, go out into the public space, with only a thin scrap of loose fitting material covering my genitalia, knowing full well that I'm only one inquisitive toddler away from a conviction for indecent exposure? Is that what you're asking?
Well the answer is yes, that's exactly what I do...)
- So I stand there, look them straight in the face, and say 'Why don't you find out?'
(Yes, I'm also a Man-whore, get over it...)
To date, only one person has taken me up on my kind offer, she was less than gentle... Not only did she look like Quasimodo, but she had his Sally-pulling expertise as well - I was quite traumatised, not to mention strained, twisted and bruised, for some time afterwards. I still get flashbacks, it's like my own personal Vietnam.
You'd think that would stop me saying it wouldn't you? No? Well obviously you've been reading this blog for too long then.
I also tend to get adopted by groups of drunken Scots, and have to start using my fake Billy Connolly accent and pretend to be from Kirkaldy (pron. Kayrcoddy) to avoid being torn to pieces after someone mentions the Battle of Bannockburn and I forget which side I should be cheering for.
Everyone should wear a kilt at least once in their lives, I'm probably going to end up wearing mine HERE on Saturday what with it being hot and everything. You could come along too if you wanted - Come up and say hello, you should be able to tell if I'm pleased to see you.