When travelling in furrin pairts it pays to observe national law and local customs. To flout tradition is to invite the displeasure of those who may be offended.
The crime? Insulting the McCartney of Campbeltown. Should anyone call the ‘Mull of Kintyre’, as written and performed by the sainted Paul himself, anything other than a moving and uplifting anthem for the Kintyreans is to find oneself up to the oxters in the proverbial sheuch. One must not confuse meaningful melody with mournful dirge! The locals will seek out such intolerance and punish accordingly.
Guilty as charged. Hence the accusation, conviction and resultant penalty of detention in the locally known ‘Machrihanish Hilton’, a 5 star resort where even an un-refurbished Welcome Inn merits ten stars and more.
At least the accommodation is clean, the steel framed bed with its rubber mattress keeps one’s personal and intimate bits off the floor while pillows and bed linen are regarded as non-essential, superfluous luxury. Mind you, it must be said that the ‘communal facilities’ leave a little to be desired in terms of comfort and privacy.
The view from the un-barred window (glazed with blast resistant glass) is pleasant. One can see the sky through the barbed wire fence and the setting sun behind the guard towers. Those yearning a little human comfort in such basic solitude can wave to the guards in the towers and be treated to an acknowledging two finger salute.
So beware the perils of cultural blasphemy. Having been compelled ‘willingly’ to purchase the entire back catalogue of Beatles and Wings CDs and greatest hit albums, release would appear to be assured. With a bit of luck, perhaps even in time to attend the Mach1 Stages Rally tomorrow, although whether the supping of cold, stodgy gruel and a slice of porridge on burnt toast is a compulsory part of the final penitence remains to be seen.
In the meantime, one must learn and be able to recite the lyrics to that most wondrous and uplifting ballad – Mull of Kintyre. Release depends on it. In which case there may or may not be a post event report on the rally!!