Ain't Gonna Do It
(A fractured Hogmanay Tale)
This was inspired by True’s 8th birthday party as ‘reported’ by Boonie. Consensus is that Johnny would never agree to wearing the kilt. Doesn’t stop Murdoch and Scott from trying though.
Thanks to Geraldine for publishing the pics of the ‘boys’ in kilts as my muse had taken off on a shopping trip for her Christmas presents and I’d come to a full stop writing this.
Karen - what can I say? Thank you so much for turning this round so quickly in spite of the busy season. I wish you all that’s good.
In common with all other authors on here, I’ve played after all your hard work. We just can’t leave things alone, can we? Blame our respective muses!
Oh, and I almost forgot - I don’t own anything connected with ‘Lancer’, nor have I made any money out of this (just as if!) and no characters were harmed during the writing. It was written for fun and I hope you will enjoy.
Ain’t Gonna Do It
“You don’t really believe you can talk him into it?” Scott’s voice came through the gap in the door as Johnny made his way into the great room.
“We can try Scott,” was Murdoch’s reply. “You’d both do credit to it.”
“Talk me inta what?” Johnny demanded. If Scott thought he needed talking into something, it had to be a bad idea as far as Johnny was concerned.
“Hogmanay,” Murdoch replied.
“Ya worried I wont be your ‘first footer’, Murdoch,” his younger son asked.
“No, Johnny. It was more sort of *how* you were going to be the first footer.”
“Aw, that’s OK Murdoch. Reckon I got the hang of it last year.”
“Almost, Johnny. Almost.”
“So, what’dI get wrong?”
“Not exactly, wrong, Johnny, more not quite right,” Murdoch hedged.
“Come on Murdoch. Say watcha mean.”
“Murdoch is wondering if you’dwear a kilt this year,” Scott interrupted.
“What’s a kilt?” Johnny asked innocently.
“Traditional Scottish attire,” Murdoch replied.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“Errr…nothing is wrong with it…”
“What, then, is ‘not quite right’ with it?”
“It’s traditional,” spluttered Murdoch “Celtic warriors were feared by their enemies. And you are half Scottish Johnny.”
“I’m also half Mexican and that half is wonderin’ what the heck is goin’ on Murdoch.”
“Perhaps I should show you,” Murdoch said as he crossed the room to his desk where there was a large parcel. He clipped the string holding it together, unwrapped the cloth and the muted blues, reds and greens weregradually revealed. “Robertson Dress,” Murdoch announced.
“What ya talkin’ ‘bout?” Johnny asked petulantly
“Traditionally, only members of a specific clan, or family, are permitted to wear the clan’s tartan.”
“Clans? Are they anything like an Indian tribe?”
“Just like that,” Murdoch agreed. “We belong to the oldest of the clans,the Clan Donnachaidh (Sons of Duncan ) descended from the Celtic Earls of Atholl. They can trace their lineage back to the Royal line of the Kings of Dalriada. Dalraida was the name first given to Scotland.
“Riiiiight….” said Johnny, “so tell me, Murdoch, precisely what is wrong with this ‘tartan?”
“Nothing is wrong with the tartan, Johnny; just that…well, it’s aFeileadh-beag (feela beg )”
“Yeh, that’s it, I wana know what’s a feely big?”
As Murdoch reverently lifted the garment from its protective wrapping, Johnny’s eyes became wider and wider.
“Murdoch…it’s…it’s a...SKIRT!” Johnny exclaimed.
“It isn’t a skirt Johnny, it’s a kilt.”
“Don’t care what fancy name ya give it, a man don’t show his bare legs to the world.” “They wont be bare, Johnny, I ordered hose.”
“Ya ORDERED!” Johnny spluttered, grabbing the remains of the parcel.
“Of course, I had to order it, mine would be too long for you.”
“Ya had no right, Murdoch. I aint makin’ a fool of myself for you or anyone!”
“But it’s ‘Dress’!” Murdoch protested.
“Well, you can wear the dress, ‘cause I aint! An’ what’s this?” Johnny pulled out a white shirt with a winged collar. “Ya tryin’ ta make me look like a girl?”
“The hair is getting to the right length. Don‘t worry, I‘ll help you with the bow tie,” Scott teased.
Johnny heard the word ‘bow’, but said nothing, he simply glared at his brother. The jacket was extracted next by the ever-helpful Scott. A Prince Charlie Jacket and vest, the silver buttons adorning it reminiscent of the conchos on Johnny’s pants.
“You are half Scottish, Johnny…” Murdoch interrupted.
“Ya already said that Murdoch! An’ I just decided the Mexican half is from tha waist down. An’ that’s keepin’ its pants on!”
“So you’ll wear the shirt, jacket and vest?” Scott enquired diplomatically.
Before Johnny could answer, Murdoch extracted a length of tartan cloth.
“The fly plaid,” said Murdoch draping it over Johnny’s left shoulder, lifting a large silver brooch from the packaging and placing it on the plaid.
“Now ya want me ta wear a shawl!” Johnny grumbled. “I aint doin’ it Murdoch. Ya gonna hafta find someone else to be first footer!”
“My cousin Hamish will be here and he’s a bonnie piper. It would please him and me if…”
“Told ya, aint doin’ it. An’ what’s this?” Johnnie demanded holding up a leather pouch.
“That, my boy is a sporran. There are no pockets in a kilt, so the sporran…” Murdoch demonstrated how the sporran should be worn.
“O, great. This just gets better an’ better! Ya want me ta wear a skirt, a shawl, carry a purse…where’s the bonnet?”
“Tam o’ shanter, but you don‘t need to wear…”
“So where’s the bloomers, then?” Johnny demanded angrily, “There’s gotta be bloomers!”
“No bloomers Johnny,” Murdoch responded, winking at Scott.
“So what else ya got for me ta wear then? Not them fancy French things.”
“No, Johnny. A Scotsman *never* wears anything under his kilt. Everything is, or should be, in perfect working order.**”
“What kinda stupid statement is that?” and Johnny’s eyes grew rounder and rounder, almost popping out of his head on stalks as Murdoch’s words hit home. “What, ya mean…fer everyone ta see….”
“No-one will *see* anything, Johnny. You’ll be well covered by the kilt.”
“I’ll be well covered by my pants Murdoch, cause there aint no way I’m wearing a skirt. An‘ ‘fore ya ask, I aint wearing them fancy plaid pants of Scott‘s.”
“Like ‘hope’ in Pandora’s box, you’ve missed this Johnny,” Scott said as he extracted a small silver dagger. “What’s it called, Murdoch?”
“The ‘sgian dubh’,” Murdoch responded.
“Who the hell’s Pandora and what’s she gotta do with this? That ain’t no good as a knife. Ya want me ta wear a skirt, a shawl, carry a purse an’ have ma privates dangling’ ‘bout in tha wind an’ all ya gonna give me fer defense is that tiny thing! I’ll say it once more, an’ I mean it; I ain’t doin’ it! Ya c’n talk till Barranca is breakin’ mustangs hisself, I aint doin’ it!”
Johnny turned on his heel, throwing the sporran over his shoulder as he made a rapid exit from the room, slamming the door behind him. Scott deftly caught the flying sporran and grinned broadly at Murdoch.
“That went better than expected,” Murdoch said as he poured a scotch for himself and Scott.
“At least he didn’t threaten to shoot us both,” Scott agreed. As he took the proffered glass, he smiled and nodded his thanks to his father.
“We now have a full twelve months to talk him round.”
“I don’t think you need worry too much about that Murdoch,” Scott reassured his father, “there’s no doubt that Johnny will lose at least one bet during the year.” He raised his glass, smirked and winked.
“He’s going to make you do the same,” Murdoch cautioned his elder son.
“The difference is that I intend to wear it anyway, just don‘t let him know it till he‘s lost the bet. If you’re man enough to wear it, I like to think I am too.” Scott sipped the contents of the glass, amusement sparkling in his eyes.
“You are every bit as devious as your mother!” Murdoch laughed.
“I shall take that as a compliment.” Scott raised his glass, smirking. “Slainte Mhath! (Good Health)”.
“Slainte Mhor! (Great Health).” Murdoch shook his head, grinning at Scott, “I almost feel sorry for him.”
“Mmm. Then I think of all the fast he’s pulled on us, I realize he’s getting exactly what he deserves!”
“Who gets what he deserves?” Teresa asked. “And where was Johnny heading to in such a hurry?”
“Can you keep a secret?” Scott asked her.
“From Johnny? You know I can’t Scott, so if it involves him, don’t tell me! And you two had better learn to mask your feelings. It‘s obvious from those innocent faces that you‘re up to something!”
The two men looked at each other and laughed.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year and thank you all for everything you’ve done for me this year. It’s been a roller-coaster of a time, not only for me but for others too on this board, but the one thing I’ve truly come to appreciate is the support and concern that exists among the inhabitants of Lancerland.
May you have-
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you,
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire.
- Celtic Blessing
Lancer is not in the recognized list of Scottish clans. However ’Duggan’ is listed as belonging to the ’Roberston’ clan, so I took the liberty of assigning Lancer.
**The standard reply when a Scotsman is asked what is worn beneath a kilt “Nothing, everything is in full working order.”