Last Lol Book Contest for 1998

December 17, 1998


Okay, folks. Let's say goodbye to 1998 with a big Lallygabbers blowout contest here. :-)
What we have up for grabs this time are the following:

The Prizes:

1. Into the Wilderness, by Sara Donati - hardcover. Donated by Lady Artemis.

2. Voyager, by someone we all know and love *g* - hardcover. Donated by Lady Jo W.

3. A pair of (used) paperback books - first edition copies of Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber - that I have managed to acquire over the last few months. These are the ones with the stepback pictures in them (inside front cover - double page picture). The Outlander copy is in great shape, the cover is a bit scuffed? and the DIA has a wrinkle in the top right corner of about the first 30 pages - maybe it could be ironed out? :-) Weel, nooooooooo, they ain't in MINT condition, but I think they would make a nice addition to any collection.

4. A pair of (used but in great condition *g*) paperback books - The Lover, and The Warrior, by Nicole Jordan. Yes, I am parting with a whole PAIR of my two fave Nicole Jordan's, but hey - it's Christmas, like, eh? :-)

5. One more (used) paperback first edition of Outlander, which is in pretty great shape except for a crease in the top right-hand corner. Otherwise, darned great shape!

Bonus gift:

Okay, this is a sad story, ya ken *g* - but I'll fill ya in anyway. It seems that one BRENDAN FRASER was here in Vancouver filming for - oh, something like MONTHS - and no one told ME about it! Anyway, I heard about it and went to the trouble of buying some darned photograph paper for printing on my colour deskjet - and printed out that ADONIS picture of him - TWICE - you know, where he's nearly naked and looks great *g* - wearing just a ... uh ... kind of a codpiece or something and those sort of gold things going from his hands up his arms - they may be gloves, but I'm not sure, ya ken? *g*

Anyway, Tamara (Little Judie) and I took them down to his hotel with the hopes of getting them autographed, but wasn't it just my darned luck that filming had ended, and he was leaving that weekend, and this particular hotel - THE PALISADES in case anyone wants to know *g* - is a HUGE complex, which we weren't aware of at the time .... and ... well, I'm sure you can see where this is leading. Yeah, he never got to autograph them. :-(

Dang, that would have made 2 great prizes! :-)

Anyway, for those who are interested - if you'd like me to mail one of these photos to you - 8 x 10 glossy, you'd never know I printed them myself *g* - please just print BRENDAN FRASER on your entry and out of all those who WANT one we'll pick two names - totally separate of the book contest. So even if you don't want to enter the book contest - like maybe you already have 10 copies of each *g* - you can still enter the random draw for a picture of Brendan Fraser in ... MOST of his glory! :-)

And just to make things more interesting, the prizes aren't in order of first, second, third, etc. The first prize winner gets to choose whichever book or book combo he/she wants, then second prize winner, then third, down to fifth.

The Contest

Okay, now I know some of you think you aren't very creative in the writing area, and you don't like writing contests. Hey - I can relate, why do you think I keep giving away things!!!!!!! hahahahahahaha

But - COME ON!!! This one is easy. You only have to use a LITTLE bit of creativity because Little Judie thought of this contest and it's nearly already written for you. *g*

She has picked 10 words or phrases which are listed below. All YOU have to do is come up with a short (or long - up to you) composition using all of the following words or phrases at least once:

  • beefcake
  • cornbread
  • hard
  • highlander
  • kilt
  • male
  • cheerleaders
  • shortbread
  • sweaty
  • The Price Is Right
  • Tom Selleck

Hell - half you ladies use these words on the board on a daily basis - hahahahahahahahahaha!

So, NO EXCUSES! Get those pens and papers out RIGHT NOW and get those entries in!!!

I even have judges and everything - so far, The Old Curmudgeon from Detroit and Scotty and a couple others.

Contest Close:

The contest is now open until Monday at midnight Pacific Time. Judging will be done Tuesday and the winners announced either late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Just e-mail your entry to me at

So come on and join in the fun. I get a real bang reading the essays. And of course they will be forwarded to the judges with no names attached, as always, so no favouritism will be shown! :-)

Good luck!



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I would like to thank all the Ladies and Lad of Lallybroch who entered our last contest of 1998. I absolutely LOVED reading all the entries. They were wonderful. I laughed - I cried! Mostly I laughed, though - you folks have a wicked sense of humour. You can no doubt guess where I cried when you read the winning entry. hahahahahaha

And please pardon the formatting. I did this up quickly in WORD and, while it allows you to do a web page quickly, it leaves a bit to be desired in the formatting area. Like - the poems should be single-spaced, and stuff like that.

But I didn't want this to take forever - I know folks are waiting to hear who won, and to read all the entries, so here they are. Canna tell you who picked what just yet because it would appear everyone has buggered off for Christmas! :-) I'll post something later.



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Two years. I had been saving for this trip for two years. It was a crazy idea, but one that I loved. I was wild about going to Scotland to find my own gorgeous highlander to fall in love with, maybe even to marry and to have a few pretty, red-heided bairns with, if I was lucky. But still no luck. I spent three days in Edinburgh, doing all the routine touristy stuff. My bags were loaded with plaids of all kinds and stuff I know my new friends at Ladies of Lallybroch would love. No new love in my life yet, but hey, I still had four days until my long plane ride back home.

However, today, I was inspired to take a trip to the Highlands, to see what I imagined in the beautiful imagery in Diana Gabaldon's books. I had drank in Scotland's beauty through picture books for years and I wouldn't leave Scotland without seeing it all for myself. So, rented car keys in hand, I made my way down to the street.

Driving was difficult because I couldn't keep my eyes on the road in front of me. I was looking all around me at the beautiful heather and crags. It was so different from anyplace I had ever been and I felt as though I was dreaming.

After one too many near misses, I decided to turn the car off of the road and hike around and soak this all in. I had no idea where I was, but I was pretty sure I'd be able to find my way back to the hotel somehow. After all, Scotland isn't too big is it??

I had hiked for nearly two hours and decided it was well past time for some lunch and a little rest. After all, I was on vacation, I shouldn't push myself too hard. I sat snacking on something that tasted somewhat like shortbread and staring off into the distance, thinking about highland men. In my peripheral vision, I saw someone in a kilt running across the heather like he was being chased by wild dogs. "Now, what is this?" I thought dismally.

I called out to the man, "Helloooo!" and he turned my way and stared directly into my eyes. He was sweaty, his red hair pasted to his scalp. As he made his way closer, I could see his chest heaving, he was trying to catch his breath. He had been running for a very long distance, it was easy to see. He looked as though he were going to drop dead from exertion. Warily, he came and stood in front of me, his hands down at his sides, but each muscle tensed, ready for battle or flight. He took me in, from my hiking boots to my blue jeans to my blonde braid, in one intense blue gaze.

Feeling self-conscious, I looked away and said, " What's going on?" to his knee.

He just stood there and stared. I was feeling awkward from the lack of conversation at his end and stood up. "What," I said, "Are you running from the law or something? You can trust me, I won't turn you in." I gave him a wink and suspicion grew in his eyes. I drank him in, who cares if he isn't a conversationalist, he sure was a beefcake!! He was put together very, very nicely. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen, with a long, straight nose, full lips that just made me ache to nibble on them. His shoulders were broad and his arms were ripped with muscle. His stomach, from what I could tell through his shirt, was flat as a board. His waist was slim and his hips beautifully tapered into legs that made you melt just to look at them. I couldn't wait to get a look at his backside!

"Are you hungry? I have enough of this cornbread, or whatever this is, to share. Would you like some?" I wasn't betting on an answer anytime soon, though.

I guess he figured I wasn't all bad because he sat down beside me. I broke my ration in two pieces, giving him the larger half. He sat munching, watching me through the corner of his eye, probably debating whether or not he thought I was good enough to speak to, I mused.

I sat there for a few minutes, watching him watch me and I finally had enough. "What is your name and why aren't you speaking to me?" I exclaimed. "I gave you my lunch, the least you can do is tell me who you are."

He took a long look at me and asked if I had any water. "Not until you tell me your name." Maybe I could bribe him.

"Malcolm Mackenzie, at your service. If you dinna mind, the water?" Well, I'll be damned, he wasn't a mute. I handed him my canteen. It wasn't cold, but it was wet.

He leaned his head back to take a swallow and I watched the long expanse of neck and chest as he drank. Malcolm Mackenzie was a very attractive man. I was naming our third baby when he finished.

"I thank ye for the water, now lass, do you mind telling me a few things?" He was a little breathless, but he had a deep, sexy voice.

"No, not at all." I was hoping he'd want my phone number.

"What day is it?"

Okay, a strange question, but hey, I was game. "Tuesday."

"No lass, the date. The day, the month, the year." He said.

"Tuesday, November second, nineteen ninety seven." All right, there was something real strange about this guy. I was beginning to think of ways to get out of this situation quick. He turned pale as a sheet and put his head between his knees.

"Jesus Christ!" he said weakly. I thought he was going to pass out and I was worried about what I would do if he were unconscious, not all of my thoughts honorable.

"Hey, are you all right. What is wrong with you?" I was having visions of mental hospitals when he grabbed my hand and stared intensely into my face. His grip was blazing hot to the touch, almost feverish, and strong. His hands were smoothly callused and as I looked down at them, I noticed that his right ring finger stuck out stiffly. Now I felt like I was the one who was going to faint.

"I know, Jamie. I know who you are, where you're from, what I don't know is how you got here and that you were real. " I felt sick. And elated.

He held my hand tightly and asked if he could trust me. He didn't look like he thought he could.

"Of course you can trust me. Just tell me how you got here." I was dying to know what had happened and just how in blazes Diana Gabaldon knew about Mr. James Fraser.

"I dinna ken. I was there and then I woke up and I was here." He was muttering curses and oaths under his breath.

"Well, we gotta find a way to get you back there." What was I saying??? I came to Scotland looking for someone like Jamie and I ended up with the real article. Send him back? Highly unlikely!

"Come with me." I said. "We'll get you something hot to eat and then we'll figure out a way to send you back." He came along, but then again, how many people were going to believe what this was all about??

Walking back to the car, I couldn't tear my eyes off of him. He certainly was a big, beautiful man. I wouldn't mind having him around for a while.

He seemed terrified riding in the car. I had to remember that he had never had anything like this in his entire life and I was hoping he would get used to it and maybe even enjoy it after a few stints. He loved hot showers after I showed him how to use it, and he refused to use my soap. He didn't like lavender, I had forgotten. So, I bought him some manly smelling soap. I ran to the nearest store and bought him some clothes, so he would fit in better while he was stuck here. After all, modern day Scots don't run around in kilts all the time anymore, unfortunately.

Upon my return, I found him curled up on the couch, watching television. He was amazed and I got a real kick out of seeing him watch "The Price is Right." He also loved Tom Selleck in Magnum PI, I think he liked checking out the latest weapons.

As he went into the next room to change, he was asking me about the twentieth century. How do you sum up a century in a few words?? I did my best to explain everything to him, he was briefed a little on technology and the like. He came out of the bedroom and I nearly fell out of my chair. His hair was drying down over his shoulders and he was trying to tie it up, but I asked him to leave it down. With a "Mmmphm." he quit fooling with it.

"Now, lass, how do I get back?" he asked.

I was irritated and upset that he even wanted to go back, but I tried to hide it from him. He would take off if the thought I was falling for him. He just looked so good in the Levis and the T-shirt I got him, I wanted to keep him.

"I don't think you can go back until MayDay." I said, "I guess I'll watch over you until then."

"MayDay?! That's over six months away! Are ye daft? I canna wait that long to go back. Claire needs me. I willna wait, I'll go now." He was screaming at me like this was my fault and my temper was boiling.

"So, you fat-headed idiot, you'll try to go back and you'll get yourself killed, is that it? You'll be a great help to her that way, won't you? You have a whole lot of sense, Jamie Fraser, and I will not

let you out of my sight because you'll get ran over by a car or something, you moron. So, plan on sitting tight because I will NOT LET YOU GO, DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?" I was shaking and crying, I felt like my insides were on my outside. Jamie might not understand this, but I loved him, even when I thought he wasn't real. But now he was real and I wouldn't let any harm come to him. I would send him back to his own time with Claire or I would kill myself trying. But if he wanted to stay, then I would make him verra glad he did.

"Lassie, dinna cry. I need to go back where I belong, ye understand that, don't you? I didna mean to make ye angry. If I have to wait until then, then I'll find something to do until then and somewhere to live. You dinna need to worry for me, lassie. Ye've been good to me, but I canna let you take care of me. I've a wife for that." He was looking down into my face, his eyes pleading for understanding, but I felt inconsolable. I wanted him to stay. I wanted him. Period.

Somehow, after many arguments and near bloodshed, I convinced him to fly to see America. I said that he could stay with me, it was commonplace in this time and I would not try anything indecent.

Of course, it never occurred to me that he would get airsick. His face was buried in a barf-bag the whole flight. I thought I would die from sympathy, but later he admitted that flying was preferable to sailing because although he got just as sick, at least he was sick for a shorter period of time. Thank God he was so sick, though, because he would have gotten into a fight with a group of male cheerleaders on the plane. They were admiring his physique as much as the ladies everywhere were, but they were being much more vocal about it. Jamie was a trooper, though.

Jamie seemed to enjoy America. I think he was amazed to see the land and time Brianna grew up in. He was scandalized part of the time, but he learned to shrug off the practices that didn't suit him. He also learned to use most of the technology around him.

Living with Jamie was interesting, fun and exciting. We soon became thick as thieves and spent hours talking and laughing, but sometimes he would grow quiet and pensive and I would hear him pacing the floors at night. He told me that he often dreamt of Claire and he was sometimes afraid that he wouldn't be able to make it back. I would do my best to keep him busy and happy, but nights were hard for him. The time went by so quickly and I dreaded the day when I would have to send him back, but the day finally came.

We decided to go back to Scotland a little early, to spend some time together before we would have to say good-bye. I was sick at the thought that I would never see him again and I was really frightened that I would be the last person to ever see him alive. We spent most of our time going on long walks through Edinburgh and hiking through the countryside. And we had a good time up until the day before I knew I would leave him at the stones and walk away, never to know his fate. I grew depressed and even desperate, I felt like I was on a deathwatch. I could barely get out of bed that morning. I wanted to tell him how I felt about him but I didn't dare.

At nine o'clock, there was a knock on my door. I knew who it was, but I pulled the covers over my head and pretended like I didn't hear him.

"Hello in there. Are ye going to sleep all morning, lassie??" He was bellowing through the door. I clenched my teeth and walked to the door and threw it open. Jamie quickly looked away and cleared his throat. "Well? Get dressed and we'll go." he said, "I want to go out today. It's my last day."

"All right." My stomach lurched just as he said "last day". So, I got dressed and met him out on the street. He looked like a large child as he looked at me and asked me where I wanted to go. I felt my heart twist. God, I would miss him. We went down to the pub at the end of the street and got breakfast. I was munching on my toast while he told me how grateful he was for my hospitality and kindness and he pulled out a small black box. "Open it." he smiled at me.

Inside was a oval-shaped silver locket with flowers engraved around the outside. On the back, there was an engraving. It said, WAS LOST BUT NOW I'M FOUND. GRATEFUL, JAMMF. The outlines blurred as the tears filled my eyes and trickled down my cheeks. It was going to take more than I had to send him back. He said, " Do ye like it?" with a look that melted my heart. And he reached across the table and took it out of my hand. He walked around behind me and fastened it around my neck. It rested perfectly just below my collarbones.

We spent the day just going into stores and pubs that got our attention and by six o'clock, I was a little drunk. I was warm from whiskey and I was thinking that just maybe I would get my courage from a bottle tomorrow. Jamie wanted to have dinner at the hotel so we were walking back when I slipped and nearly fell on my face. Jamie caught me before I fell and while his arms were around me, I looked up into his face. "What will I do when you're not there to catch me??" I asked him and I was getting real weepy. He wiped the tear off my cheek and his hand lingered just a moment longer than necessary. He had never laid a hand on me the whole time he had been with me and his touch made me tingle.

He half carried me to the hotel and I felt like swooning. He was so close and I found it hard to believe that I would never see him again after tomorrow. He took me to my room, put me to bed, fully clothed and went downstairs to have his dinner. I passed out.

I awoke some time in the night to hear his voice. I thought maybe I was dreaming, so I laid there and as I listened, I began to make out what he was saying.

"Bonnie lassie," he said. "I will be a little sad to go. I canna tell you this except when you are sleeping. I am a marrit man, but I love you just a little. I willna break my vow to Claire, yet I would like to touch you." I felt a large, warm hand on my cheek. "I will miss you, my lassie, but I canna stay." The hand left my cheek and I heard him stand up to leave.

"Jamie!" I called out and he turned. I stood up and crossed the room. I slid my hand up and across his chest. He looked in my eyes and wrapped his arms around my waist. I felt tiny and very feminine in his grasp and I also felt like my knees were going to buckle. He bent to kiss me. His mouth was hot and sweet and it tasted as though he had whiskey with his food. His breath was warm on my face and as his tongue tickled my own, I felt my body begin to react to him. I was ready for him and my clothes felt like an unnecessary barrier. I wanted to feel his skin against mine. He removed my shirt somewhere in between kisses and I removed my bra. I didn't have time to explain the wonders of the modern brazier to him! He then wrapped his arms tightly around me and lifted me up and carried me over to the bed, never breaking his stride for a moment. It seemed as if our clothes just melted away because I never remembered removing the rest of them and he was lying naked by side. I think he stroked every inch of my skin. He was passionate and gentle at the same time and I was satisfied again and again before he finally surrendered to his own needs. He was an amazing man. He fell asleep with his arms around me and his head pillowed on my breast. He woke me some time just before dawn and made love to me again, this time he was slow and sweet.

We left the hotel at around six. We walked to the stones and I felt a cold chill run up my spine at the sight of them. I felt a sense of dread, as though I were about to witness a train wreck that I was powerless to stop. We walked up the hill to the center of the stones and he was distracted, as though he could almost hear somebody whispering to him. He wrapped his arms around me and kissed me deeply. Then he leaned down and whispered in my ear, "I dinna want you to watch this. Turn and go and dinna look back. I willna forget you. Now, go." He turned me around and gave me shove. I turned just as he began to walk toward a huge stone, rent in half. He paused for a moment and looked at me as though memorizing my face and disappeared.


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Dear Santa,

My mom says its two late to be askin for things from you, but im doin it anyway. Cause, I know shes wrong. Beesides, what are beesides anyways, i have seen beefronts and beehinds, but not beesides. Im askin for other peeple so I thought it would be OK.

Ummmmmm, my mom first since she is way old. She keeps sayin shes 39, but I think she is much older like 45 or somethin. She goes off bout some dude named Tom Selleck. Some wierd beefcake guy on late nite tv, who runs around in flowered gay shirts. and santa, he drives drives this car that he thinks is way cool but is this large barbie car, called a Fur are we! its red though, barbies is pink. Oh and santa, if you cant get this guy, just get a ticket to her favorit game show, The Price is Right. She says she could get that old fart guy on there in the sack, if she jumped around with no bra on. I donít think she could, ive seen her nakid. Not on purpos santa, it was anacksident, honest. anyway, she looks just like one of those jungle women in the National Geagrafic magazine, they are pointin down santa, and i dont think a womans thingies are spose to point that way.

I got an older brother, named Jonathon who sucks, sorry santa, i mean whos way cool. All BJ keeps sayin is all he wants is bread. He sweers alot, and gets into all this shit, umm stuff. So i think hes should get stuff like cornbread and shortbread, cause he so whitebread. HA HA santa, am i funny or what?

Oh and my older sister. she is one of those foo foo pom pom babes, but shes not a babe, shes a dog. she looks alot like my dog mac, really hairy. My mom named her some gaylick name. Its also the name of her favorit persons in a book. Santa my mom reads these books about men in skirts. I think they call em kilts or cults, not sure santa. Loghaire is her name, my brother calles her Logwhore. She goes outwith alot of guys, she says they are all male cheerleaders. I dont think so, cause santa, i sneek out to where she is parked out side I cant see in the windows, all fogged up and all I ever hear is one name all the time. All my sis says is:

"Jamie, oh Jamie, your red headed Highlander , take me, take me now"

Anyways santa, we live in texas, only lowlands here. The only flatter thing here, is my sister. she comes out this car all hot and sweaty, its kinda gross santa. I dont think shes been a good girl.

Oh one more thing santa, dont put those crappy red and white hard candys in my stockin. You put those in there every year and noone eats em. We give em to mac, he eats anything.

And i guess i wood like one small thing santa. i wood really like a computor for christmas. My older brother BJ says its really e-z to pick up babes on there. Im thinkin BJ, likes boys tho santa, the kids at school call him Randy Randall. And since im gettin to that age, i think i need one. A computor not a boy, santa! I use one atschool and surf the web. Santa check out this Ladys ofLallybrock site,these women are wacked.

bye santa



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A Hoser Dream

I awoke with a start in the middle of the night,
I'd been having a dream I was on Price is Right.

Upon hearing my name called, I ran down the aisle,
Taking my place in contestants' row with a smile.

As the next item for bids was brought to the stage,
"I'll win this, or else!" growled a voice filled with rage.

Turning to see who stood by my side,
My jaw hit the floor and my eyes opened wide.

She was frazzled and sweaty, and not looking cheery,
My opponent was none other than that wicked Laoghaire!

She looked angry and mean and rather well-fed,
As if she'd been eating a lot of shortbread.

I turned back to the stage to get a look at the prize,
And the first thing I saw was a pair of slanted blue eyes.

He stood six foot four and had gorgeous red hair,
And all I could do was stand there and stare.

I probably should have felt a wee bit of guilt,
Because from where I was standing I could see up his kilt.

Just when my face had started to blaze,
The announcer's voice brought me back out of my daze.

"His name's Jamie Fraser, and he's a true Scot-
He can be won, but he canna be bought.

So without further ado, let the bidding begin,
Best of luck, ladies and may the best woman win!"

I turned to the audience for help with my bet,
For I had brought along all my pals from the net.

The ladies shouted out suggestions from where they sat,
It was starting to sound like a Friday Night Chat!

I was lost in my thoughts about Jamie's muscular thighs,
When Bob Barker appeared in front of my eyes.

"How many more times will I have to repeat,
Place your bid now or go back to your seat!"

"His value is priceless," I said with a grin,
"Jamie Fraser is among the finest of men."

I saw Jamie blush and his ears start to burn,
But I had to stay focused- it was now Laoghaire's turn.

"This willna be verra hard," the wretched lass sneered,
But the Lallybroch crowd just snorted and jeered.

Some of the hosers started to holler,
When Laoghaire announced, "I bid only one dollar."

My heart skipped a beat and my soul filled with mirth,
The sodie-head didn't know what he was worth!

"Well, too bad, Laoghaire," said Bob with a sad face,
"But the good news is you have won second place."

"You get cornbread forever- a lifetime's supply,
and a date with Tom Selleck from Magnum P.I."

As Jamie stepped from the stage and into my arms,
I stopped for a moment to consider his charms.

It's not just because of his beefcake appeal,
Jamie's so perfect because he's not real.


"Too bad it was just a dream," I said with a sigh,
And jumped as I felt a hand on my thigh.

"What's wakened ye, lass?" asked a voice, Scottish and deep,
For a moment I thought I was still asleep.

Yes, Jamie was mine. That much was true.
Don't ask how it happened. I wish I knew.

I tried to go back to sleep but was quite unable,
So I went downstairs to watch something on cable.

I scanned through the channels one by one,
Hoping to catch a Highlander re-run.

I found only info-mercials and an occasional bad singer,
Then I suddenly saw that freak Jerry Springer.

The audience was crazy and the stage was a fright,
Chairs flew and fists pounded in a free-for-all fight!

All I could do was sit there and stare,
As the guards pulled away a girl with blonde hair.

She screamed and she kicked as if she would never grow weary,
Can you guess who it was? -who else but Laoghaire!

I shook my head in disbelief again and again,
And switched to a male cheerleader competition on ESPN.


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'Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the brochs
Yon wee ladies were dreaming
Of kilts and

As the visions of beefcake
Throbbed in their heads
The fine ladies were hoping
They wouldn't get

These good ladies were dreaming
Of bonny things to deck their halls
Of tartans, of sporrans
And the sweaty Highlander's

Of presents, of cornbread, of presents stacked high
Even a male cheerleader (that likes a fair lass)
Would bring a twinkle to the ladies eyes
And a pinch to a lady's fine,

Ornament, blue like Tom Selleck's eyes
Brought from far-off Nantucket
For the gift the price is right, you see
All the lady had to do it.

Off the tree (a nice Fraser fir)
And place in her good clansman's sight.
A Merry Christmas to all
And to all a good night.


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My Trip to Scotland

It was cool and rainy (big surprise) when I landed in Scotland for my first visit. I had some excitement right after getting off the plane becauase there in front of me was Tom Selleck! I heard the flight attendants talking about a new movie he was filming in Scotland, some mini-series of some sort.

I wove my way through the crowd of people and found a cab to take me to my hotel in Edinburgh where I was only spending a night before heading off on a driving tour of the countryside.

I arrived at the hotel damp from the rain and a bit sweaty from carrying my luggage with my coat on. I checked in and decided to watch a bit of TV before heading down to dinner. Wow was I surprised when they had old "The Price is Right" reruns on. While I used to watch the show as a kid, somehow

Bob Barker isn't quite the same in your twenties. I flipped through the channels, and not finding anything better than "The Price is Right," I went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for dinner.

The "Edinburgh Eatery" as the place was called was packed with people and there was a large group of male cheerleaders from the local boys high school. They seemed to be enjoing themselves and I was just getting my first taste of real Scottish food. I had a meal of cock-a-leekie soup with a side of cornbread, and for my main course I had a really interesting concoction of bangers and mash! After dinner I headed up to my room again to get some rest so I could begin my car travels early the next morning. 

At 7:00 a.m. I got on my way towards Inverness with no particular schedule. I planned to make an easy driving day and stop where ever struck my fancy. Around lunchtime I came across a small tavern that looked like a good choice for lunch. I had some beefcake and shortbread which were both excellent.

As I was getting ready to be on my way, in walked a Scottish highlander fully dressed in kilt and carrying some bagpipes. At this sight I decided to order a beer and hang around for a bit longer to see what might be going on.

The Scotsman walked over to the bar, ordered up a whisky, and made himself a place in the back corner. After settling himself for a few moments, he drank his whisky and began to play. The whole tavern was almost mesmerized by the sound of the bagpipes and the Scot playing them. He was a handsome

man, tall, long red hair, wide mouth, strong shoulders. I know what all the women were thinking, because I was thinking the same thing - that this was one VERY fine looking man!

After a while, I became aware that the wooden bench I had been sitting on was becoming very hard and so I stood up to stretch and walked over to the bar to get one more beer for myself. Imagine my surprise when the tall Scotsman ended up right behind me as I was getting my drink.

"Ye ken ye should be drinkin' whisky here in Scotland," he said in a wonderfully deep Scottish accent.

A million thoughts were racing through my head, not the least of which was "don't make a fool out of yourself!" So I casually replied, "Normally I would, but I need to get on to Inverness tonight, and if I have whisky, there is no way I'm going to be able to drive."

"Ah lass, why would ye want to go to Inverness, you're in prime Scottish countryside right now. We've great hospitality, great food, and even better whisky!"

"But, I don't have anywhere to stay out here," I replied.

He smiled a big grin - wow he was good looking - and said, "But lassie, your at a tavern! And since I'm the owner, if ye have a glass of whisky with me, I won't even charge ye to stay."

Well, with an offer like that, there was no way I was going to refuse, so we had our glass of whisky, ok, it was a lot of glasses of whisky, and took a moonlight walk outside around the tavern. It was cool and the moonlight was that perfect color that frames everything in a perfect halo of light. Before we went back inside, he took my hand, drew me to him, and kissed me softly on the lips.

I will never forget that kiss as long as I live.

I was at this point sailing from the kiss, and also a little drunk, but we went inside and he showed me to my room. He kissed me one more time before bidding me goodnight. I slept in a perfect dreamless sleep that night and woke up to the new day's sunlight streaming through the window and a rooster crowing somewhere in the distance.

I got up and got dressed and went downstairs to the main tavern to seek out my host from the previous evening. When I got downstairs, an old man was sitting behind the bar asking if he could help me with anything.

I was about to ask him about my host when I realized I had never gotten his name. I instead inquired about the whereabouts of the owner as I wanted to thank him for the room. The old man gave me a puzzled look and said, "I'm the owner, and we don't rent rooms here."

"But what about the bagpipe player last night?" I asked.

"Lassie, I am sure I don't know what you are talking about."

I apologized to him and went out to my car. On the dashboard was a small siver pendant with a thistle engraved into it. I put it on and swore to never take it off again. I started the car and began the drive to Inverness once again.

That was 5 years ago and I have yet to leave Scotland. I found a job in Inverness and am still wearing that pendant. Someday I will find my Scottish highlander again, and I want to be ready when I do.



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