Now I don’t want to wade in and upset anyone but I feel dutybound to confess that I have had a little fun at the expense of some American citizens in the past. Some fun of the type that may no longer be possible now that Scotland is firmly on America’s radar. Before my confession begins, I want to stress that I only made fun of the really stupid ones and I do realise that stupidity has no nationality, as a quick look at the initial auditions of the UK X Factor will swiftly back up.
All of these conversations happened when I was a cocktail waitress in New Orleans in 1990, where stupid teenage boys go to drink til they pass out on a holiday weekend, particularly in the bar I worked in which was one of the few non-transvestite/gay disco type establishments on Bourbon Street and which also was fairly lax in the checking of ID.
Scenario 1: The Haunting
Him: Wow what’s that accent? Where ya from?
Him: Wow. I know Scotland! Do they really have ghosts and shit there.
Me: Oh yes, my dad’s one.
Him: You're kidding me right?
Scenario 2: What time is it?
Him: So what age can y’all drink over there?
Him: That’s awesome. So what age are you?
Me: Well I’m twenty-two back home but I’m twenty one over here because of the time difference.
Scenario 3: Fight the Power
Him: So where are you from?
Him: Scotland, eh? So you guys still bombing the English?
Me: Not really. I think you’re thinking of the IRA in Northern Ireland (this was 1990)
Him: So you guys ain’t doing that. I thought you were.
Me: No we’re not doing that.
Him: Well, you should.
Me: OK then.
Scenario 4: Landed Gentry
Him: So do you live in a castle in Scotland?
Me: Yes, we all do.
Me: Yes it is.
Scenario 5: Life in the dark ages
Drunken boy: So all this must be different for you guys coming from Scotland.
Me: Well, New Orleans is different all right.
Drunken boy: More modern and stuff
Me (clocking where he was going with this): Oh yes! You’ve got telephones and everything!
Drunken boy: Man, you don’t have telephones?
Me: Well, the whole town shares one.
Drunken boy: That’s fucked up.
Me: I write my parents a letter to let them know when I'll be calling and they book an appointment at the phone to take my call.