The Irish, Kilts and Bagpipes
I have mentioned my fascination with men in kilts at Cons. Since I first started talking about this phenomenon I have had explanations presented by men around the world. Oddly, I don’t think any of them were Scottish which is another mystery to solve. Any Scotttish guys out there want to tackle that one? At Cons there does no one wear a kilt because it’s too common? So many questions.
Now let’s make it clear, I don’t have an issue with kilts in general just with why men wear them at Cons. They’re nifty little garments and I hear they allow an, uh, freedom of movement not usually found with more common garb. I just don’t get the Con aspect. I’ve always said that if you live in Scotland or if you’re participating in a Highland Games then I get it. Well, I have to add one more occasion that I never thought would be on the list of “I get it” places to wear a kilt.
Last week I spent a few days in Philadelphia with my very Irish family. It was not a happy trip as a relative had passed away after a long illness, but as usual happens at our family gatherings it ended up being a bit like a party by the end. In fact, hours before I left for home I was sitting at Reedy’s Tavern eating an amazing cheesesteak and wishing I could stay another day. So I left with a smile on my face, but the smile started way before the great food and conversation.
At the saddest possible moment when we were all getting out of our cars I heard bagpipes. I looked up and there, standing off to the side, was a lone bagpiper. And of course he was in a kilt. He stood solemnly playing as we all filed past to say our final goodbyes. It was a touching and ultimately extremely sad moment and you know what happened? I started laughing. Actually, it was more like a snickering, choking sound that I tried to hide behind my hand. All I could think of was “Dear God, the kilts are everywhere, multiplying like tribbles!” So, to all you Kilt-Wearing-Con-Goers, thanks for giving me a good laugh when it was desperately needed and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!