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Majestic haggis of the glens proves elusive for US tourists
The Gruniad ^ | November 27, 2003 | John Carvel

Posted on 11/27/2003 1:52:42 AM PST by ijcr

The enduring myth of the haggis still contributes to the Scottish travel trade, according to a poll yesterday that suggested a third of US visitors believe the delicacy to be an animal.

As government statisticians reported the number of North Americans visiting Scotland fell from 606,000 in 1998 to 504,000 last year, the haggis manufacturers Hall's of Broxburn revealed evidence of the misconceptions from an online survey.

The poll of 1,000 US visitors to Scotland found 33% thought haggis was an animal; 23% said they came to Scotland believing they could catch one.

The company said it had interviewed one tourist who thought the haggis was "a wild beast of the Highlands, no bigger than a grouse, which only came out at night". Another claimed it sometimes ventured into the cities, like a fox.

Haggis is traditionally made out of a sheep's stomach filled with liver, heart lung, oatmeal, suet, stock, onions and spices.

Despite the pull of the haggis, the number of foreigners visiting Scotland declined last year, while visits to the UK as a whole increased by more than 1.3m.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: haggis
Typical of the Jockanese...they start a myth and then blame Americans.
1 posted on 11/27/2003 1:52:42 AM PST by ijcr
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To: ijcr
We should take them Snipe hunting.
2 posted on 11/27/2003 1:56:53 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rush agrees with me 98.5% of the time!)
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To: ijcr
Maybe if they'd stop serving Haggis more Americans would go to Scotland.
3 posted on 11/27/2003 2:00:11 AM PST by kitkat
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To: ijcr
Maybe if they'd stop serving Haggis more Americans would go to Scotland.
4 posted on 11/27/2003 2:00:21 AM PST by kitkat
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To: kitkat
Sorry, too much Scotch.
5 posted on 11/27/2003 2:01:42 AM PST by kitkat
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To: ijcr
Oh for heavens sake it was a ' it's an odd world 'type of article in the newspapers here.And now you are turning it into an example of anti-americanism..........grow up.
6 posted on 11/27/2003 2:16:10 AM PST by scotsman1 (haggis)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
Please see my first post.It also answers your post.
7 posted on 11/27/2003 2:17:41 AM PST by scotsman1 (haggis)
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To: kitkat
Actually haggis is lovely.Have you actually ever tried it?.......or just quipped tired jokes?.
8 posted on 11/27/2003 2:19:08 AM PST by scotsman1 (haggis)
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To: ijcr; scotsman1
Have had my share of good and bad. Some of the worst had a definite snipian flavor to it :-}. It's an importnant part of any Burn's Night dinner along with meat pies, bridies, and mashed neeps.

One may wonder at the traditional relationship between Scotch whisky and haggis,i.e., was Scotch invented because one had to eat haggis or was haggis invented because the cook had a wee bit too much Scotch? Either way, it all worked out well. Slante' Mhath!

9 posted on 11/27/2003 3:50:40 AM PST by tbpiper
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To: scotsman1

10 posted on 11/27/2003 3:55:58 AM PST by angkor
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To: scotsman1
One often yearns
For the land of Burns
The only snag is
The haggis.

11 posted on 11/27/2003 4:09:43 AM PST by Luke Skyfreeper
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To: scotsman1
When I was in Edinburgh years ago, I stopped at a shopping mall on Prince Georges Street (to get out of the rain) at the end of the bridge over the gardens.......I can't recall the name of the bridge, but it's on the castle side of Waverly Station and Hotel.

Anyway, I picked up a humourous, illustrated book that talked of the natural wonders of and the sights to be seen, in Scotland. One of the sections dealt with the wildlife, including the wild haggis.
12 posted on 11/27/2003 4:24:35 AM PST by jimtorr
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To: scotsman1
As a sassenach, am I permitted to agree? I was introduced to haggis whilst at university in Scotland, and always eat it on Burn's night with a glass of scotch (the only real whisky), and toast our brothers north of the border.
13 posted on 11/27/2003 4:37:19 AM PST by tjwmason (A voice from Merry England.)
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To: jimtorr
The Scottish version of the jackelope :)
14 posted on 11/27/2003 4:38:46 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: mewzilla
Er...that's the jackalope.
15 posted on 11/27/2003 4:39:23 AM PST by mewzilla
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To: kitkat
"Maybe if they'd stop serving Haggis more Americans would go to Scotland."

Lots of laughs...but I wholeheartedly agree that Haggis has got to be some of the worst tasting stuff ever to hit my stomach!

Blech!!!!!

16 posted on 11/27/2003 4:44:56 AM PST by albee
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To: scotsman1
Bad Haggis
17 posted on 11/27/2003 4:47:33 AM PST by Rebelbase
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To: tjwmason
#13..Our dream vacation is to visit Scotland.
18 posted on 11/27/2003 5:11:22 AM PST by Guenevere (..., .a long time Florida resident and voter!)
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To: ijcr
Sounds a bit like scrapple to me--which actually is not bad if you slice it thin and fry it really crisp on the outside.
19 posted on 11/27/2003 5:15:02 AM PST by Agnes Heep
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To: Agnes Heep
Traditional Haggis

1 sheep's pluck (stomach bag)
2 lb.. dry oatmeal
1 lb. suet
1 lb. lamb's liver
2 1/2 cups stock
1 large chopped onion
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, Jamaica pepper and salt

Boil liver and parboil the onion, then mince them together. Lightly brown the oatmeal. Mix all ingredients together. Fill the sheep's pluck with the mixture pressing it down to remove all the air, and sew up securely. Prick the haggis in several places so that it does not burst. Place haggis in boiling water and boil slowly for 4-5 hours. Serves approximately 12.
20 posted on 11/27/2003 8:14:06 AM PST by VaMarVet
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To: Calvinist_Dark_Lord
Haggis Bump! ;-)
21 posted on 11/27/2003 11:14:09 AM PST by CARepubGal
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To: tbpiper
was Scotch invented because one had to eat haggis or was haggis invented because the cook had a wee bit too much Scotch?

Top tips for the haggis moors

Hunting the haggis is no easy matter. Before you have even ventured out on hills armed with your meuran (the standard tool of the haggis hunter) there are myriad traditions to be observed.

Central to the art is stealth. Like the deer stalker, the haggis hunter must be silent, invisible and without odour. Fortunately, while the haggis has incredibly acute senses, these function over a very narrow range. Thus the haggis hunter has to be only a bit silent, a bit invisible and a little without odour.

The haggis can hear only certain high pitched sounds with any clarity. By whacking turnips with a mallet next to a haggis warren, or fobhríste, the prominent cryptobiologist Ima Maidep-Nayim has proved that the animal does not react to low thudding sounds. However, even a light rustling can make these delicate creatures bolt.

By perverse coincidence, the sound the haggis is most sensitive to is that of plaid rubbing on underpants. No-one knows why this should be, perhaps this almost undetectable noise mimics exactly the sound of a golden eagle plummeting towards its target. Whatever the reason, the aim of a haggis hunter who sports underwear will never be true. Hence, the tradition that "true Scots" wear nothing under their kilt.

As far as masking the hunter's smell is concerned, there is only one substance that can hide the multifarious odours of a haggiser: whisky. Preferable, the hunter should be absolutely drenched in the stuff to mask any scent. Many's the ignorant laird who has given his gamekeeper a tongue-lashing for smelling of alcohol and then had to issue a cringeing apology after learning this bit of haggis lore.

Finally, the haggis hunter must make himself invisible to his prey. Much like the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a creature to which it is not often compared, the haggis has eyes that react most effectively to movement, but only movement in a straight line. In order to creep up on their prey, haggis hunters must disguise their approach by adopting a shambling, apparently random gait. This is known as havering.

Thus, if you encounter a Scot stinking of whisky, shuffling down the street in an ungainly fashion with their kilt flapping round their bare backside you know they are only hunting the haggis. To show that you are au fait with "the hunt", approach him (or her) and say in a loud voice: "Ach, your havering". A lively discussion should ensue.

22 posted on 11/27/2003 11:29:24 AM PST by uglybiker (The only thing Democrats contributed to Bush's tax cut package was the word "TAX')
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To: uglybiker
I just read an article that Mr. Herrick, of Douglas
Wyoming, who was the originator of the Jackalope has died in Casper Wyoming., he we 83.
23 posted on 11/27/2003 2:51:09 PM PST by BooBoo1000
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To: scotsman1
Tsk! Tsk! Extremely touchy for a nation of men who wear skirts and protect their groins with a badgers bottom which doubles as a purse.However to add luster to the ensemble the letter opener stuffed into a sock has a certain charm.
24 posted on 11/27/2003 4:06:33 PM PST by ijcr (Age and treachery will always overcome youth and ability.)
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To: scotsman1
I have a Scottish friend (she just got her American citizenship....been here for 27 years!) and she always brings back canned haggis when she visits home. I know it's cowardly, but I've never been willing to try it. Maybe one day when I go visiting Scotland with her, I'll try the fresh-made.
25 posted on 11/27/2003 4:30:18 PM PST by WaterDragon
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To: scotsman1
I have a Scottish friend (she just got her American citizenship....been here for 27 years!) and she always brings back canned haggis when she visits home. I know it's cowardly, but I've never been willing to try it. Maybe one day when I go visiting Scotland with her, I'll try the fresh-made.
26 posted on 11/27/2003 4:30:18 PM PST by WaterDragon
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To: WaterDragon
Hmmm. I've had no scotch.
27 posted on 11/27/2003 4:32:50 PM PST by WaterDragon
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To: albee
Worse than a vegamite sandwich?
28 posted on 11/27/2003 4:35:03 PM PST by 185JHP ( Is a Deanbacle what they're gonna get?)
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To: Dave Dilegge
I'll stick with my black pudding thank you very much...lol
29 posted on 11/27/2003 4:51:04 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: kitkat
There is no such thing as too much Scotch, on the other hand even a little Haggis is too much!!
30 posted on 11/27/2003 4:56:21 PM PST by HoustonCurmudgeon (PEACE - Through Superior Firepower)
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To: ijcr
At one time in my life I dated an Icelandic woman. During the Christmas holiday I was introduced to something akin to haggis, the name of which I cannot recall. Nor can I recall it having any taste.
31 posted on 11/27/2003 5:02:38 PM PST by CaptRon
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To: HoustonCurmudgeon
A corollary to that is:

The only time to enjoy haggis is after enjoying a liter of Glenfiddich.

32 posted on 11/27/2003 5:13:52 PM PST by TexasCowboy (COB1)
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To: kitkat
Maybe if they'd stop serving Haggis more Americans would go to Scotland.

LOL...they served haggis at breakfast at the B&B my husband and I stayed in in Edinburgh on our honeymoon. I knew what haggis was and steered well clear of it, but a couple of other American tourists mistook it for sausage patties. However, upon being told that it was haggis, they understood that it was a sheep stomach stuffed with offal. They KNOW.

33 posted on 11/27/2003 5:47:18 PM PST by Pedantic_Lady
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To: cyborg
I'll stick with my black pudding thank you very much...lol

I love telling people what makes black pudding black. The look of abject horror is priceless. :-) Ever read the ingredients in black pudding?

Dried BLOOD and PORK FAT.

EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Might as well eat a jam rag wrapped in bacon. Sick.

34 posted on 11/27/2003 5:49:37 PM PST by Pedantic_Lady
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To: Pedantic_Lady
LOL... I knew someone would get it. My mum uses cow blood, but not pork fat. She uses beef and curry,etc. My boyfriend makes farmer sausage which is a South African version of black pudding but there's no blood in there.
I've never had haggis. When I get a Scottish boyfriend I will try it...lol
35 posted on 11/27/2003 5:53:05 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: cyborg
I've never had haggis. When I get a Scottish boyfriend I will try it...lol

It's FOUL.

36 posted on 11/27/2003 5:56:10 PM PST by Pedantic_Lady
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To: Pedantic_Lady
OK... I'll take your word for it. Sounds like it's on the order of zebra testicles in pepper sauce...PHEW!
37 posted on 11/27/2003 5:57:48 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: cyborg
OK... I'll take your word for it. Sounds like it's on the order of zebra testicles in pepper sauce...PHEW!

Can't say I've ever tasted those. :-)

38 posted on 11/27/2003 5:58:36 PM PST by Pedantic_Lady
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To: Pedantic_Lady
The one person I met that did have them, gave me a reaction that makes haggis sound appetizing.
39 posted on 11/27/2003 6:02:40 PM PST by cyborg (liberals are the tapeworms in the intestine of America)
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To: TexasCowboy

40 posted on 11/27/2003 6:14:14 PM PST by Calamari
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To: uglybiker
BUMP .... :)
41 posted on 11/27/2003 6:19:24 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve.)
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To: Calamari
Ahh the good Scotch label :)
42 posted on 11/27/2003 6:20:51 PM PST by Centurion2000 (Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve.)
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To: Centurion2000
Love all the peat smoke, iodine, and salty flavors that dance on the palate. Then a puff on a La Gloria Cubana corona gorda...
43 posted on 11/27/2003 8:08:08 PM PST by Calamari
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To: kitkat
Maybe if they'd stop serving Haggis more Americans would go to Scotland.

I'm certainly not going until they stop exploiting the poor endangered creature.

Seriously though, judging by the two responses they give as examples I suspect at least some of those polled were pulling the pollsters leg (say that five times fast).

44 posted on 11/27/2003 8:30:19 PM PST by MattAMiller
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To: WaterDragon
I have a Scottish friend (she just got her American citizenship....been here for 27 years!) and she always brings back canned haggis when she visits home. I know it's cowardly, but I've never been willing to try it.

I'm up for eating almost anything, but I don't I'd want my haggis canned. Now fresh haggis is definetly high up on my list of foods I want to try some day.

45 posted on 11/27/2003 8:34:18 PM PST by MattAMiller
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To: scotsman1
The best thing about haggis is the poetry that it inspires...

The Haggis Of Private McPhee
by Robert Service

"Hae ye heard whit ma auld mither's postit tae me?
It fair maks me hamesick," says Private McPhee.
"And whit did she send ye?" says Private McPhun,
As he cockit his rifle and bleezed at a Hun.
"A haggis! A HAGGIS!" says Private McPhee;
"The brawest big haggis I ever did see.
And think! it's the morn when fond memory turns
Tae haggis and whuskey -- the Birthday o' Burns.
We maun find a dram; then we'll ca' in the rest
O' the lads, and we'll hae a Burns' Nicht wi' the best."

"Be ready at sundoon," snapped Sergeant McCole;
"I want you two men for the List'nin' Patrol."
Then Private McPhee looked at Private McPhun:
"I'm thinkin', ma lad, we're confoundedly done."
Then Private McPhun looked at Private McPhee:
"I'm thinkin' auld chap, it's a' aff wi' oor spree."
But up spoke their crony, wee Wullie McNair:
"Jist lea' yer braw haggis for me tae prepare;
And as for the dram, if I search the camp roun',
We maun hae a drappie tae jist haud it doon.
Sae rin, lads, and think, though the nicht it be black,
O' the haggis that's waitin' ye when ye get back."

My! but it wis waesome on Naebuddy's Land,
And the deid they were rottin' on every hand.
And the rockets like corpse candles hauntit the sky,
And the winds o' destruction went shudderin' by.
There wis skelpin' o' bullets and skirlin' o' shells,
And breengin' o' bombs and a thoosand death-knells;
But cooryin' doon in a Jack Johnson hole
Little fashed the twa men o' the List'nin' Patrol.
For sweeter than honey and bricht as a gem
Wis the thocht o' the haggis that waitit for them.

Yet alas! in oor moments o' sunniest cheer
Calamity's aften maist cruelly near.
And while the twa talked o' their puddin' divine
The Boches below them were howkin' a mine.
And while the twa cracked o' the feast they would hae,
The fuse it wis burnin' and burnin' away.
Then sudden a roar like the thunner o' doom,
A hell-leap o' flame . . . then the wheesht o' the tomb.

"Haw, Jock! Are ye hurtit?" says Private McPhun.
"Ay, Geordie, they've got me; I'm fearin' I'm done.
It's ma leg; I'm jist thinkin' it's aff at the knee;
Ye'd best gang and leave me," says Private McPhee.
"Oh leave ye I wunna," says Private McPhun;
"And leave ye I canna, for though I micht run,
It's no faur I wud gang, it's no muckle I'd see:
I'm blindit, and that's whit's the maitter wi' me."
Then Private McPhee sadly shakit his heid:
"If we bide here for lang, we'll be bidin' for deid.
And yet, Geordie lad, I could gang weel content
If I'd tasted that haggis ma auld mither sent."
"That's droll," says McPhun; "ye've jist speakit ma mind.
Oh I ken it's a terrible thing tae be blind;
And yet it's no that that embitters ma lot --
It's missin' that braw muckle haggis ye've got."
For a while they were silent; then up once again
Spoke Private McPhee, though he whussilt wi' pain:
"And why should we miss it? Between you and me
We've legs for tae run, and we've eyes for tae see.
You lend me your shanks and I'll lend you ma sicht,
And we'll baith hae a kyte-fu' o' haggis the nicht."

Oh the sky it wis dourlike and dreepin' a wee,
When Private McPhun gruppit Private McPhee.
Oh the glaur it wis fylin' and crieshin' the grun',
When Private McPhee guidit Private McPhun.
"Keep clear o' them corpses -- they're maybe no deid!
Haud on! There's a big muckle crater aheid.
Look oot! There's a sap; we'll be haein' a coup.
A staur-shell! For Godsake! Doun, lad, on yer daup.
Bear aff tae yer richt. . . . Aw yer jist daein' fine:
Before the nicht's feenished on haggis we'll dine."

There wis death and destruction on every hand;
There wis havoc and horror on Naebuddy's Land.
And the shells bickered doun wi' a crump and a glare,
And the hameless wee bullets were dingin' the air.
Yet on they went staggerin', cooryin' doun
When the stutter and cluck o' a Maxim crept roun'.
And the legs o' McPhun they were sturdy and stoot,
And McPhee on his back kept a bonnie look-oot.
"On, on, ma brave lad! We're no faur frae the goal;
I can hear the braw sweerin' o' Sergeant McCole."

But strength has its leemit, and Private McPhun,
Wi' a sab and a curse fell his length on the grun'.
Then Private McPhee shoutit doon in his ear:
"Jist think o' the haggis! I smell it from here.
It's gushin' wi' juice, it's embaumin' the air;
It's steamin' for us, and we're -- jist -- aboot -- there."
Then Private McPhun answers: "Dommit, auld chap!
For the sake o' that haggis I'll gang till I drap."
And he gets on his feet wi' a heave and a strain,
And onward he staggers in passion and pain.
And the flare and the glare and the fury increase,
Till you'd think they'd jist taken a' hell on a lease.
And on they go reelin' in peetifu' plight,
And someone is shoutin' away on their right;
And someone is runnin', and noo they can hear
A sound like a prayer and a sound like a cheer;
And swift through the crash and the flash and the din,
The lads o' the Hielands are bringin' them in.

"They're baith sairly woundit, but is it no droll
Hoo they rave aboot haggis?" says Sergeant McCole.
When hirplin alang comes wee Wullie McNair,
And they a' wonnert why he wis greetin' sae sair.
And he says: "I'd jist liftit it oot o' the pot,
And there it lay steamin' and savoury hot,
When sudden I dooked at the fleech o' a shell,
And it -- DRAPPED ON THE HAGGIS AND DINGED IT TAE HELL."

And oh but the lads were fair taken aback;
Then sudden the order wis passed tae attack,
And up from the trenches like lions they leapt,
And on through the nicht like a torrent they swept.
On, on, wi' their bayonets thirstin' before!
On, on tae the foe wi' a rush and a roar!
And wild to the welkin their battle-cry rang,
And doon on the Boches like tigers they sprang:
And there wisna a man but had death in his ee,
For he thocht o' the haggis o' Private McPhee.

46 posted on 11/27/2003 8:55:33 PM PST by okie01 (www.ArmorforCongress.com...because Congress isn't for the morally halt and the mentally lame.)
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To: TexasCowboy
The only time to enjoy haggis is after enjoying a liter of Glenfiddich.

Aye, it does make the haggis taste better when coming back up...urrp

47 posted on 11/27/2003 9:44:11 PM PST by Calvinist_Dark_Lord (I have come here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum...and I'm all outta bubblegum! ~Roddy Piper)
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To: MattAMiller
I decided I WILL try haggis....when I can eat it fresh....in Scotland!
48 posted on 11/28/2003 10:00:02 AM PST by WaterDragon (GWB is The MAN!)
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To: WaterDragon
A friend of mine told me about a couple that lived way out in the highlands, and she was going to have a baby. Time came for the delivery, the Doctor came and Angus said " Can I help you Doctor"? The Doctor said yes, you can hold the lamp here for me to have more light", so things proceded, and the first was born, the Doctor Said " Hold the light still Angus, you are the father of twins," Again the Doctor "said hold the lamp still Angus, you are the father of triplets. Angus said " Hoot Doctor, do you suppose it's the light that attracts them"...
49 posted on 12/04/2003 12:24:52 AM PST by BooBoo1000
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