This is a blog about a log. Sorry about this; I’m writing from Scotland, where the locals (including most members of my family) are utterly charmed by tales of excretion. Lots of non-Scots may think this is entirely to do with Billy Connolly and his jolly old japes about jobbies, but all he did was tap into a national obsession – not so much with our bowels themselves (that’s an Italian pastime) but with the end product.
This particular story concerns a photographer, who regaled some female relatives of mine with a particularly charming tale. This fellow is now making a living taking pictures of nature and weddings but, once upon a time, he was a paparazzo.
While in this line of work, he received a call from a newspaper editor who’d heard reports of raw sewage being seen floating around one of South Ayrshire’s premier tourist attractions. Not one to pass up an opportunity, he duly set off for the site, bringing his two young neices along for the ride. The trouble was, when he got there, there was no sign of any bobbing logs or swimming stools. Desperate to avoid disappointing his editor and missing out on his fee, he decided to improvise, Make & Do-style.
Using all of his creativity and professional panache, he decided that two Cadbury’s Picnic bars, loosley wrapped in toilet paper and cast into the water, would look like remarkably authentic jobbies through his lens. By including his neices ‘spontaneously’ running past the affected area in the shot, he then had a winning “Raw sewage contaminates children’s tourist attraction!” story virtually writing itself. Needless to say, his editor was delighted with the result and the story duly ran – with all the consequences a serious health-related scare entails.
Listening to the tale, a female relative of mine told him that she used to do something similar as a child – when Milky Way bars were still brown in the middle, she’d nibble off all the chocolate and fashion the nougat centre into an authentic-looking curl. The photographer was impressed but he pointed out to her that, for a photograph like his, Picnics were a much better choice of bar – because “they’re nutty”.
Yes, that’s the sort of story that amuses us Ayrshire folk. OK, back to your coffee break, dear reader…