Amock Comedy Compendium
We were, essentially, a family of farters, for we all worked the land with my father, harvesting
potatoes, digging peats and molesting sheep. This last was, of course, a purely male occupation;
no female of my family was ever convicted of unnatural practices with farm animals, though my
aunt Morag was partial to a goat called Douglas. In the event there was insufficient evidence and
all charges were dropped.
But all tales must be told in their proper order, with a beginning, middle and an end and it is
thoughtless of me to plunge in with such revelations before my credentials are established.
Thus, I was born, Mungo McPerson, on the 21st of October 1955 to Ragnarok McPerson and his
wife Olive in our humble fart on the island of Uiargh.
Like many others my grandmother, Myfanwy, had come to Scotland from Wales during the Great
Leek Famine of the 19th Century. At the age of sixteen she fled from famine and poverty in the
valleys into the arms of my grandfather, Odysseus, who declared her ‘a damn good ride for a
Welshwoman’ and took
her to wife.
She was such a good
‘ride’ indeed that she provided him
with six children, one of
whom was my mother,
Olive. This was in their
first six years of marriage,
after which she
promptly dropped dead,
wishing still that she’d
married her first love, Ivor,
whom she had
deserted for lack of leeks. In
later years I tracked
down Ivor and found him
living with a
Lithuanian sailor, having taken
after being rejected by
Myfanwy. Of such things are
family tragedies born.
On my father’s side were sterner stock. The
McPersons of Uiargh had dressed
as women since the days of Bonnie Prince Charlie to prove their undying loyalty to the Jacobite
cause. This would have caused no particular problem on Uiargh as many of the local men wore
the kilt, but father preferred a full length, off-the-shoulder gown in cerise satin, which clashed
horribly with his full red beard. However they made a handsome couple, Ragnarok and Olive
McPerson with their brood of four children - my older twin brothers, Achilles and Hector, and my
younger sister, Commanche - as they took them by the hand on a Saturday night to the pagan
services at the local coven.
How I loved those Black Masses, with the squawking of beheaded chickens, my mother’s soft
highland lilt uttering blasphemous curses and the overpowering stench of burning horseshit which
they used as incense. They imbued in me a deep respect for all people’s beliefs.
In retrospect I had an idyllic childhood for I had free run of the island and a host of similarly aged
chums with which to indulge my taste for adventure. But life was, indeed, hard and required hours
of back-breaking toil on the fart, but children will always find time to play, no matter what demands
of homework or tiredness are made upon them.