This week I was guest blogger on the incredible A Woman’s Wisdom here, and I mentioned that my family are all writers. Several people congratulated me on that. Yeah, right. That was all very well until I sat down to write about being downtown on Glasgow’s Buchanan Street in the excitement of preparing for the historic vote on whether Scotland should remain in the United Kingdom or become an independent country.
Saturday was a gorgeous day, the kind Scotland gets at least once a year. Most years. The sun was shining, the streets were packed, and if you started up the top of Buchanan Street, your backpack (and other personal areas) were covered with both YES! And NO, Thanks stickers by the time you got to the bottom. There were pipe and drum bands whose members paid homage to the weather and the tourists by stripping down to just their kilts. There were giants on stilts, enthusiastic musicians, and of course Scots desperate to explain to any who would listen why they should—and should not—become independent from the UK. Everyone was happy and excited, although it might just have been too early for the serious drinking. (That’s a joke… In Glasgow, it’s never too early or too late for drinking.) Some told me how they were planning to vote:
- “Yes” because Scotland’s future should be decided by Scots.
- “No” because after 300 years of being part of the UK, they had family and ties across the whole United Kingdom.
- “Yes” because it was the only way to save babies, education, and the National Health Service.
- “No” because it was the only way to save babies, education, and the National Health Service.
- “Yes” because “If you cut me, I bleed tartan.”
- “No” because “I’ve been British all my life, and nobody’s going to tell me I’m not anymore.”
I was going to explain, as citizen of a country with a long history of successfully not being part of the UK, that Scotland was really not going at this whole revolution thing the right way. As an American, I know very little actual history, of course. But with what I do remember from Sister Mary Fourth Grade, I offer the following tips:
- Start with a tea party. In our case, guests cleverly disguised as Hollywood Extra Native Americans tipped cases of tea into Boston Harbor. Scotland could get everyone to dress up as an anti-semitic Australian actor with blue face paint, and drop cases of marmite into the River Clyde.
- Make the English wear red coats and march in a straight line down Buchanan Street while you hide behind the statues of the Duke of Wellington in a Traffic Cone or Skinny Victoria and pick them off one by one.
- About a nanosecond after your revolution is successful, you go into Royalty-withdrawal. Merchandise with “Keep Calm And…”, bobble-headed Royal Family dolls, or anything Royal Baby will go viral on Instagram and become immediate best-sellers on Amazon.co.whatever-the-heck-Scotland-gets-as-its-country-extension.
- Since you already have the greatest National Animal ever (unicorns!), all you’ll have to do is figure out a name for your currency and what to call the Former United Kingdom. (hint: you share a really long border, so you might not want to go with F.U.K. as an acronym for your former alliance. Even if the thought of all the ways you could work how much you don’t give a F.U.K about those F.U.K-ers into official parliamentary record is pretty damn irresistible…)
That was about as far as I got, so I decided make sacrificial offerings to the gods of Google for more material. But when I went to blatantly steal a few gifs do research, what were the first two things I found? First there was an incredibly helpful article on Vox, 8 questions about Scottish independence you were too embarrassed to ask.Not only did it cover the basic issues, but it contained a video of tiny adorable ponies wearing Shetland sweaters. (Ponies!) Only problem is the author was my oldest daughter. Okay, fine. There are others out there I can turn to. The next link was to a hysterically funny article on Funny or Die, Which Scotland Is Right For You? And the author was… my next daughter.
Come on! I turned to YouTube, only to find a cute video posted by my dog, the traitor. She says that if the referendum passes, she’s changing her name to Wee Spot and if I don’t like it, I can just go F.U.K it.