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Monday 7 October 2013

Trainspotting in Lochaber

The following humorous anecdote was recorded by Calum Maclean from John MacDonald of Highbridge on the 10th of June 1951:
Bha duine anns an àite seo agus ruith fala air agus chaidh earail a thoirt air a dhol chun an doctair air neo gum biodh e gu h-olc. Chaidh e thar an robh an doctair agus thug an lighiche dhà sàmh a chuireadh … Agus thuirt e ris:
“Chan eil agad ach seo a chur sa phassage chùil agad agus leighisidh e thu.”
Chaidh an duine bochd dhachaigh agus ’s ann a thòisich e air smearadh a’ phassage chùil agus na dorsan agus a h-uile nitheann leis an t-sàmh a bha seo gus an do theirg e.
Chaidh e air ais thar an robh an lighiche.
“Seadh, a bheil thu nas fheàrr?” thuirt e.
“Chan eil mi nas fheàrr mura h-ann nas miosa tha mi.”
“Is an do chuir thu an sàmh a thug mi dhut an siud, na chuir thu anns a’ phassage chùil e?”
“Ma-tà, chuir mise anns a’ phassage chùil e agus air na dorsan agus air a h-uile h-àite a bh’ ann. A bheil fhios agaibh air seo, gur cead, bha e cho math dhomh-sa a chur an toll mo thòine!”
And the translation goes something like this: 
A man in the district was suffering from piles and he was warned that if he didn’t go to see the doctor he would be worse off. He went to the doctor and he gave the man a salve … And he said to him:
“You only need to put this in the back passage and you’ll be healed.”
The poor man went home and he started to smear the back passage and all the doors and everything else with the salve until it was finished.
He went back to see the doctor.
“Aye, and are you better?” he asked.
“I’m not any better off, indeed, Im even worse off now.”
“And did you put the salve I gave you, did you put it in the back passage?”
“Indeed, I put it in the back passage and on all the doors and everywhere else. And don’t you know, if I may say so, I wouldve been better off sticking it up my own arse!”
Anyone familiar with the film Trainspotting (1996) adapted from Irving Welsh’s book of the same name (first published in 1993) will recognise the very same remark made by Mark Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, when asked by the dealer Mikey Forrester, played by Irvine Welsh, what he thought of the suppository he had been given. The suppository and its subsequent loss would eventually lead to one of the most memorable scenes in the film when Renton is forced to use the worst toilet in Scotland. Cue Carmen
Calum I. Maclean, The Highlands (London: Batsford, 1959)
SSS NB 10, pp. 118–21
Corrour Station, Rannoch. The film location for Mark Renton’s memorable diatribe.

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