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Our Donald – Mr. McGinn will not flip his lid…

Date: 9th September 2023

In this weeks second blog from our resident writer Donald Stewart:

Mr. McGinn will not flip his lid…

Kebabs… Who invented them?

It is a matter not just of great public pride, but also of culinary rivalry as two countries vie for the prize… Greece and Turkey…

But out one night, oan the batter, and celebrating, Mr. McGinn finds himself outside the German Kebab shop and he is a very confused man…

Picture the scene…

It is 4am, deep in the heart of Edinburgh, some consider it to be the Welsh Republic of Leith, but Mr. McGinn has been out celebrating. He has plenty to celebrate. He is the top man in his team and is out to make sure people know that…

But he is now the worse for wear and is standing talking to a lamppost, trying to work out where you get a taxi from and thinking that this tall and lanky fella must be a Hearts supporter lost in the wrong side of town, when he decides to cut his losses and move on.

But he is hungry.

No, he is ravenous…

It is then that the 4am smell hits him. Not for him any opportunity to sit down and be civilised in a restaurant with cutlery, he wants meat and lots of it. Slavered all over with the kind of sauce that brings rings of regrets the following morning, ladled into a ridiculously small piece of bread that nobody had heard off until about 30 or so years ago and salad, set to dribble all the way down to your elbow as you try and munch and stay upright at the same time.

Mr. McGinn has consumed just the right amount of alcohol to think that anything unlikely and impossible to do crossed with a look which is totally unedifying is exactly what you need to go and do…

Just a few short hours ago he was carousing in a local taverna, with a Cypriot fella and his parents when they got into a debate over the origins of just the smell he is smelling – kebabs. Now, Edinburgh being a cosmopolitan kind of place, this hostelry owner was of joint Cypriot extraction – maw was Greek Cypriot, da was Turkish Cypriot. They used to joke they were Romeo and Juliet and were hounded out of their country for marrying the “wrong sort”. They would scoff at the Hibs/ Hearts rivalry and laugh out loud at the antics of Rangers and Celtic fans at Auld Firms.

For them true rivalry was war. And they had escaped one.

Their clientele knew that the one topic that divided them was the one of which side of their divide had invented the humble street food, Mr. McGinn was now fast approaching with serious intent – the kebab.

For centuries there has been the type of debate between Greeks and Turks about who created this culinary masterpiece that people do not even bring it up in mixed company. People hope that when they visit one house or another for a meal that kebabs are strictly off the menu. People have been hospitalised for days after arguments…

Mr. McGinn was unaware.

He was now.

In fact, he would still have been in their pub, had he not brought the subject up. The ensuing debate had seen his calls, to “keep the heid” and “keep a lid oan the noise” were not heeded. The host for the evening, had invited in his parents for a quiet night and Mr. McGinn, known to be a “bit of a character” according to his pal, Mr. McTominay, was introduced to lighten things up and make the night.

He certainly did that…

Having drunk the Cypriot bar dry, got carried away with his celebration and being more than a wee bit the worse for wear, he lit the blue touch paper but did not retreat quick enough or fast enough. His memory of the events that followed were still a little hazy – but he found himself “papped oot” on the street a few minutes later.

He had to be honest though, the wee guy inside himself was absolutely loving it. He had gone back in time, feeling like a wee boy watching the grown-ups getting excited over something but he knew that he needed to keep a lid on that, otherwise he might get hurt. What he knew was that only he, the wee guy, could mess it up and so he was now tracking down something to make his hangover the following morning even worse than it was already going to be.

A kebab.

And he found the shop…

The German kebab shop…

It was shut…

It was, after all 4am. But Mr. McGinn could smell a kebab. At the corner of the street as another shop. It was open, but Mr. McGinn’s feet would not take him there. He was stuck. Standing, Looking.

A German kebab?

Mr. McGinn resolved to go to Germany next year, find out who it really was who invented the kebab and come back to tell his Cypriot pal. It’s the kind of mad thing Scots do when they are drunk – hope and imagine foreign travel but deep down somewhere, there was a wee boy in Mr. McGinn who thought this might not be such a fantasy after all…

 

Whilst the author, asserts his right to this as an original piece of work there is no evidence that Mr. John McGinn, is aware of the cultural debate between the Greeks and the Turks over the kebab, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a piece of fiction, though some his words have been used.

The fact is that Scotland are on the brink, two points away from qualification to the Euros in Germany, after their win in Cyprus and John McGinn was interviewed by VIAPLAY after the game saying, as reported by the BBC, “”We’re trying our best to keep a lid on it. But the wee guys inside you are getting excited. We are getting excited. We’re allowed to. But we’re not there yet. We’ll let the fans get carried away – I’m sure they’ll drink Cyprus dry tonight. We’ll go back, have our summer fruits, and prepare for Tuesday. Only our wee country could mess it up from here, so we need to stay calm.” Travel agents seem to be reporting increased demand from Scottish travellers for Germany… calmly, of course…


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