Roll on the Absence of Clowns


On the 88th anniversary of the evacuation of St Kilda, today’s other news centres on a US President who has finally been persuaded to say something in tribute regarding the demise of a political giant.

As McCain continued to lie in Washington a beleaguered Trump reluctantly acknowledged that the dead senator had made a difference to America. But what the belated indifference entailed was not made clear.

Then there is the news that another figure of fun is going out of fashion.

Seemingly clowns are on the way out in favour of the likes of Jack Sparrow and Disney’s frozen Elsa. And a good thing too, in my estimation. Who, after all, wants their kids to be scared to death by some leeringly face-painted relic from the 17th Century. Bring it on Trump is what I say. At least I know he’s going to be completely scary, so no great surprises there.

Not that I am a great fan of either Trump or Coco. The first trashed my local beach before converting it into a coastal golf course and the latter made a complete fool of me in front of my children during a circus performance some years ago.

Called into the ring by a mute-painted jester wearing a red-baubled traffic cone and made to blow into an invisible trombone, the impish clown – that would be Coco and not Trump - had the audacity to imply that I had, alongside playing low notes in the brass section – soiled my pants. To loud laughter, he applied a perfume spray to the afflicted area before bringing on the elephants.

As for Trump. Well he gets a good thumping in my A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire and an even better thumping in my forthcoming The Little History of Aberdeenshire. I only hope that my publisher appreciates the adventurous rhetoric.

To whet the appetite, here is a brief extract from the forthcoming tome:

‘Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the 1988 bombing, said the Lockerbie murders had “no place in a confrontation between an entrepreneur who is interested in making money in Scotland and the government”. This was not the first time the Trump organisation had attracted criticism. Complaints about a press advert had been upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with the organisation being warned “not to exaggerate the number of turbines likely to be installed or the possible consequences of the Scottish Governments plans to use wind turbines”. This followed a regional press advert dated 19 September 2012 for an organisation titled ‘Communities Against Turbines Scotland’ and was headed “Welcome to Scotland!” above a photograph of broken and rusty wind turbines with text stating, “Alex Salmond wants to build 8,750 of these monstrosities – just think about it! Join us in Edinburgh for a march and a rally.”
Inevitably the ASA were again deluged with complaints about the new advertisement.’


Duncan Harley is author of The A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire and the forthcoming The Little History of Aberdeenshire.


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