Seems you guys like a good Scottish yarn too. Many of you enjoyed my last Scottish myth or fable about Scottish Botox. Since then I have remembered another absolute pearler. This was indeed the best story I heard out of Scotland. Might even top the Scottish Botox. It involves whale blubber and paint. Two ingredients for a ripper of story wouldn’t you say?
It’s all centered around the village of Portree on the Isle of Sky. It’s the largest town on the island. My memory is that it has a mean bakery. Oh my Lordy, so mean for a pregnant woman. Cheap (Like $1.75 for a pastie) and naughty (as in great, home made selection). I couldn’t get enough. Here is one of my treats I stole away with onto the tour bus.
ANYWAY. Whale blubber and paint….
Portree. It is famous for it’s colourful harbour. When I say colourful, this is precisely what I mean:
It’s the epitome of village cuteness. Cheerful too. I like cheerful villages, especially where the residents have funny (as in adorable) thick Scottish accents. This is the story about how Portree became to be so…..colourful.
Some years back, maybe a decade or two, when all good stories are born, the residents of Portree were surprised to discover a mother of a whale in their harbour. The poor lost whale decided to beach itself on these Scottish shores (why oh why do they do that??) The locals, the empathetic souls, decided to team together to get this whale back out to safety and into it’s home waters. The majority of the town felt so passionate about teaming together to save the little whale they took the day off work to help. Half the town shut down to form Team Whale! Now this kinda thing takes time but with the manpower of half the town and a whole lots of persistence, the whale was pushed back out to sea and seemingly saved! This triumph caused the town to erupt into celebration and the ole local swiftly re-opened and was fully packed out.
Many returned to work the next day with fully banging sore heads that no Berocca could help, but none the less the town felt united and uplifted by their efforts and team work. Town morale was sky high!
Of course, the whale decided it liked Portree and returned the very next day to do precisely as it had a day earlier. Beach itself. The town was devo. Morale plummeted. No one understood why this had happened, again. Some people gathered again to attempt rescue but many couldn’t take another day off work, that or they couldn’t manage to get their Hulk on with a fully fledged hang over.
Efforts, second time round where not successful. The whale died in the harbour of Portree. Sadness infected the towns spirit.
The whale sat in the harbour, and sat and sat until there was a whole lot of whale pong floating through the town. Pong like you cannot believe. Rotting whale does not make the prettiest of perfumes. The town had to meet to try and plot the burial of the whale.
There were loads of ludicrous ideas. Many a Scot wanting to play hero but mostly they had not a clue. Nothing seemed feasible. So the whale sat and sat. The town members dry reached from the vial stench upon stepping out. Their washing smelt like rotting whale. Would they forever be inhaling and smelling like funky whale corpse?
Then some dude, feigning to be Einstein, provided an idea which the desperate town accepted to dispose the whale. It involved tugging the whale corpse out to sea where a little matter of explosives would get involved. Yes, the whale would be blown up! The precise distance for the whale to be dragged out to sea had to be calculated carefully to ensure the town or neighbouring Isles would be kept clear of the exploding blubber. It all seemed sound and blow a whale day came.
A large crowd gathered to witness the great whale disposal operation. It was the biggest (and stinkiest) thing Portree had ever seen.
The towing of the whale out to sea went to plan. The town awaited whilst the explosives were set and KABOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!……………*Insert image of flesh flying into sky here* and…… SPLAT!
Yes, SPLAT! Like a sling shot, rotting whale blubber came flying at full pace into the faces of the shocked crowd. It was raining whale blubber.
EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Could there actually be anything worse? There must have been a vomiting chorus from the crowd I would think for I could not imagine how putrid it was. To think I can’t even stand walking through the fresh fish aisle at the markets….
Rotting whale blubber was splattered not just over some very pale faces but over the entire harbour. Houses, washing and all. Calculations must have been a bit off. Einstein, I don’t think so.
Men and their explosives hey?
Now, you may not know this, cos like who would, but whale blubber can really stain stuff. That whale oil really soils anything it comes into contact with, including houses. The harbours houses were now fully stained with whale blubber and would be a mark of the towns stupidity forever unless someone came up with something. Alas, someone had some left over paint. Not all the same colour, but none the less it would hide the whale blubber stains and so the colourful harbour was born.
How’s that for a story?
I like to believe that it is completely fact, although the whale death is sad. Our Scottish guide assured us it was all true and that a video on YouTube could even be found of the flying whale blubber. Us travellers all made a note to find it when we returned home and of course I have searched now 2 years on but have yet to find that footage (do I really want to see it anyway?). Perhaps I’m just putting the wrong key words in? Blown up whale in Portree, Flying whale blubber in Scotland… ? Any other suggestions? If you find it… you gotta let me know right? Promise?
So yet another Scottish yarn. Is the story fib or fact? No one could make that up could they? What do you reckon??? Do you believe in flying whale blubber in Portree??