The Joyous Crest of Pope Ken Paul

...and then I said "I don't really know anything about Scotland". But if the chairman of the Royal National Ballet wants to pay me this much money to waffle about haggis-eaters, well who am I to look a Maharichi Kodogo in the Poot-Poots? So, armed with my favourite tea cosy (for the wearing of), my best stick (for the ritual humiliation of children of) and my A-Z of Fegg Hayes and the West Midlands (for the finding of the M6 of), I set off to my local library in the hope of learning a little more of life north of mushy peas.

And it was in this very library that I hit upon my first snag - a burning little questionette started nibbling away at the old pope brain - Why DID they sack the original MacDonald's clown? I guess only the NSA will ever know for sure.

So there I was, in the West Midlands, sitting in a room full of books and stuff looking for somewhere to stash this bogey I had just filched out of my monumental catholic conk, when I found just the book I was looking for - "The Traveller's guide to Scotland". And the beauty of this book was if I finally got there and couldn't think of anything to write, well, I could just nick bits of this book and no one would ever know.

Half way up the M6 I got a bit anxious because every time we went under a power line, the driver would start telling me what sub-station it was connected to.

"So, have you ever souped-up a pope mobile before?" I would ask.

"Macclesfield -- 400kV"

"I like what you've done with the air filter."

"Creyke Beck -- 275kV"

"I must say, the deep-bore exhaust makes it really phallic."

"Grimsby West -- 66kV"

"Yes, are you sure you know the way to Scotland?"

"Yessum, boss. You just drive up hills. Lovedean -- 132kV. That's near Brighton, you know. Serves 12,000 households and businesses."

"I like the yellow rotating light on the roof. It really sets it off and conforms to the most recent COSSH regulations for pope mobiles, and what do you mean, Brighton?"

"Iver -- OOOO! Does all the kV's, mate. 400, 275, 132, 66 kV, and it's got 4 SVC's (that's Static Variable Compensators to you, guv). Serves Heathrow. You can catch a plane from 'ere."

And so, 45 minutes later I was in Scotland, a mere 7 weeks after I set out. Ranolph Fiennes would have been proud of me (assuming I'd just spelt his name right, that is).

Right, so here I am in Glasgow airport, knowing very little of this great land, it's history and what sub-stations powered it's different regions.

Ok, let's rock --

The Traveller's Guide to Scotland - with Pope Ken Paul

Population- 2 (Not counting Edinburgh and Glasgow)

Area- 29,795 square miles, and 2.5 really groovy miles, man (in, like the middle, like, where the Scots aren't, man, so don't start laying some heavy trip on me).

National Produce- Empty shipyards, fish, Fish, whisky, scrounging, big mountains, thick accents, wee timorous beasties, Montgomery Scott, Tartan traveling rugs, tossers (of cabers), really inspiring legends about spiders, copper wire, The Bay City Rollers, culture (honest, no it's true, I read this poem once and it went like this "Och aye the noo, And I'll have two, That's two for me, And none for you."),section 26 of the Scottish Mental Health act, scuddies, jobbies, daggies, crammies, Wheech McGeauws, scunners, troggers, tangly o'muggers and porridge.

It seems that the history of Scotland is shrouded in legend which is rich, deep, and you need to be, well, quite pissed to make sense of most of it. At the time of this papal arrival, Scotland was divided into two warring factions. If you imagine that Scotland is this big witch's head on top of this really scrawny body with stumpy legs and whose tossing a little pancake off the top of this big fat pan shaped like Wales, then you probably have no idea what the hell the political struggle is all about, and should probably go off and shoot the Queen Mother or something. Here's a brief explanation, anyway.

Basically there are two sides. The Keep Britland Scotish Popular Front (ruled by the venerable Ayatollah Connery) controls all of the areas in Scotland where people speak very quickly. Against them is the Let's Stick our Tongues up the Queen's Arse Party, whose ruler is the Ayatollah Connolly and their meetings make your beard smell bad.

Conversely, the Dorset Chippies and Tractors People's Organisation control all the areas in Dorset, and just take the piss occasionally. Dorset isn't in Scotland (yet), but they do make nice pasties which the Scotlanders use as food in their parliament.

On top of this debate there is a group of paranoid militant alcoholics who strongly believe that the Scotish people are not exporting any of their best whisky and are keeping it to themselves.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Edinburgh has never, ever visited Scotland, nor does he intend to in the near future. And he's Greek, too.

One of the basic misconceptions that Scottish people have is that they have some really high mountains, although when the revered Dalai Lama went to visit them recently, he couldn't see it. He just laughed and laughed and laughed until someone glassed him. Some scottish Kings had tits on their heads which the English laughed at.

Which brings me nicely onto Scotish debating technique. There is nothing the Scots like better than the cut and thrust of a good argument. The more cutting and thrusting, the better. A famous example of this was the Battle of Bannockburn between the forces of Robert the Bruce Forsyth impersonator and Jimmy Hill (who later changed his name to Jimmy It's a Large Mountain Honest). The argument was about whether a yard should be thirty six inches long or a more frugal seventeen. Hence, the creation of the Scotland Yard (or Nine Centimetres).

Robert the Bruce Forsyth was later diagnosed as wearing a skirt and became known as Mary Queen of Scots.

One of the best inventions of the Scots is section 26 of the Scottish Mental Health act, which means that if you start behaving like an individual you can be locked up in a cosy rubber room with Mr. Glutenpants and his dancing Umbego Spoons.

Hmm. All of this gleaned from tonguing with runway three. A scottish woman going shopping

So with all of this information under the old immaculate medal, I decide to go and look for the one great work of art to which Scotland is home -- The Crucifixion. Dead easy to find -- just follow the signs saying "This Way to the Only art in Scotland - and it's BIG!!!"

Not perturbed by the number of exclamation marks, I gallantly follow the signs and reach my final destination (for this article, at least). Let's set the scene from east to west -- Picture, Ladders, Big Room, Aisle, Pope. On wheels.

"It's funny, is this art lark" as one of my least favourite buck-toothed nuns was often known to say. From here the picture looked like Helmut Kohl's comedy Latvian tie-clip. Wheeling down a spell, it changed and started to look like a cherub bashing round hamsters into square holes with a potty. Then I arrive in the big room itself, in awe of the whole piccy. Slowly I climb the ladder leading to my goal.

And standing up a ladder in front of the painting, I reach out my hand to the crown of Christ, and smear my bogey right across his stupid face.

Then it was back to the library, copy some stuff out of the book and then the article was finished, really.

The end.

Note: If you have enjoyed this pope, please send a message of joy to Kellogs Cornflakes, Cornflake Street, Kellogs, New York, USA and hopefully they will convert to catholicism.

© Lunchtime