29 November 2010

Going Commando

The time-honoured practice of wearing nothing beneath the kilt has been condemned - by an organisation dedicated to upholding Scottish traditions.

The Scottish Tartans Authority has decreed that not wearing underwear beneath a kilt is "childish and unhygienic". It also warned that "going commando" flies in the face of decency.

Tartans Authority director Brian Wilton said kilt wearers should have the "common sense" to realise they should wear underwear beneath their country's national dress. He said "Just because Highlanders wore nothing in the days before Y-fronts were invented, doesn't mean that we, in the 21st Century, should wear nothing too. "You only have to ask hire specialists about the problems they have cleaning their kilts. We have heard of quite a few hygiene horror stories."

But Scotland's kilt wearers condemned the advice. Former Formula One racing driver, the Scot, David Coulthard, said: "Kilts are from the past and so is the tradition of not wearing any underwear. I'm proud to be a true Scotsman. It's a tradition that should be left alone. I've been wearing kilts since I was a little boy and will continue to wear my kilts in the time-honoured fashion. There is nothing childish or unhygienic about it."

The Bride Goes For It
Earlier this month, 23-year-old Scottish tennis star Andy Murray revealed he had been made to wear pants under his kilt at brother Jamie's wedding, and Highlands and Islands Tory MSP Jamie McGrigor, who campaigned for the introduction of a Scottish Tartan Register, said: "I have normally worn underwear with my kilt. In the West Highlands, midges can mount alarming and unexpected attacks on so-called true Scotsmen."

My own personal experience of wearing a kilt falls into two distinct categories – those functions where I feel ‘safe’ and those where I do not.

I’ve been to weddings in my kilt where female hands suddenly started playing with my ‘sporran’ during the lunch and they weren’t my wife’s and I’d never met the person before! After that I wore two sets of pants – a set of briefs and a pair of boxer shorts over them. Safety in numbers!

And then, when I feel safe, I’m happy to go ‘commando’ as I did at my wedding but even then I had to fight off my new wife, and whist I was standing outside the auberge having a cigarette, an old lady, who must have been in her 90s shouted over, ‘levez votre jupe’ – lift your skirt! 

A Couple of Commandos
I'm sure she'd have been terribly disappointed if I'd been wearing pants when I did!  

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