Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Friday, 11 March 2011

Aggie and Shuggie 31


Rocket

Shuggie:

[Knock knock] Aggie. [Knock knock] Aggie. [Knock knock] Aggie.

Aggie:

Stoap bangin oan ma bedroom door. Yoor no gittin oany.

Shuggie:

Ah’m no ayfer sex.

Aggie:

Pull tha ither wan – it’s goat bells oan it.

Shuggie:

Naw, Scout’s onour, hen. As Goad’s ma witness.

Aggie:

Ah dinnae hink oor heavenly faither’s gonna staun up fae you as a character witness.

Shuggie:

No that kinda witness. Cum oan, Aggie. Ah’ve goat sumhin Ah need tae show ye.

Aggie:

Ah’ve seen it befair an Ah wisne that impressed. Now bugger aff an let me get sum kip.

Shuggie:

But at’s serious.

Aggie:

Tha world’s no ended hus it?

Shuggie:

Nah.

Aggie:

Tha hoose isnay oan fire?

Shuggie:

[Sniffs] Noat as Ah cun tell.

Aggie:

Oor Maggie’s no goan an goat hersel up tha duff?

Shuggie:

She better no huff.

Aggie:

Well then Ah dinae see whit’s so impoartant.

Shuggie:

Oor Jim’s had a bad refyoo.

Aggie:

[silence]

Shuggie:

Aggie?

Aggie:

[unlocking door] Show.

Shuggie:

Look.

Aggie:

At’s frae that nice lad, Coalin McGuire. Ah canne see im sayin oanyhin bad aboot oor Jim.

Shuggie:

Well, read tha bit there – e says oor Jim’s poemtry “lacks fireworks”. Ah’ll gie im fireworks. Ah’ve goat a rocket an Ah know exactly whur Ah’m goanne shuff it.

Aggie:

Ssssh. Ah’m stiil readin.

Shuggie:

Soarry, hen. At’s jist oor Jim can dae verbal pyrotechnics wi tha best o them. E’s nae idea whit e’s oan aboot.

Aggie:

Calm doon, Shuggie. Ah’m no feenished. At’s no a bad refyoo at aw.

Shuggie:

At’s no?

Aggie:

No. Yoor goanne get yersel in a state ower nuhin. Coalin’s goat a loatta nice hings tae say. But ye know whit e’s like, e likes is poems a wee bit oan tha rough side.

Shuggie:

Like his men?

Aggie:

Ah’m no goan there, Shuggie.

Shuggie:

Fine. At’s jist goat me aw riled up. Ye know how Ah get. Ah’ll no be able tae sleep now.

Aggie:

Whitt’re ye askin?

Shuggie:

Ye know whit Ah’m askin. Jist fer ferapeutic purposes ye unnerstan.

Aggie:

Fine. But be quick aboot it.

Shuggie:

Right, hen.

Aggie:

An stoap grinnin like that. Makes ye look like the Joker. An that’s jist disturbin.

Shuggie:

Right, hen. Hanks, hen.

11 comments:

Kass said...

That was a pretty clever way to respond to McQuire's refyoo.

Ah red it.

Ah goat me pahntees hina boonch.

Jim Murdoch said...

Thanks for that, Kass, and a brave attempt at Glaswegian there.

KleinsteMotte said...

The computer does a lousy job at interpreting your slang in spoken form. It's kind of funny. The truth about lies is the computer voice sucks! Do the Scot's follow this with glee??

Elisabeth said...

As ever I enjoy Aggie and Shuggie's take on this most grievous blow. I've just come from the reviewer's post.

As you concede here I think it is a good review, but as so many of us do, you take the one critical comment and put it out in bold.

Yeah sure, to say your poetry lacks fireworks is quite a put down, but I think he might also be saying something about the degree to which you do not want to overstate things.

And how do you read the positives? That's what I like about this collection – it's compactness, it's neatness. It contains one hundred and four page-poems that do not over-state, or obfuscate. (Obfuscate, is guilty of itself). Each has a simplicity. Each contains a small stone of wisdom. If it's true that 'the idiot talks, while the wise man remains silent' then, Murdoch is wise, for he is brief and insightful.

'It is the brevity and succinctness in Murdoch’s poems that make them readable. You can mull over their domestic insights, their wise old mans tale observations; consume them snack size with a moments notice. As Shakespeare wrote'...brevity is the soul of wit...' so I shall shut up, and let the poems speak.'

Let the poems speak, Jim and each will form their own view.

Firweworks are noisy, smelly, bright and a brief flash in the pan. Your poems are much more substantial than that.

Jim Murdoch said...

Actually, KleinsteMotte , Aggie and Shuggie have fans the world over not just in Scotland. And, no, the computer can’t cope with the accents at all in fact when I first tried to install the widget, which otherwise is excellent, it wouldn’t let me because it registered Scots as a foreign language. The whole purpose of the Aggie and Shuggies is to highlight when one of my books has received an online review, in this case from Colin McGuire, who actually is a Scot as it happens. I don’t have much time for sites where they do nothing but plug their books and that’s when I came up with the first one as a rather irreverent and fun way of telling people to go and look at the review. I never imagined they would last this long but somehow I keep coming up with new situations. I’m sure new readers coming in at #31 will be quite lost which kind of defeats the purpose I suppose. They’ve become a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the reviewers.

And, Lis, thank you for leaping to my defence but I think you’ve taken this a little bit too seriously. It’s Shuggie whose blown things out of all proportion not me. Colin’s firework comment was just perfect for sending up and I’m always looking for some way that I can gently poke fun at my reviewers. I know for a fact that Colin spent a lot of time working on that review and he is entitled to voice his opinion. My poems, as you quite rightly agree, are not fireworks nor are they messy and spontaneous like Colin’s. They’re exactly what I want them to be and when I read through my collection I am always filled with a tremendous sense of satisfaction: if I never published another thing I could die happy. I don’t often enthuse about my own work – it’s not my nature – but nothing I write pleases me more than my poetry especially when I hit the nail on the head like I did this week. I don’t write a lot of poetry these days, about one a month at the moment, and that’s not because I believe in muses or have to wait for inspiration to strike or any guff like that rather it’s because writing poetry is a treat; I never want to turn it into work; I never force it. But I’m always on the lookout for it.

Dave King said...

oor Jim’s poemtry “lacks fireworks...???
Well, you did just say youm not intrested in the big bang!

Did he see any Aggie and Shuggy, b y the way? They would have changed his mind - with or without the rocket.

As always, they are brilliant. And as for McGuire, we all lose the plot at times.

Jim Murdoch said...

And yet the opening line is a nod to The Big Bang Theory, Dave, one of my favourite TV programmes thanks to my daughter’s pointing me in the right direction. For some reason I seem to find myself defending poor Colin. It all boils down to a) what you think fireworks are and b) what you expect from a poem. You can compare a poem to so many different things. If we’re going to talk about heat then I’d rather my poems be compared to a fine brandy than a rocket or a sparkler something that stays with you after reading.

McGuire said...

I need no defending. Don't worry about that.

I think my review was balanced. And it didnt seek to simply praise sycophantically. That would be insincere. Ya know.

Firework is a good word to use - not a momentary flash in the pan - but a loud colourful explosive that brings everyone together.

Glad it's provoking some response. Generating some conversation. What a false world it would be if we all agreed with each other.

Keep up the good pen.

Jim Murdoch said...

Well, Colin, on this we do agree. I was perfectly happy with the review. There are too many reviews online where people seem afraid to say anything negative for fear of upsetting someone or in case they give them a bad review down the line when they want something reviewed. We simply can’t have that. A review though, no matter who writes it, will have its detractors and considering the amount of rejections I’ve had in my life it’s abundantly clear that my poetry is not for everyone which is fine because there is more than enough poetry out there – dare I say too much? – and someone, somewhere will be writing stuff that is just right for them. After all these years there’s nothing anyone can say to me that will stop me writing my poetry my way. After all these years I’m not sure I know another way even though it’s fun to play around with different approaches and that visual poem I wrote a wee while back did indeed make it into my big red folder. But the next poem I was back to my usual style and the one after that which, unusually for me, I’ve just posted on Facebook; it’s for Japan.

patteran said...

Happy to get my latest fix of Aggie and Shuggie. I'm sure I've asked you before, but is there a collected edition planned at some point?

Jim Murdoch said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Dick, and to answer your question: you have and there isn’t. I think these occasional snippets work just fine and I’ll keep writing them for as long as I can think up new situations and as long as people keep writing reviews of my books so that should be a wee while yet. The only real problem with them is that they work fine for regular readers like you who know the characters and the storyline but for people discovering my site for the first time, well, God alone knows that they must think. I have been thinking of doing a Guide to Aggie and Shuggie or a New Readers Start Here kind of thing and I may well do that before the next book comes out.

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