Feb 142013

By Bob Smith.

It’s bin ma opeenion fer some time aat there’s nae aneuch eccentric fowk gyaan aboot in iss kwintra o oors nooadays.

Ye ken fit a meen, nae aneuch characters, nae aneuch worthies. 

Bertrand Russell eence said “Dinna fear tae be eccentric in opeenion, fer  ivvery opeenion noo accepted wis eence eccentric”.

Noo am nae spikkin aboot thae  pop star prats or sae ca’ed celebrities faa ging fer a nicht oot dressed as tho they war gyaan tae a funcy dress pairty an spik a load o borin crap tae the media. Maist o them dinna hae aneuch gumption tae be classed as eccentric or a worthie.

Some fowk nooadays are sae bland an predictable ye’d think they’d bin cloned. They hiv tae be seen tae be, as THE KINKS  sang said, Dedicated Followers o Fashion  or maan  hae the latest gadgetry in the warld o iphones, laptops, tablets, notepads etc. an if the telly viewin figures are ti be believed, only like ti watch soaps, reality TV shows an talent contests like X Factor.

As fer politeeshuns, be they Tories, Labour, Lib Dems, or SNP, there’s nae muckle difference atween ony o them fin it biles doon tae’t. Thank hivvens we’ve still got een or twa faa kick ower the traces, the likes o Dennis Skinner, an Margo MacDonald faa dinna folla ony pairty line an hiv the guts tae spik their myn.

Noo I dinna aye agree wi fit they spoot bit a fair agree wi them ha’en the richt tae spik oot. Ower mony politeeshuns are, in ma opeenion, in the hip pooches o the pairty wheeps or big business.

There wis a lot mair worthies  gyaan aboot fin a wis a loon. A can myn o a primary teacher at the skweel a wint tae, faa bikit tae her wark in aa withers, in the winter time weerin an auld belted trench coat, a leather helmet or a balaclava on her heid, a thick muffler an waldies. A bittie eccentric?

Aye an neen the war o’t, an aabody roon aboot, includin the heidmaister an ither teachers, thocht her affa gweed at her job an the bairns fair likit her as weel.

The eddicashun heid yins nooadays widna lit her throwe the skweel gates, mair’s the peety. There wis as weel an auld Sikh mannie faa  raikit aroon the kwintraside on his bike wi twa or  maybe three muckle leather cases strappit on the back fit held aa sorts o thingies – wifies’ stockins, combs, soap, dishtools, scrubbin brushes, widden claes pegs an black lead for the fireplace etc.

He only cam aroon aboot twice a ‘ear an maist fowk bocht somethin. He wis thocht o as a richt character.

the amunt o eccentricity in a society his generally bin proportional tae the amunt o genius

Aiberdeen fowk o a certin age wull a’m sure myn o Snuffy Ivy, a prostitute fae Torry faa wis kent as the teethless hooer wi a hairt an a hare lip an, as legend his it, wid perform een o her services fer a fish supper. Noo a maan add, a’m nae spikkin fae personal experience as a wis only a  sma geet in Snuffy  Ivy’s time. Eccentric? – maybe.  Worthie? – maist definitely.

A gweed fyow auler ceetizens wull myn o Cocky Hunter. Na, na, noo fowkies am nae spikkin aboot Snuffy Ivy  iss time! Iss weel kent chiel deel’t in second haun goods an war surplus an it wis said ye cwid buy onything fae a moosetrap tae a fower poster bed. Anither Aiberdeen worthie bi aa accoonts. There are mony mair a cwid meention bit there’s nae aneuch space.

Awa back in the 19th century, utilitarian thinker John Stuart Mill wrote that the amunt o eccentricity in a society his generally bin proportional tae the amunt o genius, mental vigour, and moral courage fit it contained.

Michty me it’s nae wunner today’s society is leukit on bi some as bein in a bittie o a doonward spiral.

Wull there be ony fowk jist noo faa wid be classed as eccentrics or worthies? Neen aat I can think o.

Een or twa micht be myn’t on– bit fer aa the wrang reasons. A gowf coorse at Menie, winfairms an Union Terrace Gairdens shud gie ye a clue.

Och bit wait a meenit, a’m forgettin Sam the Seagull, the feathered worthie fae the Castlegate faa,daily,  wid relieve a shoppie in the area o a packet o Cheese Doritos tae share wi his seagull pals. Myn ye it says somethin fin a seagull is the only eccentric or character in the toon, ower the last fyow ‘ear, worth meenshunin.

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