A wee Solkits wummin taen 'ur weans
Oan a package hoaliday tae Spain
Ri youngest two, wee Sam an' Ella
Fill't rur fizzers wi ri rone Paella
An' girra dose e' ri skitters fur rur pains
I can well remember the first McLimerick I wrote. In actual fact, it came to me along with twenty one others and all within an hour of sitting down to it.
I had come to something of an impasse regarding the novel I was writing at the time and had the luxury of deciding between two directions in which to take it. It was summer, or what passes for summer these days and I made the mistake of going to bed without first coming to a decision. I read for an hour with the radio on low but I couldn't concentrate on the book, as interesting as it was. I set the radio to turn itself off, an old habit, and settled down with the hope of sleeping. Like I said, big mistake.
The news came on, a new presenter to me, a lady from the islands by her accent. She told of a police incident in Troon, news just in, but it was her pronunciation of 'Troon' which caught my ear.
Don't ask me why but I repeated it to myself in similar style and started laughing my head off. Good job I live alone.
I've dabbled with poetry on and off for most of my life so my mind must have clicked into that mode. Five minutes later I had half a dozen five liners rumbling around in my scone and, since my phone was in the front room, I got up to commit them to the recorder. While in the process of doing that I got yet another poem and decided if sleep was going to be so elusive, I would sit down at the laptop and write them out, see how they looked in black and white.
They poured from me, from who knows where and by the time I went back to bed some forty minutes later I had twenty two of the little snippets of everyday life here on the west coast. This time I slept.
I solved my book direction problem on my walk along the prom to Saltcoats and, full of myself, put on my best swagger. Another poem came to me, 'Solkits wummin', and I spoke it into my phone.
Before too long I had one hundred and odd to go at and just happened to mention them to that nice Mr. Gisby at McStorytellers. Brendan must have been suffering a quiet day because he asked me to send them over, adding the offer to publish them the following day. It was he who called them 'McLimericks' and I had no argument to hand and that, in a nutshell, is how the McLimerick came to be.
So far, ten volumes of McLimericks have been published, number five of which is a double package and that adds up to over eleven hundred in all. I'm well ahead of the game in that I have a further eight volumes in the bank ready for publication.
I now thank my lucky stars that I couldn't get over to sleep that night for the fact that the McLimericks seem to come to me so easily, but at the same time I also curse the stars for the fact they seem to have taken over. I've written books since starting with the McLimericks but that particular side to my writing efforts has been considerably slowed. The way I see it, I'm still writing, still being creative one way or the other.
Over a year ago I started posting a daily McLimerick to a number of facebook pages. These have been, on the whole, favourably received. The one exception was a gentleman with more squiggly lines attached to his name than looked altogether healthy who claimed I was bastardising the Scots tongue. I decided to let it slide, he appeared to be a lone voice but then I decided I would rise to it and suggest perhaps he shouldn't read them if they upset him so. Before I could do this I was beaten to the punch, so to speak, by a lady who appreciated my efforts. Her suggestion left mine in the shade when she told him, rather bluntly, to shut the eff up and leave me the eff alone. She made my day.
Now, I could furnish you with an appropriate McLimerick at the drop of a hat and have proved this by taking on a couple of commissions from friends. One of these does her own xmas cards. I don't really care for that time of year but I was able to knock out three or four suitable poems for her. Another, more recent this time, was a request from the captain of the Scottish Ladies Pool Team 'B', an all winning ensemble and I provided half a dozen to assist with her inspirational team-talks while they compete in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
The ideas come from nowhere and from everywhere, a word, a circumstance; even from a dream. I went to a gig in Glasgow recently and came back with two McLimericks, one of them from a shouted conversation with a young lady at the bar. Many of them are based on truth, some stuff and nonsense and others have a bit of a punch to them. Wee snapshots of everyday life from the sunkissed west coast of Scotland and many other places.
The 'B' team relinquished their trophy in the semi-finals which had nothing at all to do, I've been assured, with my McLimericks. I take great comfort from that.
Angus Shoor Caan.
To find out more about Angus's poems - plenty for free but he's happy to take your money - and his prose writing (also for sale) check him out at The Clan page, or go further afield to Wee Voices