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The St. Patrick's Day Piper's Panties (David Daye)
(topical, chuckle, true)

This is a true story in which I was a participant.

A Midwest Town had only a few bagpipers to lead its St. Patrick's Day
parade, so a number of Scots from a Neighboring Town used to come to beef
up our numbers. The parade would end at Big Hotel, which was brimming with
Irishmen tending the formidable thirst built up by their long march.  We
pipers were extremely popular in every suite, supplying music in exchange
for free refreshments, which the Scots considered to be a Good Thing.

Now the Scots and Irish are closely-related peoples, sharing music,
language and dance, but generally divided on religion, with the Irish
mostly Catholic and the Scots mostly Protestant.  This can be a Bad
Thing, but in Midwest Town St. Patrick's Day was a Catholic day so the
Protestants were welcomed in the spirit of the occasion.  The whole
subject generated no more trouble than some good-natured humor.

Now as the partying intensified it was not unusual for revelers to engage
in a little kilt checking -- you know, to learn The Secret.  So, early in
the morning, Neighboring Town's Piper Jock decided to play a wee prank
on the Irish.  Before strapping on his kilt, Piper Jock donned his wife's
bright orange bikini underpants.  No gale can lift a heavy piper's kilt,
so he was safe for the parade, but Piper Jock was going to have the last
laugh on some tipsy Irish revelers at Big Hotel.

Well the parade left St. Patrick's Church in heavy snow squalls and 25
knot headwinds. Piper Jock was ever so smug about the extra warmth he'd
packed under his kilt, as the band struggled against the storm.

But Piper Jock had overestimated the power of his wife's elastic to
resist the severe downward taper of his beer belly.  It was Drummer
Paddy who first noticed Piper Jock twitching as the band approached 
Main Street.  Drum-Major Mickey raised his mace for "The Minstrel Boy"
as the band swung onto the avenue, and Piper Jock no longer had a hand
free to prevent the inevitable.

Now, we pipers are accustomed to being "sensations" when we go out in our
kilts, whether green or tartan, but we were stunned by laughter from the
dense crowd of Heathens we were passing.  D/M Mickey spun around and
marched backwards, to boost our morale in the face of the Heathens.
Instead, he joined in a guffaw that erupted among the drummers in back.
We all turned to look as we marched.

10 seconds can be an eternity.  Piper Jock stumbled twice, like a hog-
tied bull. Just as it seemed certain that he'd been struck by a bullet
or a stroke, out from under his kilt slid the flaming orange panties.

Jock lurched, his pipes tangling harmlessly in my own.  Five hundred people
cheered as Jock somersaulted down the avenue, revealing The Secret to the
world, desperately struggling to free himself from the boldest, brightest
"idiot" sign on earth.

Mickey played us continuously into the lobby of Big Hotel. Jock got a lot
of extra attention from the ladies that day, for his fresh war wounds.
But he has forever after been greeted among pipers with his personal,
inescapable anthem, "The Wearin' o' the Green."

David Daye, 3/16/93

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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