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A kilted man inevitably
attracts admiring spectators drawn like moths to the flame, or termites
to a caber. These Admirers, who are often given to calling out such
endearments as “Kiltie, Kiltie, cauld bum, cannae keep a warm one!” or
“Donald! Where’s your troosers?” See a kilted Scot as an adventurer who
walks the thin line between Presbyterian and prurient, between bard and
barbarian, between tradition and tramp. However, to avoid inadvertently
offending the delicate sensibilities of spectators, men should observe
the following rules of kilt etiquette:
1. Walk, do not run. If you must walk quickly, keep both hands on
your sporran. If your sporran is up around your neck, you’re walking
much too fast.
2. Do not walk up the globe stairs for an autographed CD signed by the
lovely Miranda, fiddler to the Glengarry Bhoys.
3. Do not stoop, crouch or squat to pick up anything from the floor.
Have a friend pick up the object for you. If your friend will not
oblige, kick the object to a secluded place before you retrieve it.
4. Do not wear shiny new shoes. Dull them a little (perhaps with mud
or mince) or wear spats and establish your credentials as the fashion
trend setter that you are.
5. Do not stand at the edge of reflective fountains or any mirror-like
puddles. On those formal events where you must wear silver buckles on
your shoes, do not stand still for longer then five seconds at a time.
6. However, dance nothing more boisterous then a slow waltz. Reserve
wild reels, jigs and flings for family gatherings where your identity
requires no further elaboration, or for those occasions when your
anonymity is assured. Limbo dancing in a kilt at any time definitely
breaches kilt etiquette.
7. Respond only with an enigmatic smile to any questions about what is
worn under your kilt. Avoid responding with the tired cliché “Nothing
is worn under my kilt; everything is in fine working order”. Similarly,
do not offer any demonstrations of what is worn under your kilt. An
offer such as “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” can be
misconstrued as the opening salvo in an ever escalating series of
challenges and exhibitions which might be illegal in public places, even
between consenting adults.
8. Shaving of one’s legs is unnecessary. However, hirsute highlanders
who elect to wax the hair from their legs should wax the whole leg and
not just the knee area displayed between kilt and hose. Such false
economies only contribute to the myth of the cheap Scot. Also, it is
considered in poor taste to suggest private viewings of your
9. Do not sit with one leg crossed over the other. This position
requires you to un-cross your legs later, a tricky maneuver mastered by
only a select few after years of training. Always sit with your knees
no more than six inches apart, thus creating enough shadow for mystery
and discretion. Avoid soft recliners, swings or rocking chairs where
the sitter’s knees may move above shoulder leve
Observance of these
simple guidelines allows one to wear the kilt with panache and ensures
your own confident decorum, all while providing your adoring audience
with a stirring but not unsettling spectacle.