Toast to the Lassies
David Shankland, MBE
stand before you here in Dumfries on this sublime Spring evening, more
than replete I might tell you, after such a marvellous meal washed down
with a generous measure of good wine and seasoned with the spice of
good company. I must first of all thank you Mr Chairman for your kind
and complementary remarks which are much appreciated.
are one or two days in the life of each and every one of us which are
special and for me this is one of them. At my age even to be asked to
appear at any reputable function is a privilege. To be actually invited
to participate in this Gala occasion therefore is a singular honour,
which I will always cherish. Tonight my cup runeth over, tonight I am
but a few short heartbeats away from being in heaven
It is difficult to be coherent for less cogent an occasion when the
cup of kindness is filled to overflowing, but I am delighted to be your
guest for several reasons. Firstly, the warmth of your welcome which
relaxes and reassures. Secondly, I know from experience that any function
organised by Shirley and her assistant is always of the highest quality
and tonight is no exception. I am sure you will agree gentlemen that
we have all enjoyed a meal of special quality furthermore to our post
prandial pleasure are we not experiencing an evening of friendship and
fellowship as well as listening to an outstanding programme of the Bards
words and music.
opinion an evening such as this provides the perfect sort of perfect
pleasure - it leaves one wanting more, so by that token what more can
Most important of all, gentlemen, it is my task on this special night
to caress and cajole a few simple words into a meaningful tribute to
those delectable, those desirable, those delightful creatures collectively
called the lassies. Creatures in whom the elements are so delightfully
compounded that their charms are irresistible. Can I say en passant
that as I look around, I can see that they are magnificently represented
here tonight. Tonight it is with a sense of pride that I appear before
you to champion the cause of the ladies because I fervently believe
that in spite of logic, in spite of legislation, in spite of the lessons
of history they are still all too often treated as second class citizens.
This is preposterous, as I shall attempt to demonstrate. For a start
women are healthier and they generally live longer and are chosen to
bear the children. Furthermore in most situations they are more sophisticated,
more civilised and much more subtle. When it comes to the constitution
of the mind however the female of the species is really made of much
sterner stuff. We men bottle up our tensions, until they erode into
ulcers or clog the vessels of the heart. Women on the other hand disseminate
them in tantrums or harmless tears. In truth it took two million years
to make man out of a monkey. When it suits them the ladies can reverse
the process in two minutes.
I am saying to you gentlemen is simply this; forget about the pin up
girls and the busty blondes. They are the stuff of fiction; they are
figments of your imagination. The real women of your everyday life have
all the qualities you seek if only you have the sense to see it. Cherish
them; give them the respect they deserve. Even if they burn their bras
give them all the support they need.
us give thanks for the sweethearts of this world for bringing romance
into our lives.
Let us give thanks for the spinsters of this world for they are unclaimed
Let us give thanks for the wives of this world for their loves their
loyalty their passion and their patience.
Let us give thanks for the mothers of this world for theirs is the most
noble role of all.
waiting for a bus surrounded by a number of children.
Passer-by - "Are they all yours or is it a picnic
Reply - They're all mine and its no picnic
us give thanks for the mother in laws of this world for they were human
to man - I am sorry to tell you that your mother in law is at deaths
Man - I'm hoping you will be able to pull her through doctor.
Burns our national bard was a sensuous and sensitive man who could feel
the faintest fluttering of the human heart. He also wrote with great
vision on many subjects, including the lassies, as the following example
Europe's eye is fix'd on mighty things,
The fate of empires and the fall of kings;
While quacks of State must each produce his plan,
And even children lisp the Rights of Man;
Amid this mighty fuss just let me mention,
The Rights of Woman merit some attention.
Please be upstanding, and join me in a Toast to the Lassies!