Well, I thought you’d like to know that I’ve recently joined their ranks. And I don’t mean the Bouquets, stupid. To paraphrase Grampa Simpson’s infamous “Missourah” speech, I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I become a middle-class aspirer.
No, what I mean is that I’ve become a house namer. It was an idea that came to me in the sorry aftermath of the Scottish Independence Referendum. I wanted to do something to signify that I was still a supporter of independence, that I would be there, ready to act, ready to vote, the next time.
I had already added that funny wee “45” thing to my profile pictures on Facebook and Twitter. But that wasn’t nearly enough. I needed to be much more public, to show who I was to the town and particularly to my neighbours, many of whom I suspect snuck along to the polling station on September 18th and quietly placed their cross in the NO box.
I thought about a flag. Flying the Saltire from the top of the house. The symbol of independence fluttering proudly in all weathers – in sunshine and rain and hail and snow and... erm... wind. Don’t be daft, I concluded, this is the Scottish Highlands, FFS. The first gale ripping down our street would tear the thing to shreds.
Then I hit on the idea of a house sign, a sign to make it clear to all that the residents therein are of “The 45%”. So I promptly ordered one up. And I’m happy to report it has just arrived. It’s a big ceramic tile that will shortly be screwed to the wall to the left of our front door. That’s a picture of part of it at the top of this post. It states our house number and street name, and above those the words SAOR ALBA, which, if you don’t know your Gaelic, mean FREE SCOTLAND.
Once the sign is up, my next step will be to go online and change my address on the websites of all the organisations that hold my records. You know the ones I mean – bank, insurance, telephone, power, Council, and so on. Not forgetting Government Departments, of course. I’ll fill in the line that’s reserved for House Name, the line that most of us always skip. I’ll type in Saor Alba. Then all the mail I receive from those (mostly English-based) organisations will bear that proud motto.
Which is where my next big idea comes in. What if I could persuade some people, many people, thousands of people, to do the same, to add Saor Alba to their address? They wouldn’t even have to erect a house sign beforehand. Then, in no time at all, millions of pieces of mail, all proclaiming Free Scotland, would be circulating throughout the country. It would be a sort of badge. A trend. A movement. We could call it The MacGisby Post-Referendum Movement. It could be like Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant Anti-Massacree Movement:
You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's really sick and they won't take him. And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them. And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? They may think it's an organization! And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day. Walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? Friends, they may think it's a MOVEMENT, and that's what it is: THE ALICE'S RESTAURANT ANTI-MASSACREE MOVEMENT! And all you gotta do to join is to sing it the next time it comes around on the guitar. With feelin'.