Saturday, 31 March 2007

The Other National Drink

You know you are Scottish when you can pronounce McConnochie, Auchindoun, Ecclefechan, Milngavie, Auchtermuchty and Aufurfuksake. Plus I would know your pair of lungs are working foine. But a true Scots would wheeze their request for the umpteenth can of Irn Bru over Coca Cola any day. It’s so true that McDonald’s caved in to popular demand and was forced to serve Irn-Bru at their Glaswegian outlets after mass protests. That’s how serious a drink it is here. It cures hangovers so I don’t see it’s cult like popularity ever being a threat in Scotland.

Not for the first time have I caught several people sheepishly admitting to drinking at least half a dozen cans of this tangerine cocktail daily…after such information had been outed to me from their eye-rolling exasperated spouse or grandchild. Either I am witnessing yet another successful example of mass corporate marketing of a tasty tonic on the hapless masses or that’s how much these dedicated nationalists want to piss off Coca Cola. Hmmmmm. Tough call.

On the other side of the pond, this sparkling elixir is banned in the good ‘ol God fearing US of A by the overarching FDA. Firstly, because it will beat the shit out of Coke, and secondly, because it contains a carcinogen Ponceau 4R. It’s also a delightful food colouring that may exacerbate the run-of-the-mill hyperactive behaviour in children and it’s also a histamine liberator that may exacerbate symptoms of asthma as I am oft explaining to gasping granny and bewildered parents of hyperkinetic wee ones.

But really, lets put things in perspective for this hallowed national beverage. Who gives a flying monkeys whether one dies slowly in the distant future in extreme old age after a fulfilled life from acute dyspnoea or cancer of the digestive tract? It’s still infinitely safer than the ubiquitous Buckfast (‘Bucky’) so beloved of the community spirited Neds consuming it with relish under their iconic hoodies in public places akin to demilitarised zones. Only cheap cider and alluring alcopops seem to equally have such a vice like grip on the promising youth of tomorrow thus creating mass employment opportunities in police cells and Accident and Emergency departments across the nation. That’s freeduuuuuuum! William Wallace would be so proud.