Talking Point, with Ron Harris

Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison
Ron Harris'Picture by Lindsay Addison

Find out what’s getting our chief reporter riled up this week!

IN various Lanarkshire schools o’ the Sixties ah had just aboot the perfect amount o’ religious education. Nane.

That was, of course, in whit was officially cried the ‘mainstream, non-denominational education system’ but what everywan actually called the Proddy Schools.

The legacy o’ all this is that, tae this day if onywan asks me whit foot ah kick wae, ah reply: “I’m not actually a member of ONY organised religion; I’m Church of Scotland.”

And, ah must admit, that’s only because the name appeals tae me – especially the ‘Scotland’ bit.

As a wean the only drawback tae this appeared tae be that mah best pal Philip, he o’ the green blazer wae a Saint’s name oan its badge, seemed tae be getting a helluva lot mair days holiday aff the school than we Sons of William were.

This slight feeling o’ being hard-done-by persisted until ah moved intae Glescae and made some Jewish and Muslim freends who seemed tae have so mony mair religious festivals and holy days that ah wunner their weans ever had enough time at school tae eat their playpeice.

Onyway, ah mind wan crafty Carlukian ah served mah six years in the Grammar wae who conned the staff intae thinking he was RC and, oan the strength o’ that, taking ony day aff that took his fancy by pleading that it was “St Mirren’s Day” or the “Festival of the Promotion of St Johnstone” tae teachers too PC ever tae question his word aboot it.

Honestly, we were just waiting for Tam (for it was he) tae turn up in Albany Drive in a turban wan day tae try tae cop a month aff for Ramadan.

Oor only real RE at the Grammar was a weekly assembly at which the local meenister must have taken at least some consolation frae the male members o’ his audience o’ young hippies all LOOKING like his Boss, if no’ exactly acting like Him.

Indeed, yon legendary teacher Long Tom Harvey wance remarked on seeing me and mah hairy cronies sitting roond oor table in the school canteen: “Good grief; you lot look like The Last Supper!”

So, there ah was thinking mah generation’s religious knowledge was unbeatably mince when an email turns up frae wan o’ mah pals wae what purports tae be GENUINE extracts from today’s weans’ Bible Studies essays.

Here’s a few gems: “Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark and the animals came on in pears”; “The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert and then Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments”; “The Seventh Commandment is Thou shalt not admit adultery”; “Solomon had 300 wives and 700 porcupines” and, mah personal favourite, “Good Christians have only one spouse – and this is called monotony.”

Onyway, the last time ah mentioned religion in this column a nae-doot weel-meaning reader frae The Gow sent me a lang, lang missive oan the subject plus a whole stack o’ pamphlets, promising me Salvation.

Wasted effort.

Alas, it’s far, far too late for that, pal, and ah can only pray that Hell, when ah get there, isnae an eternal Community Cooncil or Lanimer Committee meeting.