Talking Point with Gazette chief reporter Ron Harris

Nessie in Camps Reservoir? Find out, thanks to Ron, why one poor Texan now thinks it is!
Nessie in Camps Reservoir? Find out, thanks to Ron, why one poor Texan now thinks it is!

Find out what Ron thinks oor nation’s Dirty National Secret really is!

COME oan, seeing we’re just talking amang oorselves here, let’s admit oor Dirty National Secret.

Efter all, it’s no’ as if onywan ootside o’ Scotland will be reading this and, even if they did, they widnae understand a word o’ it onyway!

Ah mean even some Gazette readers struggle every week...

Yes; yon Dirty Secret is that there’s no wan o’ us wants the Loch Ness Monster Mystery EVER tae be solved.

The reasons for this are obvious; while even the slim possibility that dinosaurs DO exist doon in the dark depths o’ the loch, the Scottish tourist industry will rake in the big mullah frae the world’s gullible sowls, heiding there in the hope o’ seeing Nessie. SOME hope!

Okay, you and me - and the rest o’ the nation - ken fine weel that the Monster Legend is pure mince - or, rather, pure haggis, ie, yon furry wee cratur wae it left legs shorter than its right so that it can run roond the Heiland Hills tae escape the ghillies.

Aye; dinnae let the truth get in the way o’ a guid money-spinner and Nessie has served Bonnie Scotland weel in this respect ower the years.

Other pairts o’ Scotland also cash in oan this myth, given the notoriously bad geography skills o’ oor American Cousins.

A swear ah was staunin’ oan the shores o’ the Camps Reservoir near Coulter wan day when a visiting Texan asked me if this was the hame o’ the “famous Lack Nezz Maanstir?”

God forgive me, but ah replied: “Aye, it is.”

It just illustrated the truth o’ yon saying that wars are the only way the United States of America has o’ teaching their young folk world geography.

Onyway, the guid citizens o’ the Royal Burgh o’ Lanark used tae be nae mugs when it came tae grasping the odd passing baw-bee frae the innocent towrist.

Back in the Fifties there was even an attempt tae con the rest o’ the world that Lanark Loch contained its very ain Nessie, locally dubbed The Dreaded Lurghi.

This, of course, is just an arcane phrase for illness but the wily Lanarkians o’ the day hijacked it for their ain commercial purposes, thinking it sounded suitably sinister.

Now, there’s nae evidence that The Dreaded Lurghi Legend produced the tourism boom it was designed for but it was eventually adapted by Lanark maws as a hame-bred alternative tae The Bogie Man: “Go tae sleep, wee Wullie, or The Dreaded Lurghi will come oot Lanark Loch - and EAT ye!”

Nae wunner the toon has produced mair than its fair share o’ neurotics ower the years, me included!

Onyway, recently Lanark’s finest minds - plus me - all gathered in the Clydesdale Inn for a brainstorming session on how we could boost the toon’s fortunes again.

Somewan mentioned that we cannae keep flogging the Willie Wallace horse; efter all, Stirling maistly got the dibs oan him thanks tae them having a muckle big Wallace Monument against oor wee statue at the Cross AND thanks tae the Braveheart scriptwriters, dootless Yanks who didn’t know their Balloch frae a ballup-button.

Onyway, The Boy Genius here piped up wae a typically sleekit and not entirely ethical suggestion.

Why no’, says I, get somewan tae suddenly ‘discover’, buried deep under the site of Lanark Castle, an ancient parchment containing the original recipe for stovies?

Surely the world wid beat a path tae the toon where the greatest culinary creation oan earth was born?

Think o’ the boom the Great Stovie Stampede wid bring tae the toon’s butchers in extra sausage sales and the fermers planting mair fields for tatties, ’ningins and carrots!

Yes; all we need noo is some historian or archaeologist tae jine in this dastardly plot. Noo, whaur did ah pit Ed Archer’s telephone number...?