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Oysters MacGonagall - A Tasteful Occasion

And the winner is ..................................................Martine Robertson! ...pictured standing below with Poet Laureate John Lindsay

click on pictures to enlarge

It was a delectable occasion with more than a few taking courage and tasting an oyster for the first time in their lives ... also pictured above? And they were very fine oysters indeed. Served naturelle with a segment of lemon they just slid off their shells. Their aphrodisiac powers were not under scrutiny on this occasion, rather their ability to inspire great bad poetry. The search was on for poetic pearls. William Topaz McGonagall himself and the Laureate were both there to inspire the soiree onwards and downwards.

Without further ado, the artwork of the winner is here exposed:

Pandores Oysters, what a treat
Nothing like them, there is to eat
For man or woman they are a must
For to fill them up with fleshy lust.

Walking on the beach you know you must reach
To scoop them up wi’ unseemly schreech
A tasty morsel to have for your tea,
A dusty damsel for to have on your knee.

Oh Pandora what a box you did open
As the mollusc slid by, what was I hopin?
For a tasty salty slitheree treat?
Or a tasty tumble, wi’ some lass I did meet.

I ate them up till I’d had my fill
And now I feel quite terribly ill,
But oh it was worth it to have such a thrill -
And to be left by that lady with an awful big bill!

The winner was not alone in fantasising, but Bill Knox who was deemed a proud runner up, unwisely pinned his fond hopes in [former] politicians:

The Pandores Oysters the're all gone
The Panners ate them at the bo'm West Loan
They tell me they tasted auwfy guid
Certainly lots better than Spanish squid.

The Oyster beds have shifted afar
To a shore that’s beyond our distant sea har
But men of Prestonpans do not despair
.... [as ex-Provost Pat O’Brien promised many years ago]... Our oyster beds he would repair
And like Johnnie Moat now standing strong
Pandores Oysters to Prestonpans will again belong

If these were the two best worst, it can only get more distressing so the further poems recited atop a Goth Chair, after insurance and H&S warnings, are accessible HERE

2009 is expected to see and hear at least two more MacGonagall Nights with appropriate themes.

Has MacGonagall an historio-artistic purpose in The Pans?

The Laureate has the bon mot here. He wishes to encourage competition so bad that he seems good awhile! But the truth which must out is that folk enjoy having a shot at a spot of poetry. It can be most particularly enjoyed when experiential as in this late oyster case. And as thus far constructed each poem is required as a 'tabular' creation rather than simply solo. So as any psychiatrist can confirm it's private medecine on the cheap. Laughter also comes free, and is rumoured to be good for the complexion.

Finally, however, the nautical clincher must be offered. The last ship never to make it out of Morrison's Haven when it was infilled, and from which more than one generation dived into the sea, was named after William MacGonagall - his middle name The Topaz.

The Pans is clearly his ideal venue, well south of Dundee and without the marmalade and linoleum.

P.S. What Laureate had to proffer by comparison...


In the waters of the Firth of Forth
There dwelt a mollusc of resounding fame
The Pandores Oyster was its name.

From olden times the fishermen
Would harvest this delicious source of food
But we shall never see their like again
For they were made extinct for good.

So named after the Salt Pans proximity
The oysters lay in massive brood
But they were dredged with great alacrity
Not cultivated as they should

From far and wide our whiskered friends
Were sought by highest born and low
But greed and carelessness in the end
Caused all the Pandores beds to go.

They even had an oyster song
Most fetching it was said
But the words for it are long since gone
Known only to the mouldering dead.

Now if you stroll down Longniddry beach
Occasionally you may find
A pile of empty Pandores shells –
Last evidence of their famous kind

Published Date: December 5th 2008

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