The Smell of Burnt Haggis

The Smell of Burnt Haggis

Actually, the title is quite literal.

Last night was Robbie Burns night. For the uninitiated (i.e. me and those not native to Scotland), you can find more information about the holiday here: https://www.visitscotland.com/about/famous-scots/robert-burns/burns-night/

Basically, it involves eating haggis, whiskey, potatoes, possibly turnips and so on. There is the reading of the haggis poem (seriously!) and various other poems throughout the night. It’s basically an excuse to enjoy old comedic poetry, get drunk and eat haggis.

I, being me, was not eating haggis or drinking or eating potatoes, for that matter. I was eating gluten free pizza. And watching entertaining-but-mindless television to prepare my brain for the weekend. Basically, I was enjoying my Friday night.

Then the smoke alarm went off. Not my smoke alarm, mind you, but the neighbours’. See, the thing about living in a building with other people is that the smoke alarm goes off. And given that I have super-sensitive hearing, it’s really loud. Usually, the alarm stops after whoever was cooking opens their kitchen window. This time, though, it went on and on and on.

So I peeked out my door to see if I perhaps actually needed to heed the smoke alarm and evacuate. No, no visible flames. No visible smoke. Just the smell of something burning next door. I could hear them moving around and doing their best to fix it, but the alarm kept going.

By this point, the smell had wafted into my flat. I closed the door and retreated back to my television watching.

It didn’t occur to me until about five minutes after the alarm went off that it was Robbie Burns night. And that the only thing that could possibly have burnt and resulted in that particular smell was… the haggis.

So now my flat smells like burnt haggis and the dying motor of my vacuum (story for another time). I’m allergic to most scented candles and it’s too cold to leave the windows open for more than a few seconds. I guess I had better cook something.

Not haggis, though.

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