Encyclopaedia Avalonia, Vol. XV …
The Picts migrated to Avalonia from the far, far, faraway North. Even so, they have kept many of their tribal memories intact … and this is reflected in a curious rite held each year on January 25th in the Glastonbury Assembly Rooms.
Known as Burns Night, it commemorates the ancient Pictish practice – now mercifully discontinued – of pouring huge quantities of melted candle wax all over their bodies. The celebrants would then steel themselves, despite writhing in agony, to sit down and write poetic eulogies. Anthropologists from the University of Avalon speculate that this custom stemmed from an even older Pictish belief in pain as the best stimulant of the higher creative faculties.
Nowadays, Avalonian Picts content themselves with pouring huge quantities of melted whisky down their throats, to steel themselves against the pain of eating a disgusting blob of steaming, blood-sodden cattle entrails known as “haggis”. Those who can manage to force down these intestines without vomiting are then said to have “a lot of guts”.
In deference to the ancestral roots of its Pictish minority, Avalonia established diplomatic relations with Findhorn, a small statelet bordering north-east Scotland. But this overture soon turned sour, for it seems that the Findhornians, whose somewhat humourless theology centres on “light energies”, objected to the “dark underworld” aspects of Avalonian mythology. Matters came to a head when the Findhorn State Censor ordered a package of Glastonbury Communicators stopped at the border and sent back. In response, Avalonia withdrew its ambassador and – on the basis of no smoke without fire – broke off relations with Scotland as well.
- Tribal refuge: Whisky
- Tribal motto: “Guts are everything”
- Favourite food: Fried entrails
- Favourite bakers: Burns the Bread (Glastonbury High Street)
- Favourite poem: The mickle mach’d muck’d o’ wyld wee willie
- Hobbies: Burning the candle at both ends; vomiting.
- Favourite TV program: Casualty
- Twinned with: Findhorn Loch Ness
 Prompting the Romans to demonstrate – by building Hadrian’s Wall – that they already felt creative enough.
 Melted whisky is whisky that’s already been malted … as per the following past, present and future-tense verb sequence: ‘I melted’, I malt, I mult (i.e. I must malt).