In 2000 my wife Martha and had a vacation in scotland. Amongst all the lovely scenery and fine weather was some traditional scottish food. Some of the worst I have ever tasted!
Martha and I planned to walk to lin of dee, a local beauty spot around 10 miles from braemar, and decided we'd could use a hamper when we got there.
We went to the local butcher in braemar,(R&D Gray) to get some of his pies and pasties which, we had been told by our hotel manager, were the best in scotland. So we bought more than we needed thinking we could eat them in our hotel room at night.
We walked all the way to lin of dee, quite a long trek made worse by midges, dust and redneck drivers. All the while we were enjoying the scenery and looking forward to the pies in our backpacks.
When we got there we took our packs off put our toes in the lovely clear water, and we were ready to eat. We had a variety of pies. Sadly as we tasted each one we noticed that they were full of fat, gristle and strange looking grey meat. It was clear to us the pies had been made with the cheapest cuts of meat and maybe other bits from inside the animal. We couldn't tell which meat though, and they smelled like a none too friendly racoon had made his mark on them! All were inedible, they made both Martha and I feel very unwell.
Martha was very upset. She was crying and I was none too happy myself. We were starving and had to walk all the way back to our hotel. I had a heck of a long time to think on that winding dusty trek back to the hotel. I decided I would go and see the butcher and ask him what was in the pies.
Next day I went to see him. I asked what was in the pies, he said the best pork and beef in the pies we had. I asked him if he was sure. He said as sure as he was standing there. I told him we had been looking forward to eating them after our walk and that we got a real disappiontment. I told him they were all fatty and had strange pieces of grey meat in them. He just laughed and told me that all americans were too fussy. I asked him why they smelled so bad. He smiled at me said my nose was too close to my own a**! He said that if I didn't get my moaning lardy a** out of his store, he'd call the cops!
His ugly skinny wife came through from the back of the store and started to shout at me but I couldn't understand what she was hollerin about. All the while the butcher is getting redder in the face and is spitting as he cusses and waves his hands at me. I couldn't help thinking while looking at him getting all worked up, that he was beginning to look like a hog ready for the block. All deep pink and real anrgy, spitting with rage. I had to put my hand over my mouth to stop him from seeing that I was starting to laugh. They both looked real funny by this time. His wifes shouts were as squeaky as the bagpipe.
Anyway I left the store before they both got too angry and went back to my beloved Martha to tell her what had happened.
She was even more upset, and she cried for a while. She wanted to leave braemar that day but I foolishly talked her into staying.
That night before dinner we went to the cocktail lounge in our hotel and guess who was in there........Yup the butcher. Mr Rony Ronny or Ronnie Gray (I don't know which spelling it is). Anyway he was half sitting half slumped across the bar with a glass in his hand. He was cussin loud, saying americans don't know the taste of good food when they have it. The bartender was serving cocktails around him like he couldn't see or hear him.
I complained to the manager about Mr Rony Ronny or Ronnie Gray and told him back home in Oklahoma, bums like him would be thrown out in the street. I was told that he's just one of the natives and he and others like him are what gives the hotel it's character. We were told to not pay any attention to him as he would soon fall asleep and his wife would come along and fetch him back home soon.
Martha was even more upset and demanded we leave. So we left that night, without staying for dinner. We didn't even stay long enough to see his ugly squeaky wife come to pull his large drunk butt of the chair. Instead we went over to Edinborogh and got a very comfortable hotel with the most luxurious food and no bums to be seen anywheres.
If your thinking of a vacation in scotland, avoid braemar, it's such a small place you are bound to meet up with the butcher bum and have him spoil your vacation.
A foot note to this story. Martha and I went all around Canada the year after that and had the most wonderful time and were warmly welcomed everywhere we went. And NO bad food at ALL!