Found: a little slice of Scottish culture, right here in midtown Manhattan.
As I was hurrying to catch the shuttle to Times Square, I passed by this bagpiper. He had taken a break from piping to speak enthusiastically with a wee lass, perhaps about bagpipe breath control, or haggis, or types of tartan, or the likelihood of the Jets making it to the SuperBowl, or Courtney Love. I have no idea what they were talking about, really.
I stopped to take his picture, though.
And I wondered where his ten friends had gotten off to. You know...like the song? Eleven pipers piping, and the whole shebang.
Which reminds me of the bit Eddie Izzard does about that Christmas classic - how no one really knows all the verses, how we're just in it for the rousing "Five gold rings" part:
"That ‘Partridge in a Pear Tree’ song, the only bit we like of it is that
‘Fiiiive gooold rings!’ People go berserk at that point! People come running in from other rooms, ‘Fiiiive gooold rings!’ The rest of it, we don’t know. Above that, it’s just, ‘Twelve…monkeys mating, eleven… donkeys dancing, ten pygmies…farming? Nine… socks… a’swimming… FIIIIVE GOOOLD RINGS!’"
Nine socks a'swimming are nigh near useless, unless you're a trio of three-footed amphibians. Eleven donkeys dancing, on the other hand...that's something I'd like to see.