The Musings of the Piping Prophet
Editor’s note: Long ago, a collection of wise (or demented) random thoughts (or ravings) was discovered beneath a pile of stale chips in a remote corner of a famed Highland games site. Smelling of fish, they are believed to have been penned by one Angus Óg, self-dubbed “piping prophet.” Angus himself has been lost somewhere in the mists of time, or at least in the dust of a well trampled beer tent. They are reprinted here to touch the minds and hearts of pipers everywhere.
Angus Óg awoke in cold sweat, trembling from a vision of the future. It was apocalypse. A wasteland of neglect and decay. A horrible disease had wiped out most of humanity and turned them into mindless animals stumbling their way through the ruins of civilization looking to feed on the few who remained—the bagpipers.
You see, it seems the playing of the Piob Mhor staved off the illness that turned the rest of humanity into walking corpses. Thus, everyone who ever played the instrument was spared. The glorious sound also keeps those hungry beasts at bay, making their heads explode at prolonged exposure.
So you would think that the world became a paradise, with only pipers alive to keep other pipers company and the constant sound of good tunes always at play as necessity for survival? You would think so, and Angus would agree but, his vision turned into horrible nightmare. The differing opinions among pipers that have always been so split the surviving piping humans to evolve into nearly different species.
The Synths have gathered to live in what remains of New York and wear kilts of foil, play drones of metal and carbon, bags of woven mesh, and reeds of plastic. Their chanters have gained an extra hole to accommodate the extra finger they have evolved on each hand. They spend their time devising new materials to put in their bags to extract moisture and speak to one another in canntaireachd. Their sound is decried by the Traddies, driven out by the Synths to take final refuge in the ruins of Edinburgh Castle where they tend sheep for their wool and hide and grow fields of Spanish cane. Their hobbies range from urinating on newly spun cloth and brewing new pots of goo to dump into their bags. Once per week they gather and pray before a set of 1890 MacDougall drones they claim was bequeathed to them by the God MacCrimmon. Their enlarged heads harbor a large sack of skin at the neck. It fills with air to blow the loudest and hardest cane reeds ever devised by man. Their natural skin bags are squeezed by a hairy, oversized left arm with extra muscles.
Once a year the Traddies and the Synths gather for competitions and arguments. Every now and again a Traddie is swayed to join the tribe of Synths in a fit of insanity and likewise, a Synth or two will become fed up with the shine of their precious instruments and chuck it all to live off the land with the Traddies. All may be well and harmonious in this future world if it were not for the fact that both Traddies and Synths played ceol mor with extended E cadences, a redundant low A in their crunluath, and the Urlar repeated after each variation.
It was then that Angus Óg awoke in horror.