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Scottish Inventions and Inventors Poem Words
The words of this poem are on a tea towel in my kitchen. I've also seen them on a postcard. It was written by
Tom Anderson Cairns.
At the bottom of the tea towel is the Latin inscription "nemo me impune lacessit" which translates to
"no one provokes me with impunity" which was the motto of the Order of the Thistle first used on the coins of
King James VI. of Scotland.
Wha's Like Us - Damn Few And They're A' Deid
The average Englishman, in the home he calls his castle, slips into his national costume, a shabby
raincoat, patented by chemist Charles Macintosh from Glasgow, Scotland. En route to his office he strides along
the English lane, surfaced by John Macadam of Ayr, Scotland.
He drives an English car fitted with tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop of Dreghorn, Scotland,
arrives at the station and boards a train, the forerunner of which was a steam engine, invented by James Watt of
Greenock, Scotland. He then pours himself a cup of coffee from a thermos flask, the latter invented by Dewar, a
Scotsman from Kincardine-on-Forth.
At the office he receives the mail bearing adhesive stamps invented by James Chalmers of Dundee, Scotland.
During the day he uses the telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell, born in Edinburgh, Scotland.
At home in the evening his daughter pedals her bicycle invented by Kirkpatrick Macmillan, blacksmith of Dumfries,
He watches the news on his television, an invention of John Logie Baird of Helensburgh, Scotland, and
hears an item about the U.S. Navy, founded by John Paul Jones of Kirkbean, Scotland.
He has by now been reminded too much of Scotland and in desperation he picks up the Bible only to find that the
first man mentioned in the good book is a Scot, King James VI, who authorised its translation.
Nowhere can an Englishman turn to escape the ingenuity of the Scots.
He could take to drink, but the Scots make the best in the world.
He could take a rifle and end it all but the breech-loading rifle was invented by Captain Patrick of Pitfours,
If he escapes death, he might then find himself on an operating table injected with penicillin, which was
discovered by Alexander Fleming of Darvel, Scotland, and given an anaesthetic, which was discovered by Sir James
Young Simpson of Bathgate, Scotland.
Out of the anaesthetic, he would find no comfort in learning he was as safe as the Bank of England founded by
William Paterson of Dumfries, Scotland.
Perhaps his only remaining hope would be to get a transfusion of guid Scottish blood which would entitle him to
ask "Wha’s Like Us".
More Scottish customs and poems.
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