By John Haydock

In the pink as Mrs H fights back

In the latest in our series of pieces from guest writers, John Haydock– the master – is back
Readers of Whisky Magazine will be delighted to learn that my recuperation from the trauma of my 'Quite Possibly the 10 Best Malt Whiskies in the World' masterclass at the inaugural Baghdad Whisky Live ("well," as my old industry chum Rupert mused, "you have to admire them for their chutzpah") is almost complete.That disequilibrating bout of, when for several months I was barely able to put glass to lips, deluded as I was into believing I was a replica of myself, rather than in truth being simply a shadow of the real thing, is over.In deep sessions of theosophical therapy I've come clean with myself, 'fessed up to others, and am now, as they like to say in Craigellachie, "as fit as a grocer's apron." Well, almost.In fact as I sat last week in the sun drenched cerise interior of my deluxe caravan at the Sunnylands Holiday and Leisure Park in Ardossan, a hideaway from the social pressures of my dearly beloved Archiestown, I felt that, as we peddlers of purely potable poetry like to say, that far from being finished, I was available in shops near you in time for the annual Christmas whisky bonanza.Haydock's Whiskymen TM, a facsimile doll series with full 'Tiny Tears' functionality, a range of plasticised personalities from the world of whisky, starting with the Writers Range. Bend them, shape them - any way you want them - as the tasteful packaging proudly declares.With plans already in hand for my reproduction Whisky Icons Range - those self-taught savants of Scotch, process engineers turned poets of potable liquors, and performers par excellence - each personality a replica of the last - and a website, HaydocksWorldofWhiskymenReplicas.
com under development (for the past 18 months) worldwide sales are assured.And there's Mrs Haydock too, reviewing my latest triumph, dressed in her pink quilted housecoat, a generous gift from yours truly, acquired at no little expense from the Archiestown branch of Bawbee Stretchers some Christmas seasons ago.I sat back with a self-satisfied sigh, savouring (in an intriguing food pairing with a deep-fried Tunnocks' Snowball, drizzled in anchovy essence) a mid-morning Tamnavulin, whose blush, so I thought, seemed to speak more of a firm pinch than the '98 Buckfast cask in which it was alleged to have been racked. "Dolls are for girls," said Mrs H, a trifle more assertively than usual, "and for that matter, I don't see why whisky can't be too. The trouble is it's dominated by prematurely aged pontificating pedants like you and your so-called whisky action men."She shuffled in her crimson fluffy slippers, picked up Charlie Maclean, and twisted his neck viscously to an angle of 180 degrees. "Mrs H," I declared, "it will be back to the kitchen to warm up pies if you're not careful. And put Charlie back on the table."She hurled Maclean to the floor, decapitating Murray in the process, and leaving Broom and Wisniewski in what can only be described as an uncomfortably compromising position."Cuinnag a' Stididh", muttered Mrs H, showing a confused mastery of the Gaelic. Then, unprompted, she grasped a standing glass of a delicate yet full-bodied Blue Nun finished malt."Tasting notes? You men think seem to think you've got a monopoly".She sniffed - she sipped - she savoured. And then she spoke."Great legs, firm body, sweet on the lips, and goes down just like a treat."Aghast, I raised my voice."Mrs Haydock," I said. "Mrs Haydock, how dare you usurp the authority of a true born whisky warrior."What could this signify? I shuddered - a world where anyone - nay even women too - could write their own tasting notes? Or even worse - a Nutcracker nightmare where replica dolls could come to life and write replica tasting notes of replica whiskies.Oh horror! Too much for my frail and enfeebled mind to contemplate! Help me some one, dear reader, - for pete's sake.