Tart response to unique gift from friends

So, my very nice neighbors across the street – Cathy, Tony, Maris – gave us some excellent foodie things this season, including a mince pie (these are miniatures, FYI) and something from Scotland called an Ecclefechan tart, which we looked up and found was named for Ecclefechan, Scotland, of which this is said on Google:

“Ecclefechan is a small village in the south of Scotland in Dumfries and Galloway. The small village has two food types called after it: the ecclefechan tart and ecclefechan whisky.”

Notice that Cathy, Tony and Maris gave me the tarts, not the whisky. However …

I called to thank them, and when Tony answered, I asked him if I was pronouncing Ecclefechan correctly and he said, “That’s a close as you’re going to get,” leading me to send an email to Donald Trump suggesting a wall to keep out Brits with particular emphasis on targeting Tony retroactively, but as yet I’ve had no response.

The tarts and the mince pie and the candies are excellent, but of course, Cathy having a bit of an evil sense of humor, tempered it all with:


Yes, friends, today, in my home, is a biography of Wayne Rooney that includes photos of Wayne Rooney, which, I suggest, is pretty much the same as having SATAN in my home. Or the Dallas Cowboys. Any of the three would lead me to the conclusion that the apocalypse is impending.

Although of the three, I’ll take SATAN.

I loathe Wayne Rooney. I loathe the Dallas Cowboys. Wayne Rooney I have only loathed since the last World Cup, and I’m not sure I can explain why except to say he looks like a hooligan, and the photos in his biography of him as a “lad” make him look more like a hooligan.

The Dallas Cowboys I have loathed since they first came into the National Football League, probably to do with the premise that in the wake of Nov. 22, 1963, ANYTHING to do with Dallas was evil and must be loathed.

Even Roger Staubach, and that’s hard. How can ANYONE loathe Roger Staubach? Well, friends, had Roger Staubach been, say, a Packer or a Giant or even a Lion, I would not loathe him, but he was a Cowboy, ergo …

Isn’t it odd, though, how one can loathe someone one has never met? Wayne Rooney might be a wonderful man, a wonderful husband and father, and maybe he volunteers his time at homeless shelters in, I don’t know, Liverpool, and thus is worthy of love, not loathing, but I loathe him. He just looks loathe-able. There are people like that.

And some people who look perfectly reasonable are loathe-able for other reasons. Mike Pence, for instance, looks like a nice guy, and then you check out his stances on women’s issues and, bang, he’s right in the mix with Wayne Rooney. In fact, if there were an island for loathe-able people, Mike Pence and Wayne Rooney would battle to rule it.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I loathe the current edition of the Dallas Cowboys. Dak Prescott, the quarterback, seems like a reasonable person, yet I loathe him. He’s a Cowboy. If he were even a Redskin (the football team, you guys, c’mon) I might even like him. No, but I’d loathe him less. I don’t loathe the Redskins as an entity, but their owner, Daniel Snider, well … let’s not get into that. He’s on the island with Rooney and Pence.

The problem I’m faced with, though, is how to match Cathy’s “gift” of the Wayne Rooney biography, and that’s a tough one unless …

Oh, how about an AUTOGRAPHED PICTURE of Wayne Rooney? See, Cathy loathes Wayne Rooney, and when we were watching the English side in World Cup in ’14, the hissing of Wayne Rooney was expected of both of us. Tony was rooting for the English side, of course, which means that by extension he was rooting for Wayne Rooney, which is something Trump needs to consider when putting up that wall along the Atlantic seaboard.

Yes, friends, somehow I’m going to get my hands on an autographed picture of Wayne Rooney, signed perhaps:

“To Cathy, my favorite American fan. Hope to see you in Russia for World Cup ’18.”

This is my new goal in life.

Hello? Wayne? How’s life on the island? Can you do me a favor? No, I don’t want to talk to Mike Pence, geez.

Mike Cleveland is former editor of The Cabinet.