Being a Scots immigrants’ kid in Canada who grew up in the Maritimes was in part about being unacknowledged. Folk assume you are some sort of cousins to the local Mcs or Macs. My buddy Mark of the Beeb told me after he came back to Canada engaged that he finally figured me and my family out after watching his to-be in-laws spend a day together in a room reading papers and not talking. I would think of my friends as Canadians – their families eating cornflakes or jam and toast while drinking coffee, while we would have Wheetabix, marmalade with tea. When you found someone whose family actually also came from Scotland, like my law school pals Neil or Graham, talk devolved into food: baps and square slice (or is it sliced square); mince and tatties; stovies; chip butty; Iron Brew.
After the comfort food and before the dissension caused by asking about your favorite fitba team, there was Oor Wullie, a comic strip from my Dad’s childhood before WWII which focused on Wullie and his pals, including Fat Bob, the smoker above. Comics often ended with kids with black eyes, spanked arses or, like the one you can find by clicking on the drawing above, Wullie barfing after smoking. Sort of a smarter Bart Simpson raised by sensible presbyterians which would likely put a greater fear into the “Zero Tolerance” set. Given the presence, however, of the utterly bastardly version of Dennis the Menace in the UK comic scene, Oor Wullie as your child’s choice would be welcome relief.