Rob Rants | My Apology for the Massacre of Glenc

How much blood must be spilled?
by Robert Campbell


You could say I was hyper-psyched that morning at the prospect of wearing my favorite black shirt and you would still be understating the rush of emotion I felt as I strode into my closet. It was waiting for me, fresh from the cleaners, gently folded and draped over one of those cardboard dowel hangers—you know, draped in that certain way as to keep the shoulders from getting all pointy. I removed the shirt from the hanger. I unfolded it. I recoiled.


The carnage was indescribable. 
 I am not familiar with the garment-laundering process employed by my shirt-defiling Scottish bastard of a dry cleaner, but it appears as though the pride of my wardrobe was soaked in battery acid, thrown into the parking lot and run over by a dump truck filled with boulders.

Is that the worst part? No, it is not.

My ravaged shirt was then carefully folded and neatly draped over a coat hanger—you know, to keep the shoulders from getting all pointy—then lovingly wrapped in a plastic bag and handed to me with all the dignity of an honor guard retiring an American flag.

Like absolutely nothing was wrong. That Scottish, shirt-murdering son of a bitch.

I realize that, to you, this may sound ethnically insensitive and politically incorrect. But it’s allowable, because I am an American of Scottish ancestry. Just like any proud Highlander, I eat haggis, just not literally. I’m cheap. I celebrate all the Scottish holidays like Scotchmas, Scottish Presidents Day, and Scotch Tape Day. That this Blasphemy of the Shirt was committed by a sort-of fellow countryman makes the crime all the more perfidious. And makes it all the more imperative that I, as a Campbell, speak out.

That treacherous, garment-rending son of a thousand Scotsmen. That butcher of shirts…

You should know that hundreds of years ago, there were some Campbells who were assholes, or as they were known, McAssholes. One of the chieftains of a particularly assholish clan was a guy named—get this—Robert Campbell. Anyway, some bad stuff went down and a bunch of people got killed in an incident subsequently referred to as the “Massacre of Glencoe.”

Now, centuries later, this blood-lusty, shirt-raping Jacobite found the perfect victim upon which to perpetuate this saga of revenge. The sins of my ancestors visited upon my blameless shirt a thousandfold through the actions of this self-appointed judge and executioner.

For those of you unfamiliar with my favorite black shirt, allow me to describe it: It’s black. A deep, cosmic black; as black as the space between the stars. It’s a shirt that defies convention, neither formal nor informal and loved by all who come in contact with its enticing fibers. Comfortable yet crisp, it’s a harmonic ratio of cotton, nylon, rayon, and some mystery material that can never again be replicated in nature or in a laboratory.

And the buttons? Don’t even get me started on the buttons. Or the stitching. There isn’t enough space on the World Wide Web, much less our puny server, for me to even scratch the surface of awesomnicity. Let’s just say that it was a vibrant shirt with years of productive wear ahead of it.

Or rather, it WAS, before it was so tragically taken; a loss not only for me, but for all of humanity.

That fiendish son of a Scottish whore.

Well, today I am prepared to bury the hatchet. And I don’t mean bury the hatchet in the syphilis-ravaged skull of my treacherous Scottish dry cleaner. No, I mean I am prepared to end this cycle of hatred now and put vengeance to rest, along with the remains of my favorite black shirt.

I apologize for the Massacre of Glencoe. Not because it was my fault. But because whenever a fist is raised in anger toward a brother or a brother’s favorite shirt, we all feel the blow.

I will miss my favorite black shirt, but it’s time to move on. I forgive you, Scottish dry cleaner.


by Robert Campbell


Of all the questions that can be safely asked in a public restroom, and there aren’t too many, one that never comes up is, “How do you work this electric hand dryer?

Many people would think that this is because anyone with enough sense to wash their own hands could probably figure out a device with ONE BUTTON. But these people would be wrong! The true reason is because responsible companies like Excel Dryer Corporation went to the trouble of printing detailed instructions on the front of the device:

STEP 1: Shake excess water from hands STEP 2: Push button and release STEP 3: Rub hands briskly under nozzle STEP 4: Dryer stops automatically


You’d think Steps One and Two would have been sufficient. No. Excel Dryer Corporation added Step Three, correctly anticipating that they would get angry, ink-smeared letters from people who, after turning on the dryer, stood there dripping on our nation’s clean public-restroom floors, screaming, “Now what?” And I guess Step Four, which isn’t even a step, is for those who worry about unattended hand dryers further contributing to global warming.

Another manufacturer, World Dryer Corporation, even went so far as to have their dryer directions translated into pictographs for those who are intimidated by letters meaningfully arranged in the form of words.

I say, why stop at hand drying? Why not have detailed instructions on applying graffiti, avoiding eye contact, or urinating? From what I’ve seen of public restrooms, there must be millions of people out there who desperately need this information now.

No. This is the dawning of a new day in America. A day of responsibility and self-reckoning to which we are just now awakening, bleary-eyed. And as we soberly prepare to mop up our leaky, out-of-order intellectual infrastructure under the cold, fluorescent light of reality, we should all ask ourselves the hard question: what kind of culture are we engendering through the dumbing down of our national public-restroom resources? It really is a hard question, particularly when asked out loud.

Hopefully, the answer will have some sort of hands-free, motion-detection device attached.