Oh sweet hairy Jesus

We interrupt our usual rambling nonsense to issue the following apology to anyone who attended the Scottish Book Association's Burns Supper in Edinburgh last night. I was giving the Toast To The Lassies... and I was shite. Bit the big one. Sucked ass like a professional ass-sucking machine. Was totally and utterly fucking rubbish.

I completely misjudged the audience when I was writing the thing. COMPLETELY. I'd gone for 'gently poking fun' and it went down like a wet fart halfway through a 69. I died on my arse. And in the silence, instead of leaping off and going in a different direction, one that the audience might have actually enjoyed, I clutched desperately to the sinking ship of my speech, getting faster, and faster, and faster... till all the lines were blended into one long stream that sounded a bit like a lawnmower giving birth to a shopping trolley.

I've never gone down so badly in my life*

The evening was only rescued by the lady who did the reply to my cack-handed garbled toast. She was very, very vicious, and very, very funny. Thank God.

I was so embarrassed that I didn't hang around for long after the end of the dinner. The few people I spoke to were very kind and lied about the thing, but I only lasted till quarter past twelve before sloping out with my head held low.

Truly dreadful.

The next morning, a tad bleary eyed from having berated oneself all sodding night for being so unbelievably crapular, I went for a walk into Edinburgh's town centre. Normally I would have popped into some bookshops to see if they wanted any stock signed. But I was so fucking embarrassed by my performance the night before I just couldn't face meeting anyone else who'd had to suffer the thing. So I went for a couple of pints and nearly got attacked by a nutter instead. Happy days.

Anyway, so: as I said, I'd like to offer a full and unconditional apology to anyone present. And say a heartfelt thank you to those kind souls who managed to force the occasional titter.

And now I think I'm going to go crawl under a rock for a while...

* And no -- that's not another oral sex reference