- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2009

The Irish are known for their “blarney” and quick wit, but the Scottish are capable of throwing in a few zingers, too.

Wednesday night, the British Embassy’s Scottish Affairs Office hosted a reception in honor of St. Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s national holiday celebrating the patron saint of the Scots, at the Ronald Reagan Building.

Of course, no Scottish soiree would be complete without the requisite Scotch, and Robin Naysmith, the Scottish government’s counselor for North America, was keen to point out the special (and stiff) drink he had provided for his guests.

It was a rare bottle of 37-year-old malt Famous Grouse whisky, made in honor of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

“It’s older than most people in the room,” he teased the mostly American guests.

Taking the joking one step further, he quipped, “It’s celebrating an event almost as old as your country.”


Evidently, the Scots are proud of their ancient history and like to rub our noses in it.

One person not partaking of the Scotch (or wearing a kilt) was Rep. Mike McIntyre, North Carolina Democrat, who while sipping cranberry juice told us about the high number of his constituents who claim Scottish ancestry.

Mr. McIntyre is the co-chairman and co-founder of the Friends of Scotland Caucus.

Hero worship

Who’s hunky actor Matthew McConaughey’s sports hero?

Hint: It ain’t a player with longhorns, although the “We are Marshall” star is a proud Texan.

“Well, one of my sports heroes was a running back named John Riggins with the Washington Redskins,” he told Larry King on his show last week, referring to the maverick who played for the Skins in the 1980s and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992.

“What I loved about him was, as we call him, the Diesel Named Desire, right, is he would — his lifetime average was 3.4 yards a carry, all right? And, if you add it up, real simple, if you run Riggins on first down, 3.4, second down, 6.8, third down, 10.2, which is just enough for a first down.”

We have a feeling Mr. McConaughey may be getting some nasty mail from Dallas Cowboys fans.

To contact Stephanie Green or Elizabeth Glover, e-mail [email protected]

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