Toothpaste and Judges

May 27, 2015 on 6:54 pm by Michael Grey | In Humour, Pipe Bands | Comments Off on Toothpaste and Judges

Judges working around the games might be compared, in a way, to a tube of toothpaste. Yep. You read that right.

After having brushed your teeth before bed have you ever thoughtlessly tossed the empty tube of toothpaste into the waste basket only to find the next morning you’ve nothing to replace it? You’re stuck with not a single minty dab to be found anywhere amongst your under-sink stash. Sure, you’ve six packs galore of on-sale shampoos, old airline toiletries by the score (you can never be too careful about a future need for sockettes and a sleep mask, right?), eco packs of one-ply bog roll and innumerable mistakenly-bought hair “conditioner” bottles – but no toothpaste.

So what to do? You, like me, will have shamelessly reached for the never-pleasant bathroom waste basket and lifted the imagined “empty” toothpaste tube. With your breath stinking you’d grab that tube and squeeze the living begeezuz out of it. In fact, you might cast the damned empty tube to the cold floor and stand on it, stomp on it, even – to work out that last teeth-whitening blob of goo. And, to the thankful joy of all those about to meet your day, you’d tame that fetid dragon breath of yours with one more toothy scrub. The empty toothpaste tube is a myth. There’s always more to be had if you set your mind – and morning breath – to it.

And so to judges around the games.

Well-meaning organizers duly schedule the timing of the events hired judges are meant to preside over and those people they’re meant to judge (and for the record, I am seriously thankful for people who step up to organize our events. We’d have a very different scene without them). But it’s fair to say, I think, that occasional heavy games schedules work, in part, thanks to the magic of the judge person’s super-flexible lunch, coffee and pee breaks. A way is always found to squeeze in every competitor – usually all before dark falls. The “give” in all of this – the schedule – is the judge’s down-time: lunches can be shortened and breaks abridged. Everybody knows there’s always a little more in that “empty” tube of toothpaste, there’s always one more “Hills of Perth” a judge can take in. The longer the contest the darker a judge’s pee. Where’s the harm?

But not all judges around the games experience the same schedule – quite impossible, really, to think otherwise. We naturally have events that are popular and well-supported, and others where entrants are thin on the ground. It might be said that when it comes to solo competitions, in the part of the world where I live, drumming judges have the best choice of any lunch time sannies on offer. And, yes, the eats are all good, as you rightly point out, so what does it matter.

Like an amusement park ticket that entitles the ticket holder to a set number of rides, or a transit pass that allows only so many fares, maybe a judge’s fee might be set the same way? A judge person hired for the duration of a games? No probs! With the Once-Through Plan (OTP) you get forty well-adjudicated solo marches, ten pibroch and twenty pipe bands. The premium OTP2 (Twice-through Pass) you get a crisply-assessed 50 solo marches – or jigs – or strathspeys and reels – and an urlar-only pibroch contest with twelve contestants and twenty-four pipe bands.

Anything scheduled beyond the OTP pass plan? Well, that’s all pay per play, baby!

Mike Myers and his Austin Power's Teeth

This is all to suggest – yes, with tongue firmly in cheek – that the more the ask, the higher the pay.

But as long as magical “empty” toothpaste tubes keep delivering their gooey goods – we can only smile. A big white fresh smile.


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