The 2020 Undercurrent AGM was a heated affair, after I presented a recent WWF funded census that showed numbers of the shy, elusive Highland Haggis had fallen by up to ten times over the last ten years, to 38, and that climate change was over 100% to blame. We voted unanimously to establish the Glasgow Climate Change Discord, and agreed to raise funds for the Save The Haggis Fund, a charity I’d set up to buy special boots, telescopes and victuals for the Haggis Rangers. Now is a good time to lift the veil, and reveal some of the events that occurred before, and after, this historic Discord.
My personal affection for Scotland’s wee hairy beastie began years ago, when numbers were more plentiful, and it wasn’t unusual to see one while out hiking in remote, mountainous areas. In those days, before climate change even existed and it just rained all the time, the Haggis seemed quite at home, at ease with himself (or herself, but the females look quite masculine), and comfortable in his (or her) own waterproof rough coated hide, the product of thousand’s of years of misty, overcast evolution.
Then around the 2000’s, the Sun began to shine from time to time in the Scottish summers, and your average Haggis just couldn’t adapt quick enough. Many perished, some to predators as they sunbathed high up on the conical mountain peaks, others cooling off in Lochs before they’d learnt how to swim.
Sadly, with full focus on a ridiculous belief in the existence of the Loch Ness Monster from a few grainy photos, the plight of the Haggis went largely unnoticed by all except a handful of dedicated conservationists, who knew the vast tracts of inaccessible land they inhabited, and how to approach them on foot, a technique kept secret for obvious reasons.
Those were the humble beginnings of the Save The Haggis Fund, and the enigmatic Haggis Rangers. Of course when back at the pub after a long day out on the steep slopes, we Rangers would discuss the worrying lack of Haggis sightings or signs, but the WWF bombshell census still came as a shock. We had to act, and quickly. We calculated that at the current rate of loss, the Haggis would be all but extinct in 9 years. The only answer was to ramp up Haggis patrols, and that meant more debriefs, which were organised down the local pub face to face with a dram or two, to maintain secrecy.
When costs subsequently ballooned, it was time to share the problem. The right platform for that was the Undercurrent AGM, where we decided to establish the Climate Change Discord, with an aim to cancel climate change, and save the haggis. Our first working resolution committed us to raise and distribute funds to the Save The Haggis Fund, and I was given the green light to use Undercurrent contacts to get the ball rolling.
A friend of Jon Anon (who’s been everywhere) at the Anchorage Gazette with endangered species pedigree agreed to run an appeal advertisement, which led to a chance contact with Eskimo X, and his story covered here about another climate change related atrocity, the emergence of the Grolar Bear. After his Grolar experiences, Eskimo X had an intuitive feel for what had to be done to save the Haggis, and together we came up with an audacious plan.
He would get to work designing a camouflaged Haggis Shelter, a retro-fridge like structure branded Higloo (a clever portmanteau of Haggis and Igloo that would echo the structure’s postmodern Igloo influences), stocked with special equipment like SPF 100 sun cream, that would go some way to protecting the Haggis from climate change. One item he suggested for cold snap extremes was a pair of Grolar Bear skin trousers. I mentioned the curious physique of the Haggis, and the evolutionary oddity of two long legs and one short developed over vast eons of time due to the need to circle steep mountains at break neck speed, but Eskimo X said he knew plenty of designers (he even dropped Tommy Hilfiger’s name), that was no problem, he could guarantee a perfect fit.
Knowing the concern and generosity of our readers, and early approval for the Climate Change Discord, I signed Undercurrent up for 5 Higloo shelters and 50 pairs of three legged Grolar Pair trousers in small, medium and large, and agreed to fund Eskimo X’s rehab programme, after which he promised to get to work. As things stand, the Save The Haggis Fund is accepting donations, and the Haggis Rangers are identifying five key Haggis hangouts as suitable locations for Eskimo X’s Haggis friendly shelter.
As soon as donations start to flow, we’ll be knocking out a range of Save The Haggis merchandise to help drive fundraising, and every donation over £100 will in due course receive a free Grolar Bear mug and Haggis beanie. But saving the Haggis must come first, so don’t expect your merchandise any time soon.