How to Bag a Man on St. Andrew’s Day


Time’s up gentlemen. For the bandit, the scarecrow, the tramp and the hedgehog it is judgement day. It’s the end of Movember and you have show off your attempts at growing a moustache in aid of men’s health awareness.  So get those cameras out.

Overall the attempts have been excellent. Attempts – not results. One friend of mine found that his top lip can produce nothing more than the three-day stubble effect, although his beard is as full as that of Grizzly Adams. Pity beards aren’t allowed. Some cannot wait to shave them off come the 1st December, while a couple have decided that being hirsute is giving them a distinguished and manly appeal.

The last day of November is also Saint Andrew’s Day. He is the patron saint of Scotland and the first disciple Jesus chose. Coincidently, the name Andrew means ‘manly’. Bet he had no problems during Movember. He is celebrated all over the Christian world and Andressey Island, a name that has evolved from ‘Andrew’s Island’, is featured in The Prophets of Mercia. The island was named in Andrew’s honour by Saint Modwen in the 650s.

Now, I never met Saint Andrew but my guess is that he was a manly man. Not only for the value Jesus placed in him but because of the mythology and magic that his legacy has endured. In Germany,  for example, the tradition was for single women to sleep naked on the eve of Saint Andrew’s day. During the night they would dream about the man they would eventually marry. In Poland it is believed that the spirits of the forefathers visit with the purpose of opening up the minds of the single ladies and gentlemen so that they can see their future partners – if they exist.

The ritual involves pouring melted wax over a key head and then holding it up in order to cast a shadow on the wall. If the shadow resembles an angel then happiness is assured. If it is a heart then true love is on its way. Perhaps that man in your dreams the night before. If the dream was more of a nightmare, the ritual from Romania may be more appropriate: spread cloves of garlic around the house and eat a feast of garlic infused food. That way the evil spirits would be sent away. Including the man in the ‘mare who probably sported a bandit-style mo.

So my advice to the single ladies is to sleep naked tonight. Then again, it is below freezing here today and if it is where you live, give it a miss this year. After all, only a few men are at their best right now.

 Except, strangely, for the couple of men I know named Andrew.

(c) 2013 A.J. Sefton


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