Following the River Humperdinkan upstream to Mount Humperdink. Jock, who has been acting strangely, suddenly sits down, vomits, holds his head in his hands, rocks backwards and forwards and says that he can’t go any further and that we should carry on without him. Juan asks what the problem is and Jock moans that it’s the whisky. For a Company Sergeant Major of the Black Watch to be adversely affected by single malt is unheard of and, very concerned, we quickly check Jock’s hip flasks for impurities. After tasting fifteen or sixteen flasks, Juan discovers that Jock has mixed up the corks from the Vintage Dalwhinnie and Craigellachie flasks, mixing a small amount of the malts together. Although the idea of mixing fine single malts is enough to make a Highlander eat his bonnet with despair, in this instance, the superb flavour the of Dalwhinnie does not detract from the wonderful taste of the Craigellachie and the beautiful bouquet of the Craigellachie actually enhances the rich fragrance of the Dalwhinnie. However, in any instance, the malts retain their life-enhancing qualities and Jock's sickness remains a mystery.
Jock struggles to his feet, turns an unpleasant feuillimortic colour, spins around, and, mumbling ‘Tobermory Reserve’ collapses again. I check Jock’s Vintage Tobermory flasks to find that, strangely, they are untouched. I hold the flasks up, questioningly, and Jock nods and groans. Juan suddenly remembers that Jock has given up Vintage Tobermory for Lent. This explains the problem. As all Highlanders know, the only way to clear the head in the morning and affront the day with healthy confidence, is with Juan’s pick-me-up, which consists of three parts Glen Keith single grain Special Reserve, two parts Vintage Macduff, one part Vintage Tobermory and a haggis. Jock, leaving out the Tobermory, reduced the effectiveness of the cure. Juan quickly blends two parts Braes of Glenlivet with three parts Vintage Laphroaig, one part Tamdhu Reserve, nineteen cockroaches and a sweaty sock. This alternative pick-me-up, which Juan recommends for use between battles, has Jock back on his feet in minutes.
Sillily delayed and ludificationally behind schedule, we share Juan’s pick-me-up between us, to be on the safe side, then, swaying to the sound of the river dancing; singing and bawling with excitement, we stumble upstream, as fast as we possibly can.
Professor Humperdink’s Diary