WIth the dawn of Opening Day comes the desire for new adventures. This year’s Opening Day is hanging by a thread of sanity: Some have no hope for the team… some are avoiding the team… some want to attend the game but are afraid to do so… some will be there despite the frigid forecast.

I suppose the important thing in this town is knowing that at least the option exists. It’s there if we want it, which is more than we had a month ago at this time. We’ve been cooped up for weeks of winter plus a year, and there’s no telling how the jailbreaks will go.

For example, my husband, who never buys anything, has purchased a tactical kilt, because a normal person would never have married me. This is the same person who continued driving a fifth-hand used van long after its odometer quit working because “I can tell my speed by how fast the ground is going by.” He anxiously tracked his kilt’s progress through the supply chain and texted me when it arrived, that I might immediately retrieve it from the porch, protecting it from marauding kilt thieves.

It brought him great happiness for perhaps five minutes, for he soon realized that he had no idea what a discerning 1/3 Scottish gentleman wears with a kilt when he can pretty much see Kentucky from his house.

All the photos from the tactical kilt catalog suggested slung Chewbacca-style ammo belts, but Josh The Pilot doesn’t have one of those. He thought neither a tee shirt or a polo shirt would show the kilt to its best tactical advantage.

Thus my husband found himself introduced to one of the greatest persisting problems of womanhood: Finding one must-have article of clothing, then suddenly realizing, with a mix of horror and joy, that there’s nothing in the whole house that works with it, and the new item of clothing now requires not only a few new friends here and there, but an entire fresh family of an outfit to keep it company in the closet.

“I think you need a gherkin,” I said.

“A what?”

“A gherkin. You know, like one of those shirts that’s open at the neck? And it has like those leather laces?”

“Can I wear boots with that? I have boots, but I don’t know if they’re worthy of my kilt.”

So I offered to ask my best friend, who lived in Scotland for a few years, what was considered acceptable wear for a tactical kilt. She was in our wedding, and brought her then-baby to the ceremony in a wee little kilt. The baby wore a onsie with his kilt, but I figured this suggestion would go over about as well as tee shirt.

“Can Josh wear a gherkin with a tactical kilt?” I asked.

“Probably not.”

“Because it’s a tactical kilt?”

“Because a gherkin is a pickle,” she said. “You mean a ghillie shirt.

“This is why it’s best that you’ve reproduced and I haven’t.”

“Why does he need a tactical kilt anyway? You live in a city built by Germans. Where’s he going to wear it?”

“Frack if I know. Anywhere feels he needs extra ventilation, I guess.”

As I made my way home from errands, carrying this important intelligence with me, I received a text from the now-reinvigorated owner of the kilt, who had moved on to other very important kilt-related activities:

As it happened, “practicing wearing my kilt” involved sitting on the couch while playing X-Box.

“I love my kilt,” he greeted me, murdering an entire digital civilization of aliens.

“Where are you going to wear that thing?” I asked, hanging up my purse.

“I haven’t decided.”

“But you know you have it, if you need it,” I said.

“That’s right.” He pointed to his waist. “See, it has cargo pockets and D-rings on the belt loops.”

“I’m very happy for you.”

20 Responses

  1. SultanofSwaff

    Marauding kilt thieves………lolz

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Awareness is the first step in stopping them.

  2. Mark Moore

    This one is too much fun on so many levels. Needed it today, that’s for certain.

    And OF COURSE Josh the Pilot can judge ground speed. I’m just surprised that anything much under 100 knots registers with him … 🙂

    • Rut

      Sounds like a trip to The Highland Games in Grandfather Mtn NC is in the future plans for Mary Beth.

      And don’t worry, it is actually very fun! And given that it will be crazy hot in Cincinnati in July a trip to the mtns is a good thing. And the Reds are also on the local cable package, so you can still follow our team without extra hassle.

      • Mark Moore

        My son-in-law would love to go there. He has the kilt to wear. In fact, he wore a kilt in the wedding.

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        Does this happen when the cicadas are out?

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      After 13 years in a pilot marriage, I just this year learned what knots actually are and why. I’m a work in progress.

  3. Scott C

    Great fun read. I am hoping that Josh the Pilot gave you permission to post his picture in a kilt. Thanks for the fun read. I am about 1/3 Scottish but don’t think I want to be seen in a kilt. I don’t have the legs for it.

    • Doug Gray

      Scott, you just need better lighting and better angles to rock those kilt pictures and show off the legs.

    • lost11found

      My guess about kilts is that it has nothing to do with the legs…

      • Mary Beth Ellis

        One of my friends suggested that the kilt might not in fact be for his benefit, but mine. I can see that! I take about 90 pounds of snacks on every single hike.

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Well, given that he gave my friends on a Zoom call a fashion show, I figured he’d be OK with appearing on Redleg Nation.

  4. Ghostrunner_onthird


    I had higher expectations on where this article was going . . . kudos regarding the ground speed approximation; but, no mention of lightning bolts from arse potential?

  5. Ardeith

    Loved this! My husband has a kilt too. Which he wears pretty rarely. I hate that he has better ankles than I do!

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Thanks! Fortunately my husband has some pretty spectacular calves as well 🙂

  6. Tim Hunter

    That’s awesome, Mary Beth! Well done. And don’t forget to consult with uncle Fred McFarland. Aye, and fresh back from Scotland he is! AND he has the McFarland name to go with it (but it probably was originally MacFarlane).

    • Mary Beth Ellis

      Many thanks <3 I'm sure he can update us on all the latest acceptable kilt accessories!