Kirk Bates

Everyone wants to pick a fight with the big man in the kilt.

Yesterday I met my friend Kirk Bates for lunch at Jason’s Deli. Kirk is a marketing wiz and owner of the company Market 248. I wanted to discuss marketing ideas about Life In A Kilt Magazine and my other company, Imagination Atmospheres. I hadn’t seen Kirk in awhile and he had no idea about my “Year in a Kilt” or “Life in a Kilt” experiences. He was a little surprised when I showed up in my bold, Wallace tartan kilt and he said, “What’s this about?” I started explaining the story to him and telling him how wearing a kilt is a great conversation starter, when the guy taking our order said, “Hey, nice kilt!” We worked our way to the end of the line, the cashier saw the kilt, giggled and said “I am going to keep my eye on you!” We walked to the salad bar where three or four people showed their own kilt appreciations. One woman stopped to tell me her husband was of Scottish descent and she wished he would wear a kilt. All of this was going on around us while I was trying to tell Kirk how people responded to the kilt. There was no need. He was getting a first-hand experience!

While we were having lunch, the table busser kept walking past us and thanking us for eating there and asking if we needed anything. I could tell he was glancing at the kilt and I could tell he had questions. Eventually, he stopped us and said, “Can I ask you a question? You know, in the movie Highlander, it was about a lot of big men in kilts? Was that, like, a real race of people back then?” Now, if you wear a kilt regularly, you know that you become the expert on all things Celtic to the general public. It’s something you have to accept. For example, a guy once approached me in a bookstore and said, “Can I ask you a question? Can you identify the title of this U2 song?” and he proceeded to whistle & hum a song to me of which I had no clue as to the identity. So, you kind of get used to that. I told the busser that I wasn’t familiar with a race of huge Highlanders, but I was aware William Wallace was a giant of a man. This seemed to satisfy him and he said thanks and went back to his work.

In the end, I didn’t really have to tell Kirk my kilt story. I just said, “See?” and I think maybe he did. Before we left, Kirk said “I need to get a photo with you. I’ve never had lunch with a guy in a kilt and I need proof to show people!” I believe it was the first time Kirk ever asked to have his photo made with me. And that’s what a kilt will do for you.