Breakfast of Champions

On Sunday I went down to Leith to see my friend Lainey run in her first half marathon. Thirteen miles is a truly grueling endeavour, but luckily there was plenty of sustenance around – all the essential carbohydrate, protein, lard and gristle an athlete needs.


I don't know what it is about running events that make me want to bawl like a baby. I don't care much for the sinewy professionals; it's the ordinary folk that tug at my heartstrings. I watch out for the really old, the really slow, the really wobbly and just let the tears stream behind my sunglasses. I wonder about all those different lives and stories, how they came to run in such a long race, what it means to them. You can't help feeling good about humanity.

Lainey finished in fine style and we were so bloody proud. I didn't cry all over her as she was salty enough already!

All that armchair athletics had me totally bursting for the loo so we went over to the Ocean Terminal shopping centre. All three levels of retail paradise were clogged with proud runners and their shiny medals.

In the ladies, I was washing my hands and reflecting on that touching sporting spectacle when a woman staggered out of a stall. She had very pink cheeks and was wearing a tracksuit and trainers.

I beamed at her, my eyes still glistening with tears from before. "Well DONE!" I said cheerily.

She shot me a bewildered, what the fuck, you freak look and quickly made her exit.

That's when I noticed all the shopping bags. Oh. She was not a runner. She was just a lady doing her shopping, who happened to have pink cheeks and a casual sporty style.

Anyway, I forgot my embarrassment when I spotted the most genius contraption on the wall.


A hair straightener for hire! Just insert a £1 coin! This has to be the most marvellous innovation in public toiletry since those chew-able balls of toothpaste.

Straight hair is very important to chicks in this country. It needs to be straight, it needs to be flat, it needs to be scorched into submission. Which is easy enough to achieve at home, but there's always the danger your work will come undone the minute you step out into the weather. But thanks to the Straight 'N' Go, no girls-night-out needs to be tragically cut short by frizzy locks.

LASS 1:  Omigod, I've got a kink!

LASS 2:  Dinnae worry doll, I've got a pound!

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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24 thoughts on “Breakfast of Champions

  1. HAHAHAHAHHA! (Referring to ‘well done’ moment.)

    I’ve heard about those straightening irons being installed in pubs. I think it’s an awesome idea (though slightly terrifying after a few shandies. I burnt my forehead using clunky poor-grip Straightening Irons v.1 in the late 90s. It looked like a lobotomy scar meets cartoon Frankenstein sutures.)

  2. What exactly is a “BLACK PUDDING ROLL”? It sounds sort of scary.

    I’ve never heard of a Straight’n Go or chewable balls of toothpaste – guess we’re a little behind in the States.

  3. I’m sooooo tired of my boring limp straight hair… maybe I should move to Scotland!

  4. You question reminds me of the time I lived and Ireland and asked my host mum “What is black pudding?” she replied “Coagulated pigs blood and barley.” That is all she said! There are nicer ways to say things. She was a very mean women and I was happy to move houses soon after! I would imagine that a roll would kinda be like a pie, meat in a bit of pastry.

    I also cry at races and other events that take huge amounts of motivation�like just this weekend I caught the end of an ironman race on TV and the tears just started streaming. I also cry over TV shows that involve mothers and children where the mother dies or is poor and her kids are taken away…I can’t stand it when there tear the kids away from the sobbing moms arms… of course I have only seen this a few times, but it you saw dancer in the dark then you can kinda see what I mean. I think the first time I saw it happen was some horrible made for TV movie in the 80’s and I was very young. I don’t enjoy crying so I usually am drawn to chick flicks and action movies.

  5. Whoa, whoa, waitaminnit. Chewable toothpaste? Truly, the future is now. And it is weird.

  6. Black pudding roll? My mum would love it! She and my grandma used to cook up the most revolting stuff…. ox tongue, brains, kidneys and yes, black pudding. Ah, our fab British culinary heritage!

    I get teary about runners too – the old ones, the big and sweaty ones, the disabled ones, the little kids. Like you, it’s not the pros that impress me, but the strugglers.

  7. oh, how hilarious. Like you were congratulating her for doing a fine Number Two…
    that IS funny.

    Well, definitely Scotland is the place for me since my hair is a complete birdsnest, so I could do with a straightening facility to add to my toileting pleasure.

    I was wondering whether I qualified as a tearjerker…plum-faced, tragic, oddly shaped,”really wobbly”,
    yet plunging over the finish line in fine style on Sunday.
    (Not in Leith, but.)

    btw, “shaggy blog ” is great, but yours was the best bit.

  8. What a coincidence you mentioning the hair straighteners in the ladies toilets as I saw some in a pub in Melbourne on Sunday. Cost was $2 for 3 minutes use if I remember rightly.

    What happened to the good old days of condom and tampon machines???

    We just had the Run For the Kids fun run in Melbourne (which is why I was in the pub) and there were 27,000 people running it. It was a fantastic experience and the atmosphere was amazing.

  9. Hair straighteners in Pubs???? As a gal with VERY curly hair I would love a hair straightener in each and every public toilet I enter, because it is murphy’s law that if you’ve straightened your hair you’ll get caught in a freak shower on your way to work.

    However, those tongs are HOT!! Surely there should be a breathalyser attached to the machine before it allows you to drunkenly burn off your ear??

    PS I used to be a nanny and once after coming straight to dinner after spending 8 long hours with a three year old, I told my date to wash his hands after the bathroom. It just slipped out as a natural reflex when he told me he was going.

  10. hiya

    black pudding rolls are very tasty with some “chippie” brown sauce… its just a soft bread roll with a bit of black pudding on it

    We sometimes have a ‘fry up breakfast if ali’s mums stayed over.. she loves the black pudding where i really prefer the bacon rolls… just fire up the george foreman grill …chuck in bacon, sauages, black pudding and watch all the fat dribble out…. B?P

    might not be the most healthy breakfast but it IS tasty

    When we played basketball in Leeds the “full english” breakfast had black pudding that (they claimed) was so black even the white bits were black!! Very proud of their BP down there… watch out for it on your shauny travels

  11. You went down to Ocean Terminal? Please tell me you went to worship at the shrine of all that is artistic and awesome……the Thomas Kinkade shop?!!!!! I went in there once (for a friend, honest) dropped the average age by about 30 years at a stroke.

  12. Is that YOU in the photo of the hair straightener?

    A ‘reflective’ Shauna, by chance using the camera to take the shot?

    Enjoy your Easter, dearest.

    Ma and B

  13. That’s the strangest thing I have seen since I saw the curry and beer flavoured condoms in a cending machine once.

  14. Awww… thanks for the shout out for someone to tape Rage for me, Shauny. I’ve been met by a deathly silence down under… and am desperately trying to stream it in to no avail. :*

  15. Straightening irons in pubs? I can’t tell if that’s either genius or tyrannical. As I have now embraced my stupid curly hair I’ll just say it’s tyrannical.

    But it is lovely to see your sweet face peering around the hair mangling machine, though, Miss Shauny.

  16. While I can see how those hair straighteners could be useful, I’m not looking forward to having to put up with hordes of crazy ladies compulsively straightening their hair whenever I feel the need to evacuate.

  17. It seems like they should have the hair straightener, chewable toothpaste, and condom vending machines right next to each other for convenience. That way you can fix your hair, freshen your breath, and be ready should good luck come your way.

  18. What’s wrong with curly hair, anyway? I always wanted curly hair. I suppose we don’t appreciate what we’ve got…

    That half marathon came quickly. I thought it was weeks yet!

  19. Chewable toothpaste balls? Really?

    We’re so far behind over here in the colonies 😉


  20. What a cack…. fancy having your own little cheer squad waiting outside the loo for you when you have a particularly difficult crap to endure. LOLOLOLOL You are a pisser.

  21. That last comment looks like a sneaky advert, who talks like that? They have been on TV OMG! And they are hot?!? I must find one of these machines 😉 and if I am not mistaken Scotland is part of the UK…or am I wrong?

  22. it is indeed loretta!

    and that comment was indeed rather spamish… i shall have to press the trusty Unpublish Comment button 🙂

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