There’s a game called Six Degrees of Separation (or Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon), where you can find a connection between two people in a maximum of six steps.
A conversation with a recently made friend a few weeks ago has made me think about this. I was explaining to this friend who I’d made through work about my daughter’s medical condition (not a well-known condition at all), when she said, “Oh, I know that… My friend’s just started work in the unit dealing with that”. It turned out I knew her friend already.
In Scotland, it seems you rarely require more than three steps… There’s a saying up here “Ah kent yer faither” (I knew your father. And yes, that’s different to “Luke, I am your father”…).
Be it that Sean Connery used to be your Mum’s cousin’s milkman or that Billy Connolly worked down the shipyards with your uncle’s best mate, you can pretty much get to anyone in three steps.
OK. Let’s test it. Me to Prince William… I went to St Andrews Uni, and the brother of my girlfriend there was in classes with Prince William the year after I left.
Me to Alex Salmond. Easy, I used to work for Jack McConnell, previous First Minister of Scotland before Salmond.
A population of five million, and you’re hard pressed to find a place where you don’t know someone who knows someone you know. It’s a very incestuous country in that respect!