With the House of Commons chamber lying empty and mercifully quiet as the General Election campaign got underway, MSPs at Holyrood formed a drunk tribute act at FMQs on Thursday.

The noise of it all. The unrelenting, incomprehensible DIN that accompanied every question and answer. It had me reaching for the remote to turn down the volume. At one point, somewhere between Jackson Carlaw bellowing "TEN YEARS OF DIVISION!" at Nicola Sturgeon and her shouting "You’re talking sh*te, hen!" back at him, I wondered if somebody had muted presiding officer Ken Macintosh altogether.

To be totally honest, I never have any great expectations of him laying down the law. If former Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick was a tiger, Zen Ken is more of a kitten. And that’s fine for days when 100% of our MSPs would pass a breathalyser test, but not for yesterday.

Could he hear them, I wondered? Or was he sneakily listening to the Mariah Carey Christmas album, while those in the chamber behaved with all the decorum of participants of a bar brawl.

I fear he’d just zoned out. And to be honest, who could blame him?

Jackson Carlaw fell back on one of his greatest hits – subject choices in schools. Richard Leonard went on health and the fate of St John’s children’s ward in Livingston.

Willie Rennie ditched his alter ego (no, not Edna) and replaced smiley, skipping, farm-animal-loving Willie for ANGRY RENNIE.

As the two sparred over NHS waiting times, the Tory benches continued their caterwauling. A new election strategy perhaps. A two-pronged attack: "say no to indyref2" and SCREAM at your opponents. Worked quite well for Ruth.

While SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson tried to encourage calm in the chamber, saying "I hope to bring some zen to the proceedings..." – spoiler alert, he didn’t – the rest of the SNP group were in full voice.

John Swinney, ever the reliable wingman, was a one-man choir. "OOOOOH!" he squealed. "AHHHHH!" he intoned. "Just a little bit!" he sung.

Then came the moment we had all been praying for. The Presiding Officer was dissatisfied with a prolonged period of barracking and bickering. On the edge of our seats, we waited to see how hard he was going to come down on the worst offenders. Would he bang his wee wooden hammer? Would he tell them they had let him down, but more importantly; they had let themselves down? I couldn’t wait.

Imagine my disappointment when the words came. With his voice full of all the gentleness and soft caress of whispers between lovers he asked the feral MSPs "are you quite finished?" Surprisingly, they weren’t.

On and on and on it went. Which can only mean one thing: the election from hell has officially begun.