Rough Scan








 
      AT 
        AN ELECTION MEETING
      ME an’ Bailie Pinkerton, as twa 
        retiring members, were asked the ither nicht tae attend a meeting tae 
        solicit a renewed vote o’ confidence. Obedient tae the request, we put 
        on oor swallow-tail coats an’ gloves, an’ awa’ we gaed tae the meeting. 
        The hall wis packed, for a lot o’ burning questions were expectit tae 
        come up. As the clock struck echt, Mr Wotherspoon, the barber, got up, 
        an’, wi’ a flourish o’ his arm, says, "I propose oor worthy Provost 
        takes the chair," then the hale audience rose em masse, an’ 
        sung "For he’s a jolly good fellow," an’ then there wis great 
        applause, an’ I stood up an’ made a bow, an’ walked ower tae the chair 
        an’ stood behint it for a wee hauding on by its back. Efter drinking a 
        tummlerfu’ a’ water, I put a pepperment drap intae my mooth, an’ I says—
      "Gentlemen, twa new aspirants hae 
        come forrit tae solicit your votes in opposition tae us, but jist let 
        them ca’ canny, an’ remember that in you electors is reposed the solemn 
        duty o’ appointing the twa best men ye can get. There’s a heep a’ things 
        tae be considered in electing Councillors tae mak’ Bailies o’—age, wealth, 
        height, stootness, position, an’ sedateness. It’s no often I’m personal, 
        gentlemen, but everybody aloos I’m jist the beau ideal o’ a Bailie or 
        a Provost. Some say if I had an inch or twa mair in heicht it wid be an 
        advantage, but if a man’s jist twa inches frae perfection he has naething 
        to compleen aboot. (Applause.) Of course, gentlemen, it’s no gi’en tae 
        everybody tae be as near perfection as I am, but ye micht hae me in your 
        e’e tae judge by. Mr Pinkerton an’ me’s like twa twin brithers, an’ mony 
        a time when him an’ me were confidential ower a gless o’ toddy, he has 
        said, wi’ tears in his een, ‘Ye don’t know what it is tae be afflicted. 
        Ye’re happy an’ contented, an’, above a’, dignified, but wha could be 
        dignified wi’ a wudden leg?’ But, gentlemen, I aye whispered tae him, 
        ‘It’s no gi’en tae us tae be a’ alike,’ an’ then I telt him the story 
        o’ the lass wha marrit a man wi’ a wudden leg, because, says she, ‘Onybody 
        can get a man wi’ twa ornar legs, but it’s something oot o’ the common 
        tae hae a man wi’ a wudden ane.’ He wis aye cheered up sae much that he 
        wid mix a fresh gless an' put twice as much in’t as usual. But, gentlemen, 
        Solomon says ‘the talk of the lips tendeth to penury,’ an' again, ‘the 
        hand o’ the diligent maketh rich.’ Solomon wis a rale wise man for his 
        time, an’ I hae only tae point tae the improvements in Stra’bungo under 
        my reign tae convince you that Solomon wisna faur wrang. Look at your 
        native toon, the model toon o’ the West o’ Scotland—compare it wi’ Glesca 
        an’ see the difference. We hae nae complaints aboot the bad gas. We haena 
        oor principal streets infested wi’ roughs an’ bad characters like the
      Trongate. The river that rifts thro’ oor toon is no a sink o’ iniquity 
        like the Clyde. We don’t allow mock auctions tae exist in oor midst tae 
        swindle the innocent country folk, nor do we hae oor streets a’ in holes. 
        No, gentlemen, we are a thriving community, an’ hae at oor doors the finest 
        public park in Glasgow, for which we pay naething. So much is oor locality 
        thocht o’ that it was vera near settled that the Glasgow Exhibition o’ 
        1888 was tae be held oot here at your vera feet—in Stra’bungo! After that 
        we may weel aspire tae onything. But, if you want that business creditably 
        managed, see that you hae a tried an’ trustworthy man at the heid o’ affairs, 
        an’ need I say wha that is?"
      Great cries o’ "No! no! We’ll sen’ 
        ye back, Provost."
      "Aye, I thocht sae," I continued. 
        "Noo, gentlemen, on Tuesday next, see that you plump for Kaye an’ 
        Pinkerton, your tried, experienced, an’ independent candidates." 
        (Great cheers.)
      Bailie Pinkerton then got up, an’, putting 
        the virl o’ his wudden leg in a seam o’ the floor tae steady himsel’, 
        he held on by the back o’ a form, an’ says, "I’m nae great orator, 
        but I’m a maist infatuated worker baith on committees an’ aff them. So 
        I wid jist conclude by saying that I entirely coincide generally wi’ the 
        Provost, and so, withoot further preface, I beg tae second the motion."
      An’ wi’ a flourish o’ his pocket nepkin 
        he sat doon.
      "Noo, gentlemen," says I, is 
        there ony questions? If so, step forrit one at a time."
      Then. a decent auld man cam’ up an’ says, 
        "Wid the candidates bring in a bill tae regulate the lenning o’ the
      washing-hoose key?"
      "Certainly," says I, "that’s 
        a subject that has much need o’ reform. I wid propose that every tenant 
        has a key, an’ then they can a’ go in when they like." (Cheers.)
      Bailie Pinkerton said his opinion was 
        they should dae awa’ wi’ the key a’thegither, that mid be the simplest 
        plan. (Cheers.)
      "Wid the candidate approve o’ deepening 
        the river Bungo?" (Cries o’ "Aha! that’s a puzzler! ")
      "That," I replied, "is 
        a matter that is engaging oor attention at present. Paisley is deepening 
        the Cart. Greenock has opened new docks. Goorock is building a harbour. 
        Common sense therefore tells us that if we want tae haud oor ain we must 
        be up an’ doing. If I’m spared we’ll hae the Bungo deepened, if no sufficient 
        tae admit an Anchor liner, at least tae float ony ornar vessel. What dae 
        you say, Bailie?"
      Bailie Pinkerton jist got up an’ said 
        "ditto" an’ sat doon again.
      "D’ye approve o’ a polis band?"
      "Certainly, baith a brass band an’ 
        a baud a’ pipers, an’ I’m very much surprised that while Govan has a band 
        o’ pipers, an’ Edinburgh has the same, that neither Glasgow nor Stra’bungo 
        has ane."
      Bailie Pinkerton rose an’ said, "I 
        quite agree wi’ the Provost, an’ wid add a flute band for the summer time."
      "When a man is convicted o’ selling 
        unsound meat or fruit wid ye fine him severely?"
      "Bless ye, I wadna fine him at a’. 
        (Hisses.) Wait a wee—wait a wee. Dinna be in sich a hurry. I widna fine 
        him, I wid sen’ him tae jail for as long as I could, an’ while there feed 
        him on his ain unsoond meat. If he thocht it mis guid enough for decent 
        folk to eat after paying for’t, it was surely guid enough for him to get 
        for naething." (Great cheers.)
      Anither then got up an’ said, "Provost, 
        why dae ye never wear yer insignia?"
      "My what?"
      "Your insignia?"
      "What in a’ the warl’s that?"
      "Your badge a’ office—your chain."
      "Great criftens, wid ye hae me going 
        aboot chained? Alloo me tee tell ye that "—
      Here Bailie Pinkerton got up an’ said, 
        "I will nut staun here an’ hear oor worthy Provost insulted. 
        What wid ye chain him for? He has nae need tae be chained. (Cheers.) He 
        can gang aboot lowse, for tae my knowledge he’s perfectly harmless. He 
        "—
      Here the questioner got up an’ said he 
        didna mean the Provost to be chained.
      Cries then rose o’ "What did ye say’t 
        for, then?" "What are ye haivering aboot?" "Pit him 
        oot"; an’ a dizzen a’ willing hauns reached ower tae grip him; but 
        he had freens in the meeting, an’ they stuck up for him, an in a wee the 
        fecht wis general.
      Bailie, ye wid see walking-sticks an’ 
        umberellas flourishing abin their heids, an’ ye wid hear the forms cracking, 
        an' the yells were terrible. Oor fire brigade happened tae be oot
      practising, 
        an’ somebody tell’t them the hall was on fire, so the members o’t—twa 
        slaters an’ a jiner—cam’ tearing up an’ burst open the door, an’ while 
        one scooted the water on us, the ither screwed oot the gas, for fear o’ 
        an explosion. Great, I need hardly say, wis the confusion.
      Efter a wee, the fire brigade were brocht 
        tae see the evil o’ their ways, an’ the committee began tae coont the 
        cost, an’ as it wis ye may say a riot, I hae made a levy on the hale toon 
        for the damage; in fac’, I hae added a ha’penny tae their polis tax papers.
      Frae what I hear, oar return is tae be 
        noo unopposed; but, oh! my swallow-tail has got an awfu’ drookin’.