Rough Scan








 
      ON WOODEN 
        PAVING
      YE see, BAILIE, what it is tae 
        be popular an possessed o great sagacity, soond discrimination, an 
        guid common sense. I am noo an elder, member o the Skule Brod, colonel 
        o a regiment, an a provost. A fastidious public dinna vote a man intae 
        a thae things withoot hes got some ability. Its no for me tae say
      onything, 
        but ye see superiority aye asserts itsel; its like an indiarubber ba, 
        the harder ye daud it doon the faurer it jumps up again.
      Being sae much occupied wi public business 
        the coal ree is gey an often left in charge o the laddie, wha wees oot 
        the hunerwechts like wildfire so as tae get awa tae a gemm at the "fit-baa," 
        an Im perfectly sure that mony a guid pound I loss frae the one end 
        o the year tae the ither. The time Im sitting in the Skule Brod offices 
        devoting my time tae the service o an ungrateful public the laddie is 
        gaeing ridiculous wechts, hauning wrang change back, an takin bad sixpences, 
        an when I come hame at nicht wi my heid in a bizz frae the calculations 
        Ive been makin, instead o fining him penitent, reading a guid book, 
        Ill get him wi his feet up against the wa trying hoo faur he can walk 
        on his hauns withoot tumling, wi maybe a the siller he has lifted drapping 
        oot o his packet an rinning doon the syver. If it wisna he wis an orphan 
        I wid pay him aff at once.
      An yet folk think theres nae limit tae 
        my energy. I hear that at next November Ill be asked tae staun for Toon 
        Cooncillor o Glesca, an Im quite willing, for Im o the opinion that 
        new blood is needed there. The Cooncils noo-a-days hae nae "go" 
        in them. Pairt o Ingram Street wis paved wi wudd a wheen years ago as 
        a trial, an it apparently took the Cooncil a lang time tae decide on 
        the advantage o wudd ower stane. After seeven years cogitation they, 
        wi a sair heart, made up their mind tae pave Buchanan Street, an look 
        at it noo! Look at our principal street in an uproar like you for weeks, 
        a traffic suspended, an the largest taxpayers in Glasgow losing their 
        business. The ither day I took a dauner in, expecting tae see it a dune, 
        an maybe get a hurl in a cab up an doon for a sixpence jist tae see 
        hoo it did, but tae my great surprise they were howking awa at it yet, 
        an I said tae the polisman, "Bless me, Dugald, is this a the length 
        ye are? If ye decide tae pave a' Glasgow wi wudd an go on at this rate, 
        yell hae had ample time tae pass through the various grades o corporal 
        an sergeant, be lang a respected superintendent an hue rested your heid 
        in an honoured grave for 20 years before its a dune. But I suppose the 
        convenience o the tax-payers is as naething tae the interest o' the firm 
        wha advertise their name in the middle o the street as hailing frae London, 
        and wha are daeing the work."
      The polisman an me got quite great, an 
        we sat doon on a barrel tae see the men working. Some had shovels an 
        some had brushes, but the ane wha had the maist scientific pairt o the 
        work had a wee hatchet in his haun, and he wid stick it intae a block 
        that had been already placed, but wis jist maybe no square, an' he wid 
        look at it first on the one side and then an the ither, an he wid shoogle 
        it a wee frae side tae side, then he wid lift it up an then put it doon 
        in the same place, gieint a tap or twa tae settle it tae last for generations 
        yet unborn. Says I tae the polisman, "Thats the job I wid like, 
        its scientific an yet its easy! Ill gie ye a guess thats jist struck 
        me this minute-Why is the Toon Cooncil like Buchanan Street?" He 
        shook his heid an said he gied it up. "Because theres a heep o' 
        blocks int!"
      "Wudden anes? " says he.
      "Aye," says I, "wudden yins! 
        Im rale gled ye see the pint o the joke withoot me explaining it! Tak 
        my word fort, when a joke needs tae be explained its no much worth. 
        Ill gie ye anither ane, an then I maun awa tae catch the caur. Ye ken 
        Mr Faill is the name o the contractor wha paves the streets wi stones. 
        Weel, dye think Mr Faill will fail to see wudds best?"
      But, BAILIE, if I wis in the Cooncil, 
        as I hope Ill be next year, I wid stir them up a bit. What aboot the 
        cleanin o the Clyde? What aboot the bad gas? What aboot the electric 
        light? What abootbut its nae use speaking! Wait till I get in.