Back Home


666 Great Junction Street

Part 19

Behind the grand neo-Grecian fašade of the police station on the corner of Queen Charlotte Street, busy bobbies buzzed around, dealing with a multitude of enquiries and misdemeanours.

Earlier that day the No.16 bus's big back brake-block broke whilst it was careering down Constitution Street and fifty thrifty folk were thronging the cop shop with complaints and accusations.

Naturally, the Leith police were very dismissive as they were already providing shelter for six sick scenic sightseers who had recently visited a thrift shop, and lost both their theatre tickets and the volume of valuable licenses and coupons for free theatrical frills and thrills.

One of them, Sarah, was also sounding off about some inferior garments she had recently purchased. Sarah saw a shot-silk sash shop full of shot-silk sashes as the sunshine shone on the side of the shot-silk sash shop.

'What a shame such a shapely sash should show such shabby stitches,' she bemoaned. She also wanted to know what time the wristwatch strap shop shut and which wristwatches were Swiss wristwatches. After visiting Mrs.Smith's Fish Sauce Shop she had also been informed that chop shops stock chops and that Sam's shop stocks short spotted socks.

Amongst her other purchases were a box of biscuits, a batch of mixed biscuits, six thick thistle sticks and a proper, copper, coffee pot. She was truly rural and the epitome of femininity.

One of the other sightseers entertained the constables with stories of how in his country thieves seize skis and how he would listen to the local yokel yodel.

'I used to dream of a fictitious caretaker in a small zoo who would fantasise about running a non-existent animal house,' he said. 'Can you imagine an imaginary menagerie manager imagining managing an imaginary menagerie?'

A sergeant was questioning another of the tourists: 'Is this your sister's sixth zither, sir?'

While another was reprimanding a constable:

'Did you tell that knife thrower she was allowed three free throws? And why did you give Mr. Snipa's wife's knife a swipe?'

In one of the interview rooms, a suspect was being interrogated over the theft of a roll of linoleum and a big black bath brush.

Amidst the mists of cacophony, another chap was protesting that he was being unfairly detained due to a case of mistaken identity:

'I am not the pheasant plucker, I'm the pheasant plucker's mate. I was only plucking pheasants 'cause the pheasant plucker's running late,' he complained.

Meanwhile, one of the PCs was reporting to his senior officer on the case of a drug baron named Washington who he and a colleague had been keeping under surveillance:

'While we were walking, we were watching window washers wash Washington's windows with warm washing water,' he said.

'But who washed Washington's white woolen underwear when Washington's washer woman went west?' queried his superior.

'It was either Kate, Washington's sister, or Ruby Rugby, his lover who we suspect is pregnant, as Ruby Rugby's brother bought and brought her back some rubber baby-buggy bumpers. She stood on the balcony inexplicably mimicking him hiccupping, and amicably welcoming him home.'

'And what about Esau?'

'Well, I saw Esau kissing Kate. I saw Esau, he saw me, and she saw I saw Esau. So we had to call it all off.'

As the racket raged on, outside, above the Water of Leith, a crow flew over the river with a lump of raw liver, while in Constitution Street, two lorries, one of a crimson hue, another of yellow, whizzed by.

Next week: Strategy Tragedy



The Soundtrack