'I don't think friends are so great. I don't think
families are brilliant either.'
Creep, investigative reporter and merry misanthropist,
was defending his philosophy of life to Fat Boab,
the barman in Wilkies bar on Great Junction Street.
general public are generally ugly and thick,' he went
on. 'The people who drink in this bar,' he said, wobbling
on his stool while waving his arm round the empty
pub, 'make me feel physically sick.'
Boab, far from taking offence, though a little sad
that his natural detachment and professional role
as mediator and all round middle man prevented him
taking a swipe at the egomaniac in front of him, rolled
his eyes resignedly. 'You wouldn't be saying that
if there was anybody in here,' he said.
I would,' said Dawson. 'I would.'
Boab looked Mr Creep up and down. The feint pin-striped
suit wrapping his lilac shirt and purple pure silk
tie screamed arrogantly back at him. 'You don't look
like you've been in too many scraps,' he said.
keeping a tight grip of the Courvoisier in his left
hand, tapped his right temple slowly with his forefinger.
'It's all up here, you know. Everything I need to
get by. All the fighting I need. All up here.' He
tapped his head again.
Boab stared at the thick wash of black locks sculpted
atop Dawson's cranium. 'You mean, it's all under your
wig?' he said.
refused to be baited. 'I'll have you know that this
head of hair has been caressed and filtered through
some of the finest aristocratic fingers in Europe,'
he said triumphantly.
male or animal?' asked Boab.
you think you're smart, don't you?' said Dawson. 'Well,
let me tell you, you're…' Dawson racked his brain
for his favourite bon mot, only to be rewarded with
an almost audible clang indicating the wit cupboard
was bare. 'You're…you're not!' As if to enforce the
profundity of his statement, he capped it with an
you here for anyway?' asked Boab.
if you must know,' said Dawson, sweeping a rogue wisp
of hair from his forehead, 'my editor sent me down
here to write a piece on the ever changing face of
it's certainly changing,' began Boab.
gawd, don't we all know it, though,' said Dawson.
'I'm sick to death of all these interminable "How
Leith has changed" pieces. Yes, we all bloody know
Leith is changing. So what? "What's the angle?" I
said to him. "Yours," he said. Well, I was kind of
flattered that he recognized my unique voice could
twist something new out of this ragged old goat of
a story, but really, I said, I wasn't so sure it would
work. But he insisted. He said people loved hearing
about Leith - its people, its transformation, its
distinctive character. I said, I hate the new bars,
I hate the old bars, I hate the idea of a sense of
community and all that rot. I just can't stand the
place. "Exactly," he said. So here I am. Give us another.'
jutted his empty glass at the weary barman.
week: Hack to the future