Thursday 18 March 2010

Drums Along Leith Walk

Wrinkled Weasel recently did a post on libraries upon which I commented thus:

"My library demographics:

15-20% readers

10% homeless drunks looking for a place to sleep.

5% homeless junkies looking for something to steal.

10% Poles booking flights back to Poland.

5% feral youth looking for trouble.

The rest is made up from Wi Fi users huddled around every available plug point."

Now I've worked in libraries for over twenty years, and I thought I had seen it all; used hypodermic syringes, needle attached, employed as bookmarks, blood and other substances squirted against the toilet walls, drunks comatose on the floor, little old ladies audibly peeing themselves as they read the Daily Record, teenagers building bonfires up against the fire exit; half bricks, fireworks and air rifle pellets through the windows.

Thieves are usually easy to spot, especially those with a "chemical dependancy"(not the councillors, they steal in a different way) as library users tend to make it easy for them; women put their handbags down when browsing, computer users get engrossed and don't notice somebody walking past with their rucksack's strap hooked around his ankle.

Items stolen from libraries tend to be DVDs, CDs and strangely enough "True Crime" books; from the public, bags, keys, sunglasses, phones etc.

As you may have guessed by now, something unusual got stolen from my library today.

Neatly stacked five foot high on an old pushchair in the foyer, was a metallic blue five piece drumkit.

***Thanks to Argent, who made me realise the bottom half of this post was missing***

The drumkit belonged to a musician who popped in to the library to check his emails and left the drumkit in the foyer unguarded. It was the sheer blatancy of taking a five foot pile of brightly coloured drumkit balanced on an old pushchair down one of the busiest streets in Edinburgh with wall to wall CCTV which inspired this post...


  1. The drums were from the library? Or stolen elsewhere and brought there? I love the idea of there being drums in the library. Our library has similar demographics but with more kids messing about and fewer inconinent old biddies (just).

  2. I must have wiped out the rest of my post when I inserted the photo Argent. Fixed now.

  3. Yeah, and it doesn't even fit in my bedroom.

  4. What an interesting library compared to the William Patrick where I found two guys looking at pictures in the Sun and a little old lady looking for the toilets.

  5. Ah, now I see it, some of it. I take it the musician was re-united iwth his kit. That really is a bold bit of thievery, or desparate or stoopid. Bet drummer-boy won't leave his stuff lying about in future.

  6. You know, my local library's really quite nice by comparison.

    I've never seen a needle, there are a few pretty smelly trampy people in a wee reading room. As far as I know there are no toilets to make a mess of, and apart from once or twice I've never seen any unruly kids...

    Ain't Dundee nice

  7. Metallic blue clash with the decor Demetrius?

    I was wondering what you were doing in a library Brownlie, then I remembered it's near a golf course...

    Alas no Argent, Demetrius is re-decorating as I write...

    Makes good cake too Tris.

  8. As was once said

    Not so much Care in the Community more In care of the local Library

    15-20% readers

    looks like we got ourselves a reader."

    [Bill Hicks]:

    "I was in Nashville, Tennesee last year, after the show I went to a Waffle House, I'm not proud of it, I was hungry. And I'm alone, I'm eating and I'm reading a book, right? Waitress walks over to me, "Tch tch tch tch. Hey, what you readin' for?" Is that like the weirdest fucking question you've ever heard? Not what am I reading, but what am I reading for. Well, godammit, you stumped me. Why do I read? Well... hmmm... I guess I read for a lot of reasons, and the main one, is so I don't end up, being a fucking waffle waitress.

    [Bill Hicks]:

    But then... this trucker in the next booth gets up, stands over me, and goes, "Well, looks like we got ourselves a reader."

  9. I find it disturbing to find one of my favourite blogs for objectivity when it comes to the honest portrayal of pro-brit blatt headlines, descending from the gutter to the sewer, in such a manner as this.

    In order to attract notoriety and, therefore, many more empty-headed imbiciles like myself who insist on voting SNP (this is despite all headlines in every corporate mass-media outlet to the contrary, day and day out, every day of the year all over Britian) Pseudepigrapha seems willing to invent stories about Leith folk stealing stuff, like drums, so they can buy drugs.

    Some junkies tried the same stunt in my local libray recently actually - we ended up having to cut their thieving-arsed hands off. Unfortunately, it turned out, we mistook the drum owner for a thief, oops.

  10. I actually laughed Niko, thanks.

    Joe, your library seems to have a much tougher policy than mine, we can't even point to the "silence" signs anymore...Mind you drumming with hooks instead of would sound like breaking the seal in a coffee jar...cutting edge stuff...

  11. Exploiting the folks of Leith I've no grouse with, for obvious reasons, but its when others are so determined, who claim to be otherwise, jump onto these kinds of anti-Leith bandwagons.

    Like when so-called pro-Scottish newspapers jumped onto the Ally Mcleod-Argentina bandwagon in 1978 - turns out, they weren't very pro-Scottish after all.

    Sometimes we all have to take a step back and stop exploiting our positions as, say, librarians in the local temples of knowledge.
    What if you were that Leith junkie aids scumbag faced with a big drumkit on wheels, left by a completely dopey-headed altruistic well-meaning non-Leithian bohemian?

  12. Joe, you could also say; what if I were a dripping little old lady, who took her purse out to put money into the photo booth to get a wee photo for her bus pass? She may well have been an altruistic, well meaning dope-head in the sixties, but now she IS in her sixties, it is still HER purse.

  13. Sounds pretty much like my library too, not that I've been there in ages, ever since I found that they blocked most of the interesting websites when I was offline for a while.