Date: 23rd September 2022
Our second weekly blog brought to you by our Donald Stewart.
Mr. Lennon won’t like it
The whole library is uptight and worried. It is time for their annual inspection. Once a year Mr. Lennon head honcho of the reading circuit and Executive Director of Glasgow’s Libraries, Pleasure Pursuits, Simulating Smiling and Cemeteries (The ultimate place of leisure) comes round the West End library to inspect the premises, the stock and the staff.
At the end of each visit there is a report. After all, Mr. Lennon, is a man of few words – if any at all…
Picture the scene…
The chief librarian, Mr. Capaldi, has arrived early. It is 7am. Nobody else is in. Nervous as to what shall transpire at the visit, he is keen to make sure there are no foreseen problems; the unforeseen he can cope with, slightly better. A quick tour of the shelves and he has corrected some filing errors in the country and western section, he manages to tidy up and rearrange the Noddy books in the kid’s soft play area and knowing that Tracy’s terminal would be a riot he takes a feather duster and a keen eye with a spit of Mr. Sheen to sort it.
All is ready…
By 9am the staff are all in place. He makes a quick tour of them to ensure that they have their ties on straight, their badges at a 90 degree angle to the floor – a couple of them say that using spirit level is a bit over the top, but Mr. Capaldi does not care – and he finally makes a quick check of shiny shoes.
As he stands in front of the assembled team, he decides on a pep talk.
“Right folks,” he begins. “I know that for some of you, this is your first experience of a Lennon visit. Some of us still have the Bruises of the last one.” He pauses for effect. Nobody moves a muscle.
“OK,” he continues. “Some of what shall happen today shall have a profound effect on some, but for others it shall, I am sure, be Lost On You. Over time I hope it will Fade, though it never does for me. If the sun is shining and Mr. Lennon has Mercy in his approach, I am sure that after the Rush of getting through the inspection, the Tough changes shall Grace our work with style, and we shall get back to serving the public in a way that each person is treated as if that were Someone You Loved. So once, Mr. Lennon arrives I shall retreat to the back office where I hope that Ms. Jessie Reyez shall Hold Me While You Wait on Mr. Lennon wandering round. And once he has left and Before You Go off from today, I hope you remember these words and don’t Forget Me and my warning that this may well define our year ahead.”
It is an awkward silence which follows. Mr. Capaldi has used his address to try out some titles of books he has been thinking of penning to see if they would cause a positive reaction. They did not. Most people have puzzled expressions on their face as he seemed to use awkward Liz Truss style pauses at inappropriate places. So, he decides to bring things to a conclusion.
“Now, for most of you who have been with us for a while, you know the system. You do not speak to Mr. Lennon whilst he inspects, and he does not speak to you. He then finds a quiet corner where, undisturbed he writes a report. If it is on white paper, we are free and clear. If it is on blue paper, we have some issues with which to deal, AND THEY SHALL BE DEALT WITH! If it is on pink paper, if we are pink slipped, then we shall have an inquiry and I may lose my job. AND I SHALL NOT GO DOWN ALONE!!! Are we clear?”
Now the assembled throng are somewhat nervous.
Just then Ms. Reyez points to behind Mr. Capaldi as a couple of people are waiting, queuing up for the doors to open. At the front of the queue is Mr. Ryan Kershaw, local musician, with his new album in his hand and guitar slung over his shoulder. Mr. Capaldi had offered to let him come and do a set one day. Mr. Capaldi had forgotten it was today. Mr. Capaldi wonders what the hell he is going to do.
He nods to Ms. Reyez to open the door and whispers as she passes that she should take Mr. Kershaw into his office for the moment.
Ms. Reyez does precisely that as all the rest of the team go to their stations ready to be inspected.
As Mr. Kershaw is seated in the back office, Ms. Reyez approaches Mr. Capaldi. Mr. Capaldi is still wrestling with things and trying hard to stay calm, as Ms. Reyez asks him to come to the front door.
There is something he needs to see.
From a distance, once she has mentioned the front door, he sees what he thinks she means. A piece of paper. Pink. On the front door. It looks glued to it.
A fear of dread comes over him as he moves towards what he feels is his destiny. He reads the message on the paper twice before turning to a voice behind him. Mr. Kershaw has come out of the back office, is heading towards the platform which houses the local drag queen who comes to do the infant class readings and asks if it is OK to set up here – there is a crowd of people now emerging from the street and into the library clearly keen to hear him play. Mr. Capaldi nods as he looks back again at the paper. He reads slowly but the handwriting is unmistakable. It is Mr. Lennon’s. he reads again and again and ponders, and the instruction is clear, if not the context.
What is it he has to move?
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that Lewis Capaldi has ever managed a library, Jessie Reyez has ever worked in one, or that Ryan Kershaw has ever played a gig there, unless you know differently, so this is clearly a work of fiction, though many of Lewis Capaldi’s song titles are included.
The fact is that during the week, in a radio interview on Forth 1, Celtic fan Lewis Capaldi, admitted live on air that whilst living in the West End of Glasgow and in the same street as Neil Lennon he has nicked his parking space a few times. He explained, “I parked in his space a couple of times, and I got notes on my car door. So, if you’re listening Neil, I apologise – just ask me to move it and I’ll move it!” Oh, and my mate Ryan Kershaw has a new album out – his debut – which you can get here – https://ryankershaw.com/
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