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determined to pay a visit to a gallery and take a dekko to pilfer from

Joyce at the collection of endearineg small. soft and

vulnerable tags of flesh currently being exhibited at Stills in the High Street. To wit. and in her word. willies. I was disappointed. But not

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I Hello youngish ladiesl Can you befriend a male (32) single. with various interests. including travel. photography. cinema. theatre. Edinburgh Zoo. Glasgow Garden Festival. who lacks company? Please write. ALA. Box No 66/5.

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by what I saw. Sarah came along to lend moral support and whether the woman at the door decided we were under-age or what I don‘t know but we were turned away and told that the gallery wasn‘t ready yet. For what, I wondered. Why don‘t you go back when it’s open. someone said. I suppose I could but where once the flesh was willing it‘s now weak and who knows when the desire will come again?

Instead I went swimming. as I‘ve been threatening to do ever since my spot of back bother. to the aptly-named Infirmary Street baths. At least that‘s what it used to be called. Now it’s a swimming centre. I bought my ticket. hired a

postage-stamp towel (55p. plus £2 deposit) which wouldn‘t dry a tadpole and went upstairs to the pool. A large, scrawled notice was the first thing I saw: ‘Please return aids after use.’ And a very warm welcome to you too. pal. I changed. showered and plunged. After my second length I took a breather. ‘You‘re going to upset someone'. said the overfed walrus berthed alongside me and clinging on to the lane rope as ifit were a last straw. Was he really speaking to me? He must have thought I was foreign for he repeated himself. this time fortissimo. ‘You what?‘ I said. I have this terrible habit of mimicking a Cockney accent whenever- as they

say in Dysentry - my space is invaded. In the Horseshoe in Glasgow it once brought me close to mortality. "Trying to be funny. i‘." said a West Coast plumber. ‘l' in Glaswegian. a guttural grunt irreproducible on the page. is interrogatory with violent overtones. Cherry saved the day by bribing him with a Guinness. In six foot ofwater. surrounded by near-naked office workers and what I took to be a pre-retirement class. all the walrus could do was jerk his thumb vigorously at a notice.

All was explained. The pool is divided into three lanes: one for doggy-paddlers. one for turtles. one for turbo-charged barracudas. l was

in the lane for turtles and had been

swimminmg against the tide. I know. '

I know. you've read all this before in ‘Central Belt'. So had I. [just hadn't taken it in. [suppose I didn‘t believe that a megastar like Sheena would be seen dead in a poolful of public. Her chance ofstanding in for Anne Diamond has sunk now.

Anyway. I soon decided I‘d had enough ofa good thing. It was time for lunch and not being on speaking terms with any ofthe banks that like to say maybe I consulted my diary and found that freebie drinks and cats were on offer at the Museum. But the man who said there's no such thing as an hors d‘oeuvre for nowt was right. The penalty was Alan Devereaux. Chieftain of the Scottish Tourist Board. known to be willing to jump from a helicopter into a saucer ofwater ifit will get a column inch in the Muckshifters‘ Gazette. He had on a tie which looked like an off-cut from a shower curtain and he frothed like a game show host in an ad for washing powder. After he finished the hard sell for Scottish books I did an impromptu Moron Poll. Would you buy an inflatable Nessie from a man who wore a tie like that? I asked. More than most said they would. Not for the first time. I realised I was out on a limb.


The List 27 May— 9 June 1988 67