James ‘Barney’ Crockett, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, recently stated that he may never be able to drink and smoke marijuana to the extent that he used to, due mainly in part to a massive workload, and a lowered tolerance.

The bomb shell came at a small digital press briefing on the 8th June, held over the application Zoom due to the Covid-19 social distancing rules. The briefing covered a number of topics including the boring Corona virus relief fund being championed by ‘Barney’, and some other guff about wheelchair ramps.

But as is often the case, the most interesting news was mentioned somewhat unceremoniously at the end of the call, about 40 minutes in. Writers from the Press and Journal had already left stating ‘bad connection issues’ and a ‘migraine’ as the reasons.

At this point The Lord Provost rotated his seat to stare out of his bay windows (we assume, this call was under the duress of a 144p resolution) before telling what journalists remained that he feared he would “Never get drunk or smoke dope again”. After sneezing a couple of times and spitting something into a hankie he continued, stating “There’s just too much to do. When I took this job on in 2017, I thought there would still be nights off, times to unwind you know? But it’s just non-fucking-stop.”

“The other week I thought what with the lock-down and all, me and the wife could smoke a massive joint and watch ‘Big Trouble in Little China’ but then this Black Lives Matter thing blew up and I had to write a speech and stuff. I mean, I’m behind the protests and all, but I just want to mong out sometimes you know? There’s always bloody something.”

Mr Crockett originally believed the job was going to be “smooth sailing” and that the job was “Mostly getting boozy and shaking hands with people. Going to gallery openings and stuff.”

Now three years into his post, The Lord Provost admits it’s not entirely what he was expecting. “There’s loads of boring shit behind the scenes.”

“I was quite surprised to find out how much work there is, the other day I was asked to raise tens of thousands of pounds for a ‘Covid-19 relief fund’, where the fuck am I supposed to get that kind of money?” 

This eye opening press conference comes at a time where a recent poll revealed 72% of Aberdonians don’t know what the Lord Provost actually does, with nearly 30% of that number thinking the position was made up, and another 18% thinking he was “Some sort of old-timey mascot”.

Messages from Aberdeen’s councillors reveal this bafflement goes all the way to the top, with councilwoman Jane Hemsley saying “He just seems to walk about with a big gold chain around his neck. I thought he was one of those guys you see wandering town, like the guy who’s always dressed as a Jacobite”. When SNP MP Kirsty Blackman was asked for comment, she simply emailed back saying “What the fuck is a ‘Lord Provost’?”

However, Mr Crockett’s strange press conference may be the positions saving grace, with much of the public reacting positively to his honest and off-the-cuff style of speaking. 

“I don’t know who he is, I don’t know what he does, and I don’t know how he represents Aberdeen,” says Callum Cruickshank, 72, “but if he’s in a position of power where you can’t get drunk anytime you want, well, better him than me. He must be doing something important.”

The Lord Provost did however end the Zoom call with a message of hope.

“The pay is really good, and sometimes people beep their horns and wave when they drive past you.”


Evan Scott

– Leopard Arts News

(This is a parody)