Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth
Sleuth sees the £400k makeover of Piccadilly Gardens’ perennially knackered water feature is complete, and City Council Jack-in-the-Box, Cllr Pat Karney, is beside himself. Actually, he’s lost the plot. “I haven’t seen this fountain for some time, and it has reminded me of how magnificent it is,” Karney told the MEN. “It’s like anything you’d see in Rome… I imagine some Italians will come to see it. It will be a real tourist attraction.” Yes, Sleuth’s sure there will soon be queues forming for the first flights from Leonardo Da Vinci. Whilst here they could also take in the famous Piccadilly Gardens wall, which pisses all over Rome’s Tempio di Saturno, or the painting of Rio, Rooney and Winston Churchill hanging in the Arndale, which far outshines that Sistine Chapel shite by Michelangelo.
“Thankfully I don’t have to run around in my underpants,” continued Karney, “because I did say that I would if the fountain didn’t work.”
In that case, we’ll see you in six months Pat.
SLEUTH AND THE DOGGY BAG SCANDAL
Sleuth had a meal at Steak and Lobster this week. His lady couldn’t finish the steak and Sleuth was full from the lobster. “May we have a doggy bag?” said Sleuth. The waiter looked at the meat and said, “You’ll have to sign a disclaimer, as we can’t be responsible for you becoming ill after reheating the meat.” Sleuth gave the waiter a look, and said, “It’s for our cat, a beast well-known throughout the neighbourhood as a practising carnivore in line with other cats in the area.” The waiter had a chat to some management and eventually came back with the steak in a cardboard box. Sleuth wondered out loud whether he had to sign a disclaimer on the way out to ensure he didn't trip over the reception desk and accidentally crush a receptionist. The meat was unwrapped in the box. It bled into the cardboard in the taxi. The cat, a beast well-known throughout the neighbourhood as a practising carnivore, liked it though.
JUSTICE AS MAN CONFINED TO OWN REAR-ENTRY
Justice was served this week, as prolific burglar, Michael Patterson, 49, of Field Bank Grove, Gorton, was sentenced to sixteen months in prison following a spate of burglaries across Levenshulme and Longsight. Following sentencing Patterson was also slapped with an additional order, banning him indefinitely from entering all rear entries – his preferred method for gaining access - in Manchester. Banned from all rear entries, that is, except his own. Well bugger me,” remarked Patterson, following the verdict. Indeed.
ANGELS, GHOSTS AND BOOKS
Some years ago Sleuth learned The Angel pub, off Rochdale Road, was haunted. Kevin, the landlord, had it exorcised. The spook had been a nasty one, a malevolent teenage girl, who had taken to violently throwing books at customers in the corner close to the fire on the ground floor. The exorcism worked and the ghost was quieted. Sleuth was in the Angel recently and couldn’t help thinking that putting another row of books in the same location, largely composed of horror stories, seemed to be tempting fate.
CHINESE NEW YEAR DISASTER
Officials say Manchester’s famous Chinese New Year celebrations are under threat of cancellation this year, as one of the event’s key attractions, The Dancing Lion, flown over this week from Beijing, left its keys on the plane.
SLEUTH’S OVERHEARD CONVERSATION PART ONE
Sleuth was in Withington Hospital and there was an old Pakistani couple having a row in Urdu. One of those quiet undervoice rows with the man going on and on. Suddenly the woman said very loudly in English, “You are very controlling and you are not allowing space in my mind.” Sleuth applauded vigorously but silently.
SLEUTH’S OVERHEARD CONVERSATION PART TWO
Sleuth was in the Principal Hotel having a quiet drink, mulling on the state of the world and wondering whether the sky was really going to fall on our heads. There was a business meeting on the next table, all suits and iPads and notebooks, suddenly one of the women on the table said, “So, shall we agree this in principle.” “How are you spelling that?” interrupted Sleuth.
SLEUTH’S OVERHEARD CONVERSATION PART THREE
Sleuth was in Sainsbury’s on Regent Road and a young man, maybe 26-years old, walked past speaking loudly on his phone. “The problem is mum,” he said, “it'd be good if you just started going out with someone normal for once and stopped getting carried away by these weirdos.”
SLEUTH'S OVERHEARD CONVERSATION PART FOUR
Sleuth was on the barren patch of tarmac outside One New Bailey this week when he overheard his old pal, the Lonely Polar Bear (see here and here), ask a nearby pigeon, "Why am I still here? What am I for?" "No idea, Christmas is long gone," said the pigeon, "but at least they've turned your twinkles on... well, half of them"
SLEUTH’S PRICE OF THE WEEK
Sleuth was in the Crown and Anchor on Cateaton Street. He bought a pint of Chorlton Pale Ale. “That’s £3.01,” said the barmaid. “Why not £3?” asked Sleuth. “I don’t know,” she said.
TRISTRAM HUNT AND THE KINGS OF COMMUNISM
Sleuth was at the splendid Shostakovich concert at Chetham’s School of Music this week. The Stoke MP soon to become Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum, Tristram Hunt, did an introductory speech. Shostakovich was Russian and much influenced by the Russian Revolution. The fathers of Communism Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx visited Chetham’s Library in Manchester and Hunt has written a book about Engels called The Frock Coated Communist in which Editor-at-Large, Jonathan Schofield, appears.
Labour MP Hunt, who has had problems with the ultra left-wing Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, said to the assembled guests: “Manchester proved the reality behind the way Engels and Marx were thinking and as such was the inspiration for much of the material they wrote. This isn’t read so much these days…” said Hunt, pausing, before finishing with “…except by Jeremy.” Ouch, thought Sleuth, laughing his head off.
SLEUTH & THE THE CURRY SAUCE MYSTERY
Sleuth was tucking into a very fine fish and chips in Wright's chippy on Cross Street this week, when something about the menu board struck him. Now Sleuth is familiar with ‘English’ curry sauce, being the typical chip house slop, but he’s never come across the ‘Irish’ stuff. Unless Sleuth has been slopping ‘Irish’ all over his chips these past years, in which case, what is ‘English’? Sleuth's confused, so confused he forgot to ask the staff about the difference. Can anyone help? This is of utmost importance. (You can find Sleuth's twitter thing below.)