Sleuth week 28: in which Sleuth squeezes brains onto his lunch

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth

Send him to Denmark

Sleuth was on the phone to city council spokesperson Pat Karney this week, discussing whether Manchester could actually ban Donald Trump ahead of his UK visit. A very anti-Trump Karney explained to Sleuth that the city would be staging a 'carnival' style protest on Friday night, with Mexican singers and dancers performing, showing solidarity with the families separated at the US/Mexican border. 

"And we don't want him in our airspace either," blurted Karney, wrong footing Sleuth. 

"What do you mean?" asked Sleuth. 

"When he flies from tea with the Queen to his golf courses in Scotland, we don't want him over our heads," continued Karney, "we want Manchester Airport to ban him from the skies." 

"Er, ok," said Sleuth, "how would you go about doing that?"

"Well we own Manchester Airport for a start," replied Karney, "he can go via Denmark instead."

"Denmark? What have Denmark done?" pressed Sleuth.

"Nothing," said Karney, "but when I looked on a map they were the next country to the right."

So there you have it folks. Pat Karney: politician, humanitarian, cartographer.

Pat Karney Manchester 54F
Pat Karney: politician, humanitarian, cartographer

Alberts everywhere

Sleuth was at the media launch of Tast on Wednesday, the fine-dining Catalan restaurant on King Street. He was accidentally ear-wigging a nearby table of London journos when he overheard one ask earnestly, “Who is Albert Schloss?” Sleuth had his mouth full otherwise he would have gone over and said, “I’m not sure but he’s mates with Albert Shed, Albert Chop House, Albert Square and he lives with Albert Hall.”

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But who is Albert Schloss?

Sleuth – Champion Brainsqueezer

One of the dishes at the Tast tasting was a rice dish with prawns that we weren’t allowed to say resembled a paella even though it did (it’s been a week of alternate realities, see the train story below). We were invited to peel the prawns and then squeeze the brains out of the heads over the rice. Sleuth performed this with relish and then mixed in with the rice the whole tasted glorious. Sleuth told a friend of his brain squeezing exploits. The friend was a vegetarian. And sensitive. She literally turned green and baulked. Some people are so precious.

Tast Prawns
Prawns (pre-brain squeeze)

Trolleyman Lies

Sleuth journeyed from Manchester to Newcastle this week. He had a beer and then with the train running twenty minutes late and approaching York he wanted another. The trolley chap, a man of advanced years, was sat in First Class with his trolley of delights close by. 

“I’d like another beer please,” said Sleuth. 

“I’ve cashed up because we’re at York and so I can’t serve you,” came the replay. 

“But we’re not at York, look out of the window, we’re late, so may I have a beer?” said Sleuth. 

“Ah,” said Trolleyman, “but we should have been at York by now, so technically we are in York and so I’ve cashed up and can’t sell you a beer.”

This metaphysical argument was too much for Sleuth. “So even though we are not at York, we are at York, is that what you are saying?” 


“Are you insane or are we in a magical realist novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez?” said Sleuth. 

“When we get to York you can have a beer when the new trolley comes on,” said Trolleyman. 

“Aha, so you admit we are not at York?” said Sleuth. 

“In effect this trolley is,” said Trolleyman. 

Sleuth decided to retreat before he threw the Trolleyman and the trolley out of the window into York, that wasn’t York. After York no refreshment trolley was provided.

Sleuth York Train
Train at York, but is it?

Least credible marketing of the week

On Shudehill there is one of about three surviving shops in town that look like second hand bookshops but major on old-fashioned magazine porn. The Arndale Book & Magazine Exchange provides an interesting array of weird books in its window along with the announcement '100s of Adult Mags. Browsers Paradise'. Under that is the rather startling statement 'Elvis Shopped Here'. Sleuth thinks this isn't true and that it's just a dirty rumour put around by suspicious minds. (That's this year's gag of the year award sown up.)

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Elvis Shopped Here

Most confusing marketing of the week

Sleuth got a text from Confidential's pal and all around 'round town man Thom Hetherington this week. He'd sent Sleuth the below image of a sign outside St Peter's House on Oxford Road, asking if Sleuth had a 'better example of three complete non sequiturs separated by vertical bars?' He hadn't, but loved the absurdity of the sign. What did it mean? What was so curious about this unremarkable university building, who was having the encounter, and what was the gift? So intrigued was Sleuth that he was inspired to come up with his own three words for Confidential towers...


St Peters House Sleuth
But what does it mean?

Manc abroad brings luck

One of the younger members of the Confidential occasional placement team is 17-year-old Ralph Schofield who is currently with six fellow Mancunians on holiday in Cambodia. He keeps being given babies. Or rather keeps being given babies to hold. And why? Well it's good luck for the child if it's held by a blond young man. Sleuth avoids cliches like the plague but it really is a funny old world. 

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Hold this would you?