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Sleuth 17/09/2009

Confidential begins media revolution, strange goings on at MEN, and National Factory Museum for Manchester

Published on September 18th 2009.

Sleuth 17/09/2009

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to print. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows.

Sleuth starts media revolution
Confidential likes to be ahead of the game. Following the relaxation of product placement on ITV (click here) conjuring the prospect of X-Factor judges drinking cans of Coca Cola and so forth, Sleuth has acted quickly. So this week Sleuth is sponsored by Greengages Fruit and Vegetable Emporium, Openshaw. This has raised as much as £5 towards Sleuth’s ‘entertainment’ budget. Anybody who would like to place product in Sleuth’s hands please be in touch at the Twitter address below.

Mad Manchester
Sleuth was walking round town when he saw this sign (see pic below) on the MEN stands, ‘Only one copy per person please’ it read. He asked the employee giving the paper away what it meant. “There’s a man stealing the papers,” the man said. “But you give them away free so that’s ok, isn’t it?” said Sleuth. “No you don’t understand it’s whole bundles of papers. This morning he took eight bundles, while we were unloading the van.” Sleuth was confused. “Why?” “Well we have caught him and asked him and he says he makes things out of papier-mâche, he’s making a papier-mâche house or something. If he turns up we’ve got these now.” The MEN man showed Sleuth a piece of paper with a note to the would-be thief saying he could ask for bundles of back copies to use. “If we see him taking them we have to give him this rather than confront him, he’s very big and tough looking,” said Mr MEN. Sleuth walked away shaking his head. Funny old world. Still at least the papier-mâche craftsman was giving the good old Evening News a circulation boost in difficult times.

Political Binmen
So Sleuth bumps into Councillor Pat Karney, first minister for city centre correction facilities. He had a bin bag in his hands. “Hey, Pat,” Sleuth called, “you emptying the bins now.” “We all have to do our bit,” says PK with a sly smile. “Are you looking forward to the Conservative conference in a couple weeks?” asked Sleuth. PK is Labour. “It’ll be great, we welcome them all. You see in Manchester we triangulate, we’ll use any good ideas.” PK deadpanned. “That’s why the Liberals [the opposition in the Town Hall to Labour] will never control the council, they have a good idea and we nick it.” Sleuth nodded approvingly as PK walked off. Confidential does the same with other websites. It’s how society progresses.

National Factory Museum
Sleuth was discussing Urbis becoming the National Football Museum the other day. It looks like the same team running Urbis now will be running it when it changes. Sleuth’s buddy who doesn’t get out much said: “Is Urbis the place that seems to have a continuous series of shows going on about Factory music and the Hacienda. I remember going to a Peter Saville (the Factory music designer) show several years ago, then there was a Hacienda exhibition, and a Factory music tour as well.” Sleuth laughed: “And during the Buy Art Fair next week you can buy some limited edition prints from Ben Kelly, the Hacienda designer, showing the club’s interior.” “Bloody hell, they’re obsessed,” said Sleuth’s chum. “You wait till the Football Museum’s here, it’ll be The Football and Factory Music Exhibition or Happy Mondays and Hat-tricks or How the Hacienda saved Football. They’ll shoe-horn it in somehow.”

Honest talk about beer
Sleuth was with The Two Tims on a guided tour this week. They are two presenters from Australia. They are also perfect surfer boys, and perfect gentlemen. They were in the city filming a sequence about pubs and bars for Sony Music Channel and they wanted to start in a backstreet pub. Sleuth took them to The Eagle near Trinity Way in Salford. It’s a classic local, it serves Manchester brew Joseph Holts and has a Manchester dartboard which differs from the usual dartboard in many ways, not least in that it doesn’t have trebles. Jimmy, the landlord – all landlords by law are called Jimmy aren’t they ? – explained the game to the boys. Then we got on to the beer. “So Jimmy, what’s this Holt’s bitter like, we don’t have it down under?” asked one of the Tims. Jimmy looked them in the eye. Instead of talking about a clean flavour with a nutty aftertaste, he said, “Put it this way, drink enough of it and it gives you high blood pressure and makes your nose go blue.” Sleuth has never seen two pints put down quicker. “Have you thought about a career in marketing?” said Sleuth to Jimmy.

Sleuth and predictive texting
Sleuth was texting the Tims about a rendezvous (see the story above) using Nokia predictive text. When he got to Aus for Australian it suggested 'Cup' and when he got to Austr it suggested 'Busts'. Those Nokia people in Finland must have a right laugh coming up with these things.

Pretentious bars...bring them on
Ah Chorlton bless the place. Sleuth knows we keep mentioning it, but it is a funny old suburb. Sleuth spotted this cunningly fashioned graffiti on the closed down Marmalade bar on Beech Road. It sort of matches the ‘official’ writing behind and reads: ‘Coming soon new pretentious bar’. Honestly Sleuth thinks, there are some fools around, good job that they are occasionally amusing. What is a pretentious bar anyway? Sleuth has no idea - one that has staff better dressed than the customers? Anyway Sleuth hears rumours that a prominent south Manchester TV chef is about to take over Marmalade. Watch this space. Whether the result will be pretentious or not waits to be seen.

Belated resignation
Sleuth received a notice through his door the other day. It was the newsletter from Streford and Urnston Labour Party. It announced: ‘Local Stretford and Urmston MP Bev Hughes has decided that after 12 years representing local people in Westminster she’s standing down at the next General Election. Bev made this decision with family before the expenses scandal engulfed Westminster.’ Note that last sentence. Sleuth thinks that given she was implicated in the expenses mess, spending £150 of taxpayers' cash each month on cleaning her second home for instance, it might have been better if she’d announced she was standing down before the scandal broke.

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

lisaSeptember 18th 2009.

Christ alive, back to the point please. Are the hot Aussies still in Manchester, and when will they be featuring as a prize on the ManCon Competitions page?

AnonymousSeptember 18th 2009.

Pretentious bar, noun, adjective: A place in which staff have their heads firmly stuck up there arses, with some sort of famous 'my food's to good to be cheap' type chef cooking from some sort of fusion menu. Chorlton's full of them.

Lusty LucySeptember 18th 2009.

****ing hell those Aussies are fit. Are they single?

burntSeptember 18th 2009.

I set fire to my paper house when I tried to light a well earned post coital fag

AnonymousSeptember 18th 2009.

I don't even see the free MEN on Thursdays and Fridays anymore! If they're no longer giving them away for free on certain days why don't they just say so instead of pretending that they do?

worriedSeptember 18th 2009.

When I last walked down Beech Rd, I bumped into a drug dealer from Munich! More weirdness to come I gather...

StephanieSeptember 18th 2009.

As I walked into town this morning i saw a man load a bundle of MEN's into his car from the stall outside Salford Central Station. Mind you I also saw a guy driving a Salford Council rubbsih van pick up about 10 as well. Are these people taking them back for friends outside of the city centre who have to pay for their paper.It now seems that the free papers are only widely available on Thursdays and Fridays. To try and get an MEN on Mon-Wed is a real trial. What is going on??????

The Inflatable BoySeptember 18th 2009.

I had an inflatable shop. I unfortunately popped it. And then I popped myself. My father said I'd not only let the shop down but I'd let myself down too.

Craig GSeptember 18th 2009.

Amazing...Manchester Darts. Never hear of it before....

GD VegasSeptember 18th 2009.

I must caution the gentleman in Cheshire whom is pilfering the MEN to assemble a papier-mâché house. Some years ago I embarked on a similar business enterprise and constructed a paper shop unfortunately it blew away.

johnthebriefSeptember 18th 2009.

The Hairy Surfers...? Can they cook?

DescartesSeptember 18th 2009.

Call em like you see em Mark

JinkiesSeptember 18th 2009.

Sounds to me like Sleuth's come over a bit gay and wants to keep them to himself.

Sleuth's mateSeptember 18th 2009.

Always the bridesmaid never the bride

MikeSeptember 18th 2009.

Re the predictive text paragraph, have you tried typing in smirnoff .......

AnonymousSeptember 18th 2009.

Maybe the papier mache man is the reason I've only managed to get about four issues of the MEN in the last two months... is it just me or has the number they hand out drastically reduced? Used to get hassled by at least four people handing them out on my way home from work, these days I'm lucky if I see a stack of them outside a shop let alone any actual staff.

Even more lusty ClaireSeptember 18th 2009.

Get your hands off them Lucy, they're mine. I'm going to keep them in a cellar and wear them out.

east lancsSeptember 18th 2009.

It is a bit vexing, although the MEN won't care to be fair!

mark mSeptember 18th 2009.

I seem to call some people an 'aunt' when i use predictive text

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