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Sleuth 25/04/2008

Tom Bloxham's millinery, marketing madness, politics, sex...and win a £50 bar tab

Published on April 25th 2008.

Sleuth 25/04/2008

Sleuth's property developer moment of the week

This is Tom Bloxham, property big cheese of Urban Splash, with Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Local Government, in New Islington. Tom is pointing out to Hazel the proposed location of the new hat shop. And modelling some of the stock.

Sleuth's most beautiful picture of the week
Here are two gentleman of the city being gracious and charming in Piccadilly Gardens. Future Lord Mayors of Manchester perhaps? Click here to view

Sleuth's PR moment of the week
Sleuth was keen to visit this artshow in Huddersfield until he read the full description. This made him feel that the content might be somewhat lacking. Note to the designers and Huddersfield University, re-read before pressing send button.Click here to view

Diary date
Last week Sleuth revealed the crazy crazed manufacture of a story by the South Manchester Reporter over Ed Glinert’s new book The Manchester Compendium. A little bird tells Sleuth that Ed did shifts on the MEN Diary (shortly to be renamed the Hollyoaks Express) in the early nineties. Ed acquired a nickname in the MEN office of Johnny Cash, because a few of his stories attracted the interest of m'learned friends, and legal action resulted. Johnny Cash's best known song is 'A Boy Named Sue', so the nickname seemed appropriate.

Cabbages and Swedes
Sleuth got confused a week or so ago. He'd just finished showing some Scandinavians around town when he bumped into the cabbage walkers pictured here, taking part in an art project created by Han Bing as part of the Asia Triennial in Manchester's galleries. This was a strange event but fun to see in the streets. By that time the artist had explained to the 60 participating members of the public that the local cabbages he'd picked 'were more lively and prone to dance around compared to the orderly nature of Chinese cabbages'. Sleuth felt he was losing his grip on reality when one of the organisers asked if he'd seen the suedes earlier. Then he realised she meant his Swedish guests. For a minute Sleuth had been worried there might have been a vegetable confrontation on the streets.

Letting politics get on top of you
Sleuth is pleased that Councillor Pat Karney is showing an interest in all the Confidential campaigns particularly those attempting to improve Castlefield and Piccadilly. He’s confident that this will continue after the 1 May elections. Pat, is largely responsible for providing personality in local politics. He outdid himself after talking to Confidential readers about the proposed High Street Tesco in the city centre though. This is part of his posting on Confidential - wonder what the council press office thought of the last couple of sentences. “There is really no substitute for these city discussions brought about by Confidential. [An] important decision was that I would invite the Chief Executive of Tesco, Sir Terence Leahy, to meet with me and Richard Leese to talk about Tesco’s wider plans for the city centre. So discussion with outcomes. On a less serious note one of Rob Adlard's team members starting flirting with me and as I have not had sex for ages I was tempted but the record shows I left the building and went for a cup of tea." How lovely, a little insight into Councillor Karney's sex life.

Speaking of politics
Sleuth has witnessed a few raised eyebrows over the new polling stations in the city centre for the council elections. In particular, the placing of one in the Lesbian and Gay Foundation has been a bone of contention as the building has been used as meeting place for the Labour Party, and the organisation has natural left-wing leanings. Meanwhile down in the Heatons in recent years the Conservatives have been ridiculing Labour candidate Muhammad Junejo, a resident of Gatley, for not being local. So it was interesting to read that this year's Heaton South, Tory candidate, Alex Raisbeck lives on Burnage Lane, Heaton Mersey, M19 1RR. That bit of Burnage Lane is in Manchester, not in the Heatons. A nice little case of doublethink.

Sleuth gives out £50 bar tab
Sleuth’s handing out prizes for the best ridiculous message greeting either face to face or over the phone. These are Sleuth's faves. A call to the newish ice palace at Trafford Park recieves this response: “Hello Chill Factor-e, welcome to the new home of snow." Was the old home the North Pole? Best of all is the Hard Rock Café’s greeting: “Hello this is Sally, how can I rock your world?” No honestly, they say that. Sleuth is giving out a £50 bar tab for the best reader suggestions...at a bar or pub of the reader's choice.

Weird parents
Sleuth was at the rubbish Lindow Man exhibition at Manchester Museum earlier this week. This is the exhibition with the peat bog preserved sacrificial victim from the Iron Age. Sleuth heard one five year old ask a mother what the man was doing. “Er, he's asleep,” she said, not wanting to mention he was dead. Very weird, especially when the poor guy's only got his upper body remaining. Fancy waking up from that sleep? Just as bad was this exchange. Boy of seven: “how did the man die?” Dad: “it was a ritual killing.” Mum: “why did you have to tell him that, you could have just said it was a disease.” Modern parenting: let's just disguise the truth shall we?

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

Ed GlinertApril 25th 2008.

Aah yes the days when the Manchester Evening News diary did real hard-hitting stories as opposed to regurgitating press releases from TV companies. Yes I did indeed do some tasty stuff - how the county council were making huge pay-offs to staff prior to abolition for instance. M'learned friends were always quick to send begging letters to the MEN editor, knowing that the paper was too weak to challenge them and would pay up without question. My stint on the Diary ended after I committed the heinous crime of accusing the former council leader, Billy Egerton, of still smoking. As you can imagine, this could have become the libel case of the century, right up there with Elton John v The Sun and Sonia Sutcliffe v Private Eye.

Kev PApril 25th 2008.

Forgot to add - On the issue of extra polling stations in the city centre, I don't understand the issue with having one at the LGF - Are people worried tories will be stopped at the door or something?! It's absurd! Incidentally, it's due to the hard work of city centre Labour campaigners that we have the extra polling stations located closer to residents to make it easier for people to come out and vote. Our local Lib Dem Councillors didn't seem to be doing anything about it, I imagine the low turnout suited them just fine as long as they were winning...

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

When I worked for City Life Magazine many moons ago, we would amuse ourselves by answering the phone 'Shitty Life!'.No-one noticed.

crazyjohnApril 25th 2008.

Said in French accent for maximum funny effect: 'ello City Catering, can I take your hor derve, please?'

AMCApril 25th 2008.

"This is the Comedy Store. Get funny or get off."

JohnApril 25th 2008.

Drawoh says..“ Whoah jerry the cat, This reads like one of those punctuation tests we had at school. "Here's a stream of words...insert full stops, commas and the like for points". Has your full stop key packed in?”------- Drawoh,did your Caps Lock button on the keyboard get stuck at certain time when you were typing that?

Scottish ladApril 25th 2008.

Propositioned girl, no I love those shoes. I take them out occasionally and look at them and think of those precious stolen moments on the Royal Mile, me, you, the haggis, neeps and tatties: a pair of lost young people experimenting with life and lust. Well something like that anyway.

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

sorry. leoj.

SusanApril 25th 2008.

I worked there and it went '" Good morning , The Crowne Plaza , Holiday Inn Midland Hotel Manchester , Susan speaking How can I help you ? The best response was " bloody hell . is that the Midland ? The worst " Can you repeat that !

GordoApril 25th 2008.

Hu-gene, yes, as anonymous points out, it's 50% of at Pacifica in Worsley, a quite fabulouse chinese, Pacific in Manchester is the place where the Thai part for sure is absolutely pants.

PropositionedApril 25th 2008.

Back in the day when I was a skinny 20 something I was in a nightclub in Edinburgh dancing with a bunch of mates celebrating our friend's 21st birthday party, when a Scottish lad came up to me and said "nice shoes, lets f*ck!". I thought it was hilarious, but respectfully declined the kind offer.

jerry the catApril 25th 2008.

when I worked for BT I used to answer the minicom line for the deaf it uses typing to communicate in order to make sure it was a deaf person I used to answer with BT text line for the deaf, most peole just launched into conversation to which I would interupt with are you deaf? no was the ususal indignant reply, however for the one or two that did listen I got what did you say sex line for the deaf or text line for the dead never did get a deaf person in over a year of answering it.

hu-gene has a red faceApril 25th 2008.

anon: flaming nora..i wish i didn't have tiny size 5's as i wouldn't be able to put them in my mouth so often. Somone banish me from ranting about b***s***over and out

surprisedApril 25th 2008.

woah woah woah, back up a second...... Is Pat Karney gay?!?!? Well I never!

Kev PApril 25th 2008.

Haha - I wouldn't have wanted to be the one papping those chavs, I hope the photographer had long legs!I think Pat Karney is exactly the kind of public official we need - He listens to people, gets things done and isn't some faceless Town Hall entity. Plus he doesn't take everything so *seriously*!! Well done for turning down the tory Pat - He probably wouldn't have been very good anyway, hahaha!

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

leog - that is the best thing I've heard all day. I wish I could answer the phone like that, it would surely brighten up my day!ps i am fat and gay

alApril 25th 2008.

cor, whoever "papped" those scallies taking a leak must have had to make a quick getaway!

PropositionedApril 25th 2008.

Hi there Scottish lad, you weren't half bad yourself. Can I have my shoes back?

hu-geneApril 25th 2008.

on an unrelated topic, why are ManCon offering 50% off @ Pacifica when it's 'Pacifica, Chinatown was rated the best by Gordo's pal Drew Smith, ex editor of the Good Food Guide, eight years ago, but is now in Gordo's opinion THE WORST, with a recent buffet meal at lunch being close to poisonous. It was so bad Gordo felt queasy for a day after.'Well, that really instills credibility...slag a place off so no-one wants to go, and then offer meals at half price...or was it the other way round?Care to comment ManCon?

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

"Hello, Manchester Museum... I'd like to apologise for the Lindow Man exhibition, but he hasn't got a leg to stand on!" *boom boom ching* Sorry, bad pun!

John McrApril 25th 2008.

I think the artshow copy was supposed to be a bit of a joke (check their website), guess that flew right over your heads! maybe "re-read before pressing send button" ??

central mcrApril 25th 2008.

I'll give you a go Anthony! Any time...! (Oh and I'll give you a go on May 1st too, far better than the current yellow cllrs, not seen them around for ages.) xx

jerry the catApril 25th 2008.

Get a life Drawoh !!! ,,, .... !!! ''''' are you a school teacher?

Anthony McCaulApril 25th 2008.

I thought that was what you usually had at Grado?! I'm sure they would have looked after you.

leojApril 25th 2008.

A few years ago I was working on a pair of highbrow TV enetertainment documentaries with the working titles, "Before They Were Fat" and "Before They Were Gay".To amuse ourselves during the long hours of searching for footage of Elton John looking vaguely slim and hetrosexual we agreed that it would hilarious if we answered the phone thus, "Hello, Fat and Gay how can I help you".

Anthony McCaul says Confidential's been hoodwinkedApril 25th 2008.

Oh dear - wonder who you've been listening to... I can categorically state that we've NOT used the LGF for Labour Party meetings. I have been to meetings in the building about the future of Sackville Gardens (I'm the acting secretary of the Friends Group) and about regional transport plans as have people from other parties. The important thing is that we have more polling stations - 3 in total - to increase the turnout in the city centre (one of the lowest in Manchester).

andyApril 25th 2008.

" "Telephone message at Ithaca!

drew peacockApril 25th 2008.

"Hello, the Temple...Phil at your convenience!"

JimApril 25th 2008.

Er...folks, there seems a bit too much sex going on here, calm down. My fave phone response was when the Midland hotel was owned by lots of partner companies and they'd answer with: 'Hello, the Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Midland Hotel in Manchester, how can I help you?' By which time you'd booked somewhere else.

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

no no no. i wasnt being sarky! 'hello, fat and gay' is the best way ever to answer the phone. i love it.

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

Pat Karneys sex life ....priceless , you could not make it up .

GordoApril 25th 2008.

Anthony McCaul, thank you for your leaflet that dropped through my letter bax the other day. Your offer in bright red letters covering the front page of an A4 leaflet I thought charming. GIVE ME A GO. Subtle copy writing that. I will pass if you don't mind, but the two swarthy middle aged gentlemen in the flat below who wear Jaeger twin set and pearls may well be taking you up on it. Both together, apparantly.

Scottish ladApril 25th 2008.

Dear Propositioned, I was that Scottish lad and I thought I was successful that night. You were good lady.

DrawohApril 25th 2008.

Whoah jerry the cat, This reads like one of those punctuation tests we had at school. "Here's a stream of words...insert full stops, commas and the like for points". Has your full stop key packed in?

LeeApril 25th 2008.

Seriously, scally butts and a publicity person's worst nightmare (so glad it turned out to be deliberate), you've just put me off my lunch... twice!

AoifeApril 25th 2008.

The Michael Caines Champagne and Cocktail Bar..."I'm only supposed to pick the bloody phone up"

AnonymousApril 25th 2008.

hu-gene - I think Gordo meant Pacific in Chinatown, not Pacifica. Totally different restaurant.

ClareApril 25th 2008.

I used to work at Pizza Hut (a long time ago) and I used to answer the phone 'Hello, Dirty Sluts, Clare speaking how can I help?'

GordoApril 25th 2008.

The term 'spit roasting' was used in our journey in the lift. You may well understand this term, Gordo, however, was feeling a little nervous.

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