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Sleuth 26/07/2010

Royal Exchange Tragedy, Chadderton’s high fences, Chipgate, Pizzagate, Duckgate, Sentencegate, Gardengate

Published on July 28th 2010.

Sleuth 26/07/2010

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.

Massive tragedy in the Royal Exchange
Sleuth was in the Royal Exchange with a group of people. They walked one way around the theatre, then came back the other way and found a woman crushed to death by a big ball of textiles. “Tragic,” said Sleuth shaking his head. “Isn’t it just part of some festival I read about?” said a visitor from Keele University. “Nope,” said Sleuth, “she’s quiet dead.”

Chadderton posting
So Sleuth was walking to the Confidential office and he bumped into an MEN buddy. “So how’s it going?” Sleuth asked. “Not great. Soon I’ll be working behind an eight foot high security fence in Chadderton - just what I always wanted,” came the morose reply. In September the MEN will be moving to a glorified B&Q Warehouse in Chaddy. Part of this is down to a ruinous decision from the previous management to lease an expensive city centre property just as ad revenues went south. No wonder people at our local paper are depressed.

MEN sensationalist headlines
What with endless shock headlines such as ‘Lapdancer who couldn’t stop stripping’ and ‘Man not able to go to sister’s wedding after legs get stolen’ (or something like that) Sleuth can’t help but notice how the MEN have gone for broke with sensationalist headlines. It must be a policy of new owners Trinity Mirror. Maybe in September we’ll have, ‘Horrified Manchester journalists imprisoned behind workcamp fence far from home’. These things are, after all, a mere matter of interpretation.

Chipgate part 2
We had Chipgate last week as reported by Gordo (click here). This was when Livebait Restaurant (or rather their PR people) rudely failed to deliver us some promised fish and chips as part of a campaign to raise the restaurant’s lowly profile - as the media are liggers naturally we were upset and hungry. The excuse the following day was ‘We had ‘technical’ difficulties with our mobile element of the campaign’. Eh? The car broke down? They got blisters walking around town? PR speak - a language that tries so hard to avoid saying anything negative it talks gibberish.

Chipgate part 3
Bless the agency involved in Chipgate, Mortimer Chadwick Grey Public Relations. They still bravely delivered fish and chips to Confidential a couple of days later despite Gordo’s story becoming the second top entry after their own website on any Google search. Not that they were having much more luck second time around. Before arriving at Confidential the hapless agency had attempted to deliver some fish and chips to the MEN. They were turned away by the ‘facilities manager’ on a Heath and Safety concern (we never found out exactly why) until the senior staff got a whiff of the food and kicked up a fuss. Senior management were probably thinking, ‘this type of freebie might not happen when we’re in Chaddy.’

Confusion in the nether regions
So Neil Sowerby, Confidential Travel Editor and the best fed and air-miled journalist in the Northern Hemisphere, rang up Sleuth at Confidential and said: “I’m going to send you my travel shorts. Do what you want with them?”

Confusion in the nether regions resolved
Sleuth thought about Sowerby’s kind offer. “What would I want to do with your shorts apart from burn them?” said Sleuth, vaguely wondering what attire the grizzled one might adopt in hot climates in future. Sowerby said, “I meant a series of short news in brief stories for the travel section. You’re not really cut out for this journalism lark are you?” “No,” admitted Sleuth.

Quack attack on Confidential
One of the sales staff went stir-crazy last week and went round the office telling everybody about anatidaephobia. This is ‘the irrational fear of being watched by a duck’. Sleuth loves how all the definitions call it an ‘irrational’ fear just in case we might think it an entirely normal anxiety. As Sleuth was mulling anatidaephobia over he took a look out of the window and saw this on a window ledge. There might be something in that phobia after all.

Sleuth's worst sentence of the month
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that architects, landscapers and planners can’t write – or speak very well in public. Recently Sleuth looked at the St Peter’s Square development proposals, which had asked entrants to include a Peterloo Massacre memorial. One entry began like this: ‘The Peterloo Massacre was a historic milestone to be held in the psyche of those fighting for parliamentary justice which put Manchester on the map as a city of radical thought at the forefront of many reforms’. The fact that the proposal was by the far the worst couldn’t excuse that sentence, even if it did emanate from the twisted Babel Fish brain of a landscape architect.

Model walkway
So Sleuth had a lovely afternoon tea in the Town Hall and was walking out when he bumped into Ian Simpson and a young chap. Ian Simpson is the joint boss with Rachel Haugh of Ian Simpson Architects (Urbis, Beetham Tower, No1 Deansgate...er...every new building and refurbishment in Manchester). “What’s that there?” asked Sleuth pointing at the bulky object in an opaque covering in the lad’s hands. “It’s our proposal for the walkway between the Central Library and the Town Hall Extension,” said Simpson. “Oooh, can I have a look?” said Sleuth. “Not really,” said Mr S, “just about to show it to the Council Leader see what he thinks?” Sleuth spotted the big brief case in Simpson’s hands. “Is that full of money?” joked Sleuth.

Not one pizza offer story
A Confidential reader found this in El Loco’s the high-class take-away joint on Whitworth Street West – yes we are known for our reader’s appreciation of the best food and drink in the city. Sleuth likes the spelling of ‘claime’ and the nature of the offer.

Two pizza stories – for the price of one
Sam Jones, a professional North Mancunian, loves a pizza. Here’s a new business in Oldham he found. Sam thought it quite the best halal pizza, he’s ever had, “not that I’ve ever had a one before,” he admitted, “but of those I’ve never had it really stands out.”

It’s beginning to frighten Sleuth now
Sleuth wishes that duck would stop looking at him. It’s getting too close.

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

AgricolaJuly 26th 2010.

They're at it again this morning Sleuth. MEN headlines include: 'Golf club sued by man hit by ball while sweeping his pation' and the almost perfect, 'Stag party bus crash horror'.

TreeceJuly 26th 2010.

Made me laugh that. Well done. Ducks eh?

Stand and StareJuly 26th 2010.

I don't like that duck's eye one bit. But I do like halal pizzas. And non-halal pizzas. But not ducks' eyes.

mancangelJuly 26th 2010.

i think the idea of covering library walk is terrible. has planning permission been applied for? have been trying to find out for a while but cant get a straight answer

Plan manJuly 26th 2010.

Thye've not decided what to do yet Mancangel

SensationalistJuly 26th 2010.

Maybe in September we´ll have, ‘Horrified Manchester journalists imprisoned behind workcamp fence far from home´. Very good. A proper dig.

Mark JorgensenJuly 26th 2010.

Never EVER trust a shifty mallard voyeur.
Their eyes are so black as they contain the very oil which lubricates the gears of Hell.
True story.

Gourmet LunchJuly 26th 2010.

Office in Bangla Chad? Gosh - on your commute, you can now stop off at Beefeaters in Moston. It's a cracker!

OffermanJuly 27th 2010.

Is this the best Sleuth in a while? A nice balance of absurdity and wit. Very funny.

Karen ClefJuly 27th 2010.

There's nothing wrong with Chadderton as such. But for a paper called the Manchester Evening News that's supposed to be at the heart of city life (if you forgive the pun) then it's an admission of defeat. Yeah those headlines are shocking.

Andrew RevansJuly 27th 2010.

It's not a glorified B&Q warehouse; it's a former Ferranti factory. For the benefit of younger readers, Ferranti was a world leading electronics company; - yet another great Manchester institution to have gone down the pan...

LeewitleyJuly 27th 2010.

Im getting fed up halal everywhere, where can i get a non-halal anything from these days? im usually outnumbered by a long shot

MaggsJuly 27th 2010.

There are worse places than Chadderton - pretty close to the original Ocean Treasure and the wonderful Chi Yip Chinese supermarket for a start (AND you can park there for free!!)

TomegranateJuly 27th 2010.

Lee, why would you especially want your food to be non-halal? Does it taste different being halal?
You sound a bit like one of those 'persecuted native majority' types, though I'm sure you're not.

AnonymousJuly 27th 2010.

I loved the bag of money sleuth. Are they both suing.

JackAugust 1st 2010.

Re Simpsons & Library Walk, let's hope the 2 listed k6 Gilbert Scott designed telephone kiosks get the respect they deserve and are restored as part of this scheme.

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