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Female sado-masochism, tongue-tied in New York and YQ travels to the future

Published on April 13th 2007.


Tied up in knots
Sleuth is feeling left out. He was drinking the other night in his favourite Village venue Taurus when he learned of a rival to Manchester International Festival. Coming at the end of May the city is hosting the International Women's SM Conference. Tickets for the 'Main Play Party' are £10, a better deal might be the 'Lash for Lassies' event at the 'special conference price' of £5. Sleuth got excited then read the small print, 'SM Dykes Manchester welcomes all women who live full-time as women, and FTM and intersexed persons who still have links with the female community'. Oh well. Still Sleuth couldn't help feeling a more appropriate location for the event would be Cord - with all those wash clean tiles. Not that he'd want to be roped into organising it. He's tied up anyway.

Symbollockism across the pond
Speaking of Manchester International Festival the New Yorker magazine on 9 April ran a cheeky article from Rebecca Mead about the Big Apple launch. You can read the full article on the www.newyorker.com. Seemingly Nick Johnson, a top dog in both Urban Splash and Marketing Manchester, was caught flat-footed. Thus: '"The Hacienda was a very significant thing for me," he said, referring to the night club depicted in the movie 24 Hour Party People; he admitted, however, that he hadn't actually gone there very often. "For me it was far more important symbolically. There were people who went three times a week, and they have no brain left now."' Fortunately Ms Mead failed to press Johnson on the inclusion of Happy Mondays in the Festival line-up.

Telepathic journalism
Sleuth was reviewing the press this week and even dipped into the latest YQ, apparently the 'North West's only monthly contemporary lifestyle magazine'. He was amused to note the report on the opening party at Opulence in Altie. This new venue is setting out to prove that, contrary to popular belief, the monied classes in the rich hinterlands have refined tastes. They will do this by offering Cristal champagne by the glass. Bless them. Anyway back to the extraordinary powers of YQ. The magazine's reported how it really loved the lush opening event and lavish party. Or maybe they got confused with the current Dr Who exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry. Or borrowed the Doctor's Tardis, as the Opulence party has been cancelled and put back several weeks. YQ is clearly a magazine with foresight.

Capital of culture
Continuing on the theme of a good read, Sleuth couldn't help noticing the cover story in Guardian Weekend mag focusing on 'the people behind the food' who work in restaurants around Britain. Ho Le from the Saigon restaurant in Liverpool - a city Sleuth loves to visit now and then to apologise to the citizens for making the odd Scouse joke - was reported as saying, "It's hard to educate people in a small town... some of them can't even pronounce Saigon. They say 'Sign on'..." Er Sleuth will leave that one there.

Slice of the action
Following last week's revelations about the move to Leeds it appears local indie pizzeria operator Croma's ambitions are limitless. Next up is Croma Prestwich, next door to the Marks and Sparks, then Croma Plymouth, but not the Plymouth in Devon, this joins the existing restaurant in Massachusetts. Meanwhile it was good to note the glowing review for Earle in Hale in the Sunday Telegraph last week. The strangest promotion for a while though could be that at the new Harry Ramsdens on Chester Road, opposite that triumph of architectural imagination which is White City Retail Park. Prove you're called Harry and you get a free fish and chips meal between 13 - 20 April 2007. Now where is that Harry Potter costume?

All in a name
Sleuth does occasionally find himself excluded from the world of women as at the SM Conference. Walking the streets the other day he heard a woman calling her Peugeot 205, Howie. Sleuth made enquiries. She told him that she always names her cars after members of Take That and this was in honour of Howard Donald - you know the one: tall, specialises in energetic miming. Apparently the car she called Robbie had an engine which kept flooding and then after being fixed up would run well for a time before breaking down. Still Sleuth was intrigued and wondered if this naming of cars was something many women did. Turns out every female member of Manchester Confidential staff is up to it: there's Foxy, the VW Polo, Branston, the Nissan Micra, Alfie, the Mini Cooper, Percy, the Punto and so on. One staff member calls her car Clio. "That would be because it's a Renault?" asked Sleuth. "No, it's a Ka, and it's spelt Cleo and I just like the name." Fair enough. Gordo doesn't have a name for his car: he doesn't have a car, he ate it.

Value for money
Sleuth is impartial when it comes to Manchester football. He's a bit red, a bit blue or pretending he is anyway. A friend though, just renewed his adult and kid's season tickets at the City of Manchester Stadium for around £600. 'Don't know why I bother," he grumbled. "With three home games to go this season, City have only scored ten goals." The ever helpful Sleuth pointed out that unless things improve over the next three home games that would work out, on current prices, at £60 a goal. Sleuth's buddy reached for a drink and rang 118118 for the number of the Trades Description people. Call that entertainment.

Shopping with birds
At Sainsburys on Regent Road, Sleuth was deliberating between a pork pie or a Scotch egg when a winged species whooshed past his right ear. "It's been here for a couple of weeks now. Avis have tried to catch it," chirped the customer service girl. Sleuth thought the RSPCA would be better than a car rental company but decided advice of this nature was outside his competency. "We're not allowed to touch it as it's an endangered species," the girl continued. Sleuth is no Bill Oddie, but even he could see the bird was no peregrine falcon, in fact it was the somewhat less impressive house sparrow. Sleuth gazed up to see the bird waggling its arse threateningly over his shoulder. "What about the food?" Sleuth asked, concerned about Health and Safety. The Customer Service girl replied, "Oh, we feed him and give him water." Sleuth dropped his basket and went to Asda.

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

Mrs De PointeApril 13th 2007.

Ah Guardian Weekend fails to understand Scouse witty and intentional wordplay. Oh dear. Keep up!

toby_james642@hotmail.comApril 13th 2007.

yeh...because manchester confidential never makes any mistakes. To be honest, slagging off other publications just makes you sound a bit petty.

Mr XApril 13th 2007.

You're right, it probably was tongue-in-cheek. But with the amount of bollocks around these days, can you blame me for thinking it was real?! I for one quite like Mancon's bitchiness... keep slagging the MEN!

MattApril 13th 2007.

I think it was supposed to be tongue in cheek Mr X... anyway, I think YQ is a pretty good magazine overall, better than most in the area. Everyone makes mistakes. Manchester Confidential should stop slagging off other people, it makes them look petty. Just get on with doing what you do best.

gordoApril 13th 2007.

Eh Toby, I have left the MEN alone recently! In fact i think they have actually started to realise that they don't have a monopoly on large readerships anymore and have improved greatly to try and compete. Good stuff. So I'm keeping out of it.

Mr XApril 13th 2007.

The rest of the YQ piece is pretty cringeworthy as well. I mean, "I have been wondering, where does one go to sup Cristal these days?"Try the 1990s

toby_james642@hotmail.comApril 13th 2007.

fair point actually. Just with the constant bitching about the MEN it gets a bit much, stick to making manchester confidential good is what i say

Dr WhoApril 13th 2007.

I wondered who had borrowed my Tardis.. YQ.. how can you ever be taken as a credible publication if your reporting ficticious parties..no matter how good the "hype" has been for the party.. im sure you should, actually, really, actually go before you print anything about it...fools.

SimonApril 13th 2007.

Toby, there's a big difference between making a mistake and out and out lying.

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