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Sleuth Wk 26: Mark Kermode, Food, Traffic Jams, Spanners, Scientologists

Look at all this madness in Manchester

Published on June 23rd 2013.


Sleuth Wk 26: Mark Kermode, Food, Traffic Jams, Spanners, Scientologists
 

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Mark Kermode Crashes A Van

Mark Kermode (main picture above) was interviewed by Confidential this week about an evening of movie music he's presenting at the Bridgewater Hall in July - Film Music Live. Kermode is perhaps the UK's best known broadcast film critic. He got his break with City Life magazine in Manchester in the 1980s. But he's fortunate he's around at all.

Early one morning he was picking up the magazines in the City Life van from the printers to bring them back to the office for distribution.

"I lost control on the motorway," says Kermode. "The load shifted in the back or probably I was doing my hair in the mirror. I bounced between the barriers. I totalled the van.  It was bad, but no-one else was involved. The van limped back to town. I said, "I've had an accident in the van." We got the lovely guy from Salford Van Hire on the phone. He said very concerned, "Are you all right? "Yes." "Was anybody else hurt?" "No" "You haven't got whiplash?" "No." The phone went quiet. "You fucking idiot what the hell do you think you were doing!" he screamed down the phone."

The full interviewwith Kermode will appear later this week.

Massive New Tent In Land Of Pop-ups

The editor alerted Sleuth to a large temporary erection in Spinningfields - an area of town which is packed with so many temporary erections it's getting a bit blue movie. This new pop-up is the Aperol pavilion, an Italian alcholic drink, akin to Campari, which will be promoting itself during Wimbledon as people lounge on the Spinningfields' lawns and watch the big screens. To begin with as the video below shows we wondered whether the Aperol pavilion was going to be an enormous catapult. In the end it turned out to be a small Sydney Opera House next to Manchester Opera House. This is a view from above with a man engaged in erection.

Impressive dimensions

Impressive dimensions

Best Pork Cutlet For Yonks

Sleuth was overwhelmed this week by a pork cutlet from Smoak in the Malmaison. It wasn't dry, it wasn't undercooked, it was just so - massively seasoned but very fine - with a sauce that made it all the better. Sleuth was so happy he repeated the famous Ogden Nash ditty to the waiters: 'The pig, if I am not mistaken/ Supplies us sausage, ham and bacon/ Let others say his heart is big/ I call it stupid of the pig'. Except he changed the line to 'I call it clever of the pig'. Sleuth is a huge fan of the generosity of pigs.

Pork cutlet

Pork cutlet

Sleuth's Crazy Letter Of The Week To Scientologists

Sleuth found these stuck to city walls all over the city - and he thought the art of letter writing was dead. Sleuth particularly likes the line about how 'They control children with beams and spells'. Sleuth could do with something like that for his kids. 

Letter writing alive and well

 

Letter writing alive and well

Sleuth's Magic Benches

Sit on these benches around the city and you get free Wifi. Maybe you could spend some time composing a letter like the one above. Or just maybe park your bike against it.

Wifi benchesWifi benches

Sleuth’s Arrogant Car Owner Of The Week 

Maybe the sign is too small and compact to be seen.

 I'm just really two small cars together so that's fine eh?

I'm just really two small cars together so that's fine eh?

Puns Are Not Just For Christmas

We put this in the Food and Drink Roundup this week. Great news for foodies that Dave Spanner, ex-chef of Livebait, is back in the city centre. He’s now leading the kitchen at the Restaurant Bar and Grill. Sleuth wonders if it was a wrench to leave his last place and whether Spanner can tighten things up at RBG, you know, sort out the nuts and bolts, drill the kitchen staff properly and then screw down the consistency of the menu. Sleuth thinks it is excellent that Dave Spanner is on the tools. 

Sleuth’s Traffic Jam Of The Week

Robbie Williams was in town this week and 230,000 fans came with him. This meant that it was lockdown and gridlock on several evenings with the worst of the mess on Deansgate where the road has been narrowed and closed at one end in the last year or so. When asked, a council representative said, "This proves we need to act on traffic control in the city centre." "But if you'd left things alone then it wouldn't have been as bad," said Sleuth. "We couldn't have the left it as it was," said the man, mysteriously, clearly of the mentality that 'if it ain't broke, fix it'.

Chester Road leading to lockdown in all directions

Chester Road leading to lockdown in all directions

Sleuth's Door Of The Week

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policemen, firemen, concierges, essential workers, Mark Kermode, Scientologists, Black & Decker salesmen, pigs, pop-ups and the complete audience of the Robbie Willams' gigs, and asked: "Can you tell us where we lost our purple balloons? We think we had them in a back alley somewhere off Cross Street?"

"Why," says Sleuth, "they would be down Back Pool Fold close to Sam's Chop House. The 'pool' of Back Pool Fold was where Manchester had its ducking stool in which naughty women would be submerged as a punishment. I bet you didn't know that?"

"We didn't want to know that. We just wanted to find our balloons," said all the policemen, firemen, concierges, essential workers, Mark Kermode, Scientologists, Black & Decker salesmen, pigs, pop-ups and the complete audience of the Robbie Willams gigs.

Those lost balloons

Those lost balloons

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