Week 29: in which Sleuth instigates high-level accountancy wars
Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious @mcrsleuth
Sleuth and Phil Collins
*The artist called Phil Collins curated the arrival of the Friedrich Engels’ statue outside HOME for Manchester International Festival last Sunday. Engels, the co-author of the Communist Manifesto, alongside Karl Marx, lived on and off in Manchester for 22 years from 1842. Sleuth interviewed Phil Collins. “What inspired you to bring the statue to Manchester,” asked Sleuth. “I could feel it in the air tonight,” said Collins. “What do think of its location here? Did you think about it once or twice ?” asked Sleuth. “Oh think twice, it’s another day for you and me in paradise,” said Collins. “What was the genesis of the idea?” asked Sleuth. “Peter Gabriel,” said Collins. “You’re not the right Collins are you, but could you do that famous drum break?” asked Sleuth. “Bugger off,” said Collins. “Right you are,” said Sleuth.**
*Readers under 35 should look away. **Readers under 35 can now return.
Sleuth, Engels and irony
Sleuth was mostly underwhelmed by the unveiling event on Sunday, the bit in the car park anyway, which involved standing around drinking Stella as Maxine Peake chucked red balls off a van, and watching on the big screen a woman with exposed breasts who'd clearly never seen a camera before interview a chain-smoking artist who didn’t appear to know where he was. Artists eh? In fact, so uncomfortable was the experience that Sleuth only lasted about ten minutes before escaping to the gin terrace at the Innside hotel, where, whilst perched above the statue of the founding father of Communism, surrounded by anti-capitalist placards atop his plinth outside Pizza Express, Sleuth ordered a martini and olives and laughed about the irony of it all. Not such a funny evening for the police though, which, during the celebration for the radical Marxist thinker, experienced a 4000% increase in home burglaries in Chorlton.
Sleuth’s dish of the week
Sleuth often nips into Ho’s Bakery on Faulkner Street, He loves the take away chicken curry pasties, the honey buns and just about everything else. This week there was something new. This time there were cheese and frankfurter buns and pizza buns. Sleuth tried a take away pizza bun. “Ah, interesting,” he said to the lamp post round the corner, “that’s clearly the most disgusting thing I’ve eaten all year.”
Sleuth’s cocky email of the week
Sleuth was minding his own business this week, sorting through his inbox, when he happened upon a curious (and as yet unexplained email) from a property agent. The email listed for sale ten freehold public houses in the North West, eight of which contained the word ‘Cock’ in their name. There was The Cock & Donkey and The Cock & Rabbit, The Cock & Greyhound and The Cock & Swine, The Cocked Hat and The Beartown Cock, and Sleuth’s personal favourites, The Cock & Seaman and the Cock & Pullet (yes the Pullet came before the Seaman).
Sleuth really didn’t know what to make of the email, perhaps it was a prank, but thought he’d better email the agent to clarify: ‘Is this what they called a ‘cock fest’?’ wrote Sleuth. He’s still awaiting a reply.
Sleuth’s pub quiz confidence
One of Sleuth’s colleagues attended a pub quiz with a difference in The Beagle, Chorlton this week. The quiz was based entirely around cult American animated comedy The Simpsons, and turned out to be their busiest ever. “There were about 40 teams,” said Sleuth’s colleague, “people were stood up answering questions while four deep at the bar.” “How did you do?” asked Sleuth. “Well, I thought we were in with a decent chance,” said Sleuth’s colleague, “until I walked in and saw a woman with three Simpsons tattoos on her arm… then I knew we were f**ked.”
Sleuth’s credit card call of the week
Sleuth was talking to a bank person in India about his credit card. “We have to do the security questions first, so mother’s maiden name please?” Sleuth responded. “Place of birth please?” Sleuth told her. “The name of your secondary school?” Sleuth gave the answer. “Is it raining in Manchester?” Pause. “That’s not one of my security questions,” said Sleuth finally. “No, I was just asking,” said the banker.
Sleuth’s out of office notice of the week
Anthony Barnes of Ancoats restaurant Squid Ink is away. Sleuth knows this because of his out of office notice. ‘From July 15th to August 10th I will be out of the country on my honeymoon. If it is an urgent matter, Emirates do fairly reasonable flights to Bali where you can come and tell me in person because I will not be checking my work emails until I’ve returned. For all non-urgent stuff, relax, pour a glass of wine and if anyone asks why you’re drinking at work say you’re raising a toast to me and my new wife!’
Sleuth and high-level accountancy wars
Sleuth was up on the Ernst & Young balcony of 2 St Peter’s Square this week, taking pictures from what is perhaps the finest viewpoint in the city. He tweeted some pictures stating this. Last year Sleuth had been on the KPMG balcony of 1 St Peter’s Square from where he’d tweeted pictures and stated it was perhaps the finest viewpoint in the city. A KPMG person responded to Sleuth’s visit to 2 St Peter’s Square declaring ‘balcony wars’. As he said, “it’s taking competition between the rival accountancy firms to a whole new level. Literally.”
Sleuth’s highest table football machines in the North West
These are on the aforementioned Ernst & Young balcony. Beware wayward balls raining down from above via the erratic and illegal spinning of cheating players.
Sleuth’s Hogwarts sign of the week
There have been a lot of graduations this week and Sleuth liked this sign at the back of the Midland Hotel.
Sleuth's archaeologist of the week
Spotted: experimental archaeologist refuses traditional approach to conducting digs with spades and trowels at Manchester's Roman fort in Castlefield. "You've just got to use your head," he told Sleuth.
Sleuth's random insult of the week
Sleuth's colleagues were out filming a promo video for a client in the city centre this week, when a man, without provocation, began hurling xenophobic abuse their way. Listen to the clip carefully and you'll hear the man call Sleuth's colleagues 'thieving Spanish bastards'. Sleuth thinks it was perhaps the ghost of famous Elizabethan sailor, navigator and Spanish-hater, Sir Francis Drake... either that or your bog-standard park-moping piss-artist.