Week 35: in which Sleuth encounters a ringtone bad boy
Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth
Sleuth sees the shortlist for the Carbuncle Cup - architecture's most unwanted prize - was announced this week. Two North West buildings made the cut: Stockport's new £45m leisure complex, Redrock, and the extension to the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool. Both awful, awful buildings in their own way. But Sleuth can't help but think the Carbuncle judges have made a glaring omission. Surely it doesn't get worse than the two cardboard embarrassments recently put up next to the tram tracks in Pomona Wharf by Rowlinsons? As editor-at-large Jonathan Schofield wrote this week, these 'lurk between Cornbrook tram stop and Manchester Ship Canal, as unwelcome as a naked baboon’s arse at a will-reading.' Well put, thinks Sleuth.
Sleuth was asked by some jokers to do a ghost tour of Manchester popping into a few haunted locations. And Sleuth means jokers too, they were mainly professional comedians including Gary Delaney. The tour was for Caimh McDonnell, an Irish comedian and novelist. His new novel will be set in Manchester and deal with the supernatural. In the Principal Hotel ballroom one of the comedians said, looking at the stage: “Hey Ciamh, I did a gig here for a corporate group. You can put it in your spooky book, I died on my arse up there. I’m back to haunt it.”
Ringtone bad boy
Sleuth was having a drink in the Bull’s Head pub close to Piccadilly Station and eavesdropping on the conversation of two men in their thirties. Suddenly one of their phones rang, the man looked at it and let it go to voice mail. “That’s not your usual ringtone,” said the other man. “No, that’s just for when my wife calls,” said the first. “But why La Bamba?” said the other. “I heard it once and I started singing along with some made-up lyrics,” said the first at which point he started singing to the tune of La Bamba, “Oh God, my wife is calling me again, my wife is calling me again and I’m in the pub.” Both men sniggered. La Bamba rang on the phone again, “Hello darling,” said the man in a soft voice, “I’m leaving the office soon.” Yes, ladies, men are rubbish.
Sleuth’s saddest story of the week
Sleuth was told by an Old Trafford resident how he was peckish and peckish for Japanese food. So he called an order through UberEats from Itsu in Spinningfields. Then he waited and got hungrier and hungrier. Eventually he saw an UberEats deliverer coming down the street but unburdened by a bike or a scooter. Instead the fella had picked up the order from Itsu, walked to the tram stop at Castlefield/Deansgate, taken a tram to Firswood Station, and then walked to the destination address. He said he needed the work at the moment and didn’t have a vehicle. The house is a minimum of 2.5 miles from Spinningfields. That’s dedication, thought Sleuth on hearing the tale. Or desperation. Fortunately Mr UberEats received a nice tip from his hungry customer.
“Stags and whores.” “Eh?” said a confused Sleuth at an event in Altrincham. He was staring at mainly a group of older ladies who looked the very image of polite, middle-class types. “We’re stags and whores,” repeated the woman. “I have no idea what you mean,” said a slightly scared Sleuth after a few seconds of wondering whether there was a secret venue in Altrincham that catered for that sort of thing for people of advancing years. Maybe Altrincham Market’s Nick Johnson had branched out with another entrepreneurial initiative? The grey pound-ing, so to speak. “Some of us are members of South Trafford Archaeological Group, thus Stag,” explained the lady, giggling, “and others are members of the Hale And Altrincham Womens Social, thus Haaws. Sometimes we like to slightly mispronounce it for amusement.” Sleuth admits he found the women to be a very entertaining group of Haaws. He left with a smile on his face.