Week 14: in which Sleuth encounters an inexplicable triptych
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
HOME caught between two stools
HOME arts centre tries so very hard to be at the heart of socially progressive developments, painfully so. Last year, as the focus of people’s right to self-declare what and who they are moved to transgender issues, HOME changed a women’s toilet into a transgender one. People were confused, a few applauded, some complained. In the face of this HOME now seems to have gone a bit batty, reckons Sleuth.
As shown in the pictures, the toilets to one side of the bar now carry the sign, ‘Everyone is welcome to use these toilets, if preferred, gender specific toilets can be found (elsewhere)’. The sign on the door says ‘All Gender Toilets. In these toilets you will find cubicles and urinals’. Previously the sign on the door was of a man, urinals and all. Of course, it was a gents.
Sleuth thinks that HOME, over this issue, needs some common sense. How many women are really going to use toilets with urinals, when they can walk ten metres to a ‘gender specific’ loo, specifically for them?
Barking up the wrong tree
The HOME toilet story makes Sleuth worried for Kaz James from Salford who was featured in the Daily Mirror this week. Kaz is 37 and thinks he’s a dog. Presumably a very old dog. He dresses up as dog outside his day job as a ‘store manager’, ‘eats his meals out of a dog bowl, wears a dog mask and often barks at, licks and bites his friends’. He’s part of a much wider UK ‘community’ who self-identify as dogs. How will HOME cater for this lot in their bogs when they come lifting a leg? Pop a lamp post up perhaps. Surely it won’t be another case of the tail wagging the dog over loos?
Eaten pub sticks in throat
A row has broken out over the fate of Hardy’s Well pub in Rusholme. Developers Eamer want to build a big block of flats on the site of the handsome building. Architects PMA have come up with a solution to saving the pub (a bit): incorporate the façade in the new design. This is such a blatant attempt to stave off protest from locals, conservationists and people who like old pubs, it’s been condemned by just about everybody. Sleuth agrees, the CGIs looks ridiculous, as though one building has eaten another but not yet swallowed it.
Turning matters on their head
People have compared the Hardy’s Well scheme to an April Fools and called it the ‘worst scheme ever’, and that it would be better to get rid of the pub altogether and put it out of its misery. Sleuth has a better idea. Why not knock the pub down and then rebuild the façade upside-down at the top of the new building? This would be just as ugly but would have the attraction of being totally eccentric. Might work.
Passport picture puzzle
Sleuth was walking along John Dalton Street past that curious photo processing shop and saw this odd A-Board. Why announce there are specifically Romanian passport pictures, ‘available here’? Is it another Brexit thing, as with Ireland, whereby anybody with a Romanian grandparent can apply for an EU passport? Or is there a perverse traffic in pictures of Romanians on passport sized photos? If so, Sleuth thinks it should be banned.
Sleuth’s inexplicable triptych of the week
About to attend an event at the Great Northern, Sleuth clambered the steps to the area grandly called Deansgate Mews. Within about five metres he passed a discarded set of trainers, then a pair of tracksuit bottoms and then a hoodie, all clearly belonging to the same person. Maybe a naturist conference at Manchester Central? Still, thought Sleuth, it can be so liberating to be naked, so took off all his clothes and walked in for a session at the Urban Axe Throwing activity, realising too late the awful peril he was in.
Sleuth’s schoolboy moment of the week
Whistlepunks Urban Axe Throwing in the Great Northern is tremendous fun. This is where people chuck axes at targets like Vikings did of yore, except this time dressed in jeans, trainers and t-shirts and not chainmail. It’s a great laugh. Quite hard too. The only beer available is alcohol free which is failing the Vikings again. Sleuth and chums disgraced themselves by giggling like teenagers at the ‘Anatomy of the Axe’ chalkboard. ‘He he he, butt head, he he he, knob, he he he, grip, he he he…” And so on.
Mannequin head of the week
Sleuth walked past the London School of Barbering on Fountain Street this week. Glancing in the window, he saw this hirsute fella. Sleuth couldn't help but notice that the face, beneath that novelty pirate beard, appeared feminine. Sleuth has just the toilet for this situation...
Sleuth's new German office furniture shop of the week
He he he, ass, he he he.