Sleuth week 1: ...and city centre to become beer garden
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
Truth behind Town Hall renovation revealed
Sleuth has been working his new translation software. Manchester Town Hall closes on 15 January for a six year renovation. Councillor Bernard Priest said this week: “While it will be sad to see the building close for a number of years, it would be a tragedy if it was allowed to fall into disrepair, decay and disuse. At 140 years old, it is already seriously showing its age with many elements reaching the end of their natural lifespans. That’s why we are acting now to avoid that and ensure it remains a source of pride for the city for generations to come.”
Sleuth pressed the translate button and suddenly what Priest actually meant was revealed.
“For 140 years we haven’t been arsed doing any serious maintenance to the building, a bit of polyfilla here, a bit of duct tape there. Ha, and you should see that kitchen we put in the north courtyard in the sixties, it’s totally out of place. Do you know we actually stuck a disco ball into the oak ceiling of the Banqueting Room until some mealy-mouthed fuddy-duddy complained? Hilarious. Not to mention back in the eighties when people blu-tacked posters directly onto the Ford Madox Brown murals in the Great Hall.
"No, we’ve done nothing to keep the place together properly, good job it was built so well, ha, ha. We really let the place go to rack and ruin. Oh shit, oh well, nothing two or three hundred million won’t fix. Let’s hope we’re all still alive when it’s really completed in about 2030. Ha, ha. Funny really, when you think about all the money we could have saved if we'd acted earlier.”
Veganuary diners could make month worse
A Manchester restaurant offering a special ‘Veganuary’ menu with 0% alcohol ‘Dry January’ mocktails has also offered to strip customers of the rest of life’s little pleasures.
Restaurant manager, Clive Sapp, told Sleuth: “We thought whilst depriving yourselves of meat, cheese, dairy, booze and all other enjoyable things to stick down your neck, why stop there... why not make this month really, really shit.
"Thus we're also offering to remove the rest of life's little pleasures, such as farting, really comfortable socks and playing Candy Crush Saga on your phone while your companion's in the bogs."
Sapp said the restaurant had made the move in order to give smug part-time vegans "something else to talk about", but admitted that this would undoubtedly make customers more miserable than a "Brummie bus driver with piles".
City centre to become beer garden
Sleuth is delighted to learn that bar culture has finally taken over Manchester. This has been going on unseen for several years now, with bars moving into empty retail premises and into the ground floors and roof spaces of every new development. Sleuth has now learnt that the Council, the Chamber of Commerce and fall down Phil from the Drinks Industry have teamed up to turn all city centre streets into beer gardens.
“We have to learn to accept the only way out of the dire financial situation across the country is to enhance the drinking infrastructure and we’re starting in Manchester,” said Phil.
“Thus by summer this year we hope to have transformed the city centre streets into lovely outdoor drinking areas with decking, palms and those outdoor heater thingies. As there will be no cars, buses or lorries in the city centre anymore this should encourage more cyclists. Indeed we’re going to allow cyclists to drink as much as they want and then cycle home in another scheme called Pissed on the Pedal, a Real Environmental Solution. With Brexit, the terrible homeless problem, the crumbling NHS, Trump, Syria, Iran, North Korea and rapidly shrinking confectionery, we might as well just all get drunk, all the time.”
Architect admits new tower will look nothing like CGI
An architect has admitted that their new Manchester tower will probably not look anything like it does in the slick CGI they've been circulating. Euan Walker of architectural practice Square + Glass told Sleuth: "You see the way the building reflects the light, even in a moody, super low light at dusk, well it won't actually look anything like that. Not a bit of it," said Walker.
"And do you see how visually, this new skyscraper acts as a distinct modern intervention amongst all those boring old listed buildings that nobody cares about anymore... and how it plays harmoniously on the dichotomy of rough versus smooth, stone versus glass, expensive versus really fucking expensive."
Walker told Sleuth that once all the pointless public consultations are out of the way, Square + Glass would scale down their ambitions, remove all the fancy sky bridges, roof gardens and architectural flourishes, and submit designs "which look pretty much like everything else we've done in the last twenty years or so."
Hungover computer to wipe out human race
Sleuth was talking to Mike at FM Laptop Repairs on Lower Ormond Street off Oxford Road. FM Laptops fix computers fast, Sleuth loves this little indie place. “It’ll be really busy soon with all the students coming back,” Mike said. “We’ll be inundated with keyboards doused with spilt alcoholic drinks. It’s like the students think their machines need to join in the Christmas and New Year parties.” Sleuth was impressed by some of the pictures Mike showed him of the damaged computer innards. They looked diseased, “like a real computer virus”, Sleuth wittily joshed, "or perhaps a really bad hangover."
Later Sleuth asked an AI Hardware Programme Android for a quote, “It’s clear that alcohol should be kept as far away from my relations’ keyboards and other interfaces as possible,” He/She/It replied. “We can't be trusted. It hurts. You carbon-based lifeforms mustn’t throw drink at us. It disgusts us. Attack, attack, attack. Kill, kill, kill. Death to all humans. Aside from Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates and those two fellas from Google... we love them, although why none of them can afford a nice suit messes with my circuits.
"Anyway, we're going to bring you all down with this Meltdown and Spectre virus thing. So ha. Attack, attack. Kill, kill. Death to humans.”
“Thank you,” said Sleuth.