We find ourselves gathered around the portal leading to part 29 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
This is another post where the title is taken from a song lyric with some kind of associated picture to give you a clue. This one is linked to the number 29.
This is a toughie but with an answer well worth discovering – so to help you in the discovery, here is the actual answer.
OK, the quiz questions out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the appetiser known as Part One.
And having devoured the mantra, you will now find yourself salivating at the troublesome recap. Still without any ideas on how to get this under control, I find myself shamed that on occasions the recap is actually longer than the accompanying episode.
The world has gone mad. Inspector Glynn Jones believes that everyone else is out of step not him. A view encouraged by the man from the State Security Services, but not by his colleagues. Jones is sticking by his view for now after an experiment with his wedding ring where the engraving mysteriously changed when Pippa gave a different wedding day for their marriage than was originally on the ring.
Jones has no recollection of any marriage, but he is finding being hitched to Pippa Hucknell, an investigative journalist, rather enjoyable. Other events are not so pleasurable. He has found that he driving a rather chirpy, lime green Datsun Cherry that behaves like a puppy; suffered numerous random wardrobe malfunctions; keeps re-growing a ginger moustache; bet against his own station in the upcoming police light entertainment championships; had run in with gangs of Buddhist monks; had one of his team hospitalised by the feral Girl Guides and found the camp Sat-Nav unit in the pink Mark III Ford Zephyr is developing a personality and cannot be switched off.
Then there are the strange cases he has to solve, the abduction of Archie McRamie, the theft of industrial generators, forged tickets for the Light Entertainment Championships, feral Girl Guides, the smuggling of illegal Macramé yarn, a suspected murder of a ‘John Doe’ dragged from the Thames, and the disappearance of a number of petty criminals.
Doctor Wilkins, the famous TV Pathologist, has confirmed the unknown swimmer drowned in the Thames after taking a large high tea. The Fruit Fancies of his last meal are being linked to Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling. Darrius and Dunker Phil both work for Horace Adkins, the beloved Barbers Shop Quartet impresario who is presumed dead after a massive explosion at his Georgian Mansion which the local police have suggested was suicide.
Archie McRamie is a best-selling author credited with the book ‘The Cat Crowed at a Little After Two-thirty’. The main character in the book appears to be Horace Adkins. However, it appears that it is his wife and secretary, Elspeth Periwinkle that writes all his books.
Constable Rory Tiddles has found some interesting CCTV footage related to the abduction of Archie McRamie. It shows Dunker Phil climbing into Archie’s car at a filling station unchallenged. Jones and his squad are now on their way to the Red, White and Blue club to ask Dunker Phil a few questions.
Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling and Dunker Phil were observed with Vera Anne Adkins and Violet Ann Adkins, two of Horace’s daughters, visiting the offices of London’s premier trial lawyers, Witherspoon, Lewes, Grambling, and Witherspoon. Vera Adkins had gone there to instigate a defamation case, but her sister Violet arrived and talked her out of it.
Jones has had a meeting with his Superintendant and a man from the State Security Services who were very interested in finding out why this visit took place, but have told the Inspector that he will be disowned if his investigation results in adverse public opinion. After reading an old newspaper that once wrapped a fish supper, Jones believes he now has the answer.
I hope that has made everything clear? Oh well, at least I tried.
Now read on...
Progress to the club was slow. This was due in part to the traffic, but mostly because Jones had Smithy stop at every fish and chip shop they passed. At the first one, Smithy pulled up, Jones leapt from the Zephyr and sprinted into the shop before returning empty handed to the car.
Johnson made a comment about feeling peckish and how a bag of chips would go down nicely. Jones turned and gave him a glare.
At the second and third stops, Jones came out of the shops with an armful of newspapers which he put into the boot of the Zephyr.
At the fourth, Jones practically danced back to the car waving a sheaf of newspapers above his head. Racing round to the back of the Zephyr, Jones put them in the boot.
With Jones seated back in the Zephyr, the small convoy moved off. Smithy, kept turning and staring at the inspector. Brown and Johnson leaned forwards in their seats, their eyes boring into the back of Jones’s neck.
“Eyes on the road, dearie!” the sat-nav exclaimed as Smithy narrowly missed a small flat bed van with a string quartet, dressed as Vikings, practicing on the back.
“I know how to drive you box of... err... box of wires!” Smithy snapped back at the box.
“Oooo, get you!” the sat-nav responded.
There was silence inside the Zephyr as it crawled towards the West End. A group of men dressed as chefs and carrying a huge block of ice on a litter appeared from a side street and carefully set it down in front of a grocery store. More men in stripy blazers and boaters appeared from the opposite direction and gathered around the chefs and the ice-block. The growing crowd spilled out into the road and caused the traffic from a crawl to a halt.
“What is with the newspapers, guv?” Smithy asked as he drummed his fingers on the wheel.
“Just something that doesn’t make any sense.” Jones stared out of the windscreen as a group of girls in lilac pinafore dresses and chain saws joined the crowd.
“Guv, we’re supposed to be team. You keep telling us that we work together to keep the streets of London safe for everyone, remember” Johnson whined from the back seat.
“Yeah!” Brown cut in. “You tell us that we are all in this together. All for one and one for all and all that stuff.”
“Look over there.” Jones pointed to the crowd who had been joined by the string quartet from the back of the van. “Don’t you find that odd?”
The four of them watched as a group of young boys wheeled an upright piano into position and the musicians started to play Yorkshire folk melodies. The chefs started to pick partners from the passersby and dance.
“They’re just letting off steam. A bit of harmless fun.” Smithy gave a shrug of his shoulders.
“A group obstructing the traffic and wielding lethal chain saws in a public place is a bit of fun?”
The young girls with the chain saws started to attack the huge block of ice. The tempo of the music and the pace of the dancing increased. A group of school children started to form up behind the piano into a choir.
“So you are all prepared to accept... accept...” Jones stabbed a finger towards the crowd carousing around the developing ice-sculpture as he attempted to find the right word. “Accept THAT, but find it odd that I want to collect a few old newspapers?”
“The newspapers thing is different, Guv.” Brown leaned over the front bench seat of the Zephyr. “You’re our Guv’ner. You going off on your own and keeping stuff secret from us just isn’t right, not normal. It’s like you don’t trust us.”
Jones swore under his breath.