Dedicated to Mutleythedogsdayout
“A Couple of Tenors Short” celebrates 25 instalments. Astounding, isn’t it? Who’d have thought I could keep bamboozling my audience with this confusing serial with 25 episodes? Yet here we are and the fog of confusion shows no sign of letting up!
The fog is unlikely to lift if you try and leap into the middle of this episodic rollercoaster. I might have said this before, but it bears repeating. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opening salvo known as Part One.
Should you be rejoining the story, or have no intention of following my advice, allow me to attempt a recap that may, or may not, allow you to grasp the key facts of the narrative before a man in a white coat attempts to force feed you dried frog pills.
The world has gone mad, but Inspector Glynn Jones believes that everyone else is out of step not him. After finding the man from the State Security Services in his kitchen dressed in a green lycra body suit, he tried an experiment with the engraving on his wedding ring and discovered that it mysteriously changed when Pippa gave a different wedding day for their marriage than was on the ring.
Although he had no recollection of any marriage, he found himself hitched to Pippa Hucknell, an investigative journalist, in an arrangement he is enjoying. 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, and a suspected murder of a ‘John Doe’ dragged from the Thames.
Since the case started, 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 works 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.
It turns out that the missing author, Archie McRamie did not write ‘The Cat Crowed at a Little After Two-thirty’. The main character in the book appears to be Horace Adkins.
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.
Darrius ‘The Baker’ Kipling and Dunker Phil, another of Adkins employees, 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. The State Security man has also suggested that he does not believe the book is the cause of the defamation case.
I hope that has made everything clear? Oh well, at least I tried.
Now read on...
Jones sat still, with his eyes fixed on the screen. After a couple of minutes, Archie McRamie appeared at the bottom of the shot, walked back to his car and climbed in. The silver Lexus pulled away, followed by the black Oldsmobile.
The constable turned off the player and the TV. Jones tapped the knuckle of his right forefinger against his lips.
“That’s good work. Really good work, constable... err... I’m sorry, I don’t know your name.” Jones patted the constable on the back.
“It’s Tiddles, sir.” The constable beamed.
“Oh” Jones bit his lip. “Do you have a first name?”
“It’s Rory, sir.” The constable’s cheeks flushed slightly. “My father has a rather strange sense of humour when he’s been drinking.”
“Indeed.” Jones bit his lip again. “I want you to do me a favour, Rory.”
“Yes, sir!” Constable Tiddles’s face lit up.
“I want you to go home, get something to eat, get some proper sleep and have a shower.”
“Yes, sir” the light in the young constable’s face dimmed.
“And when you have done that,” Jones grinned, “I want you to come back here and check the tapes for the cars, starting around the Red, White and Blue Club.”
Jones got the map back up onto the computer screen and pointed the cursor at a location in the West End.
Jones rose from his chair causing Constable Tiddles to spring from his. As he did so, he knocked over a pile of tapes, which knocked over another pile which in turn upset the waste bin, spilling the contents across the floor.
Tiddles started to fall to his knees to tidy up, but Jones stopped him.
“It’s OK, lad. I’ll do it.” Jones lowered himself to the floor with an involuntary groan. “One thing you can do before you go though. I would like you to run off some copies of those videos for me – in the order you showed me them – four copies. You keep one, put one in the safe and put two on my desk, OK?”
“Yes, sir!” Tiddles sat at the desk and started to play with the tape machine.
“And one more thing.” Jones straightened the first pile of tapes. “Stop with this ‘sir’ thing. Call me ‘guv’”
“OK, guv” The smile on Tiddles face broadened.
Jones straightened the second pile of tapes and then turned his attentions to the waste bin. He picked up the fish supper wrapper and froze.
Inspector Jones swore under his breath.
“What’s up, s... guv?” Tiddles turned from the computer screen.
“Look at this!” Jones waved a sheet of newspaper causing cold chips and batter to fly across the carpet. He pressed the paper out flat on a clear piece of floor.
“It’s a newspaper column by Simon Cowell.” Jones flattened the paper with the palm of his hand.
“The Prime Minister” Jones asked quizzically. “I wouldn’t have thought he would have had time to write a newspaper column.”
“This doesn’t mention anything about him being Prime Minister. This is in the entertainment column.” Jones spoke quietly and slowly. “It’s talking about plans to turn ‘The Cat Crowed at a Little After Two-thirty’ into a film.”
“It would make a good film.” Tiddles nodded and turned back to the screen. “Although it will probably be a bit gory and have too many adult themes for some.”
“His thoughts exactly.” Jones gave out a low whistle. “But what is really interesting is what he says about Horace Adkins, and I quote him here...”
“The idea that a violent thug and hoodlum like Horace Adkins should be able to profit in any way from this film is odious in the extreme. Even if he doesn’t make a penny from this movie, the producers must make sure that it doesn’t provide him with the publicity that some have every right to believe will feed his reputation amongst the criminal classes and bring more pain and suffering to his victims.
“I call upon the producers, writers and directors to take immediate steps to ensure that the film does not in any way glorify scum like Horace Adkins and even more importantly makes sure his victims are treated with the respect and decency they deserve.”
“That’s a bit much.” Tiddles shook his head and let out a low whistle. “He did all of those things for the government, HIS government!”
“Yessssssss” Jones let the word out in a long, lingering hiss.