Yes, that really is a picture of a fish pedicure. I think the way they use their little fins to apply the nail varnish is nothing short of miraculous.
Nothing came to mind when I tried to find a connection to the number 26. As a result, I entered ‘26’ into Google and found this worthwhile site. This is to mark the arrival of part 26 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”.
Somewhere in this episode, 20 000 words pass by your eyes – well that is if you have remembered my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opening salvo known as Part One .
For those of you who feel they need it, I shall attempt a recap. The snag with this is that the recap has now got larger than the individual episodes and so much has happened, rather like varnishing a very large floor in the dark, I’m bound to have missed a bit.
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. 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...
Inspector Jones picked up the grease stained sheet of newspaper and studied it. Constable Tiddles watched him, his eyes opened as wide as his mouth. Jones caressed his ginger moustache with his forefinger, his head on one side.
“Where did you get your fish supper?” Jones asked the constable.
“I went to Fred’s Fry Fayre” Tiddles responded. “Not the best fish and chips, but it is just down the street and it stays open late. The fish at...”
Jones cut off his attempt at culinary critique with a wave of his hand. “Get me those copies of the CCTV footage and then go home and get some rest. And don’t tell anybody about this newspaper piece, you understand?”
“Yes, guv. But...” Tiddles started to protest, but Jones had already left the office.
Jones rushed to the nearest photocopier and made a copy of the article. As soon as the copy dropped into the output tray, he picked it up and compared it closely to the original. Satisfied that it matched, he made additional copies.
Picking up the pile of photocopies, he paused and looked around. Sergeant Collins was stood behind him watching him. Jones ignored him and grabbed an envelope from a pile on a nearby desk. He scribbled down his own address on the front, neatly folded one of the copies into it before sealing the envelope and dropping it into the post tray.
Jones picked up another envelope and repeated the process. This one he left on the desk as he rifled through his wallet before swearing under his breath.
“Have you got a stamp?” Jones asked Collins
“Just leave it in the tray, it will get franked.” Collins advised in a slow, measured tone. “Are you OK, Jonesey?”
“Of course, I’m OK. I just need a stamp.” Jones turned and glared at the sergeant. “Are you able to help me or not?”
The sergeant produced his own wallet and withdrew a book of stamps. He took out a single stamp and handed it to Jones. Jones thanked the sergeant and stuck the stamp to the envelope and put the envelope in his pocket.
Jones worked down the pile of envelopes and photocopies. Some he sent to himself in the internal mail. A couple of the copies he put in blank envelopes which he stuffed in his pockets. One he gave to the sergeant with strict instructions that it was to remain unopened in the station safe.
Finally, Jones took an evidence bag from his pocket, folded the page of newspaper so the article couldn’t be seen and sealed it in the bag. Collins watched him intently.
“Are you sure you are OK?” Collins fingered the envelope in his hand nervously.
“I’m fine!” Jones snapped as he strode away. “And if anybody needs me, tell them I’ve gone to the chippy.”
“It won’t be open!” Collins shouted to the Inspector’s back as he strode to towards the exit.
Jones ignored him and rushed out into the street.
A woman in a yellow pinafore dress blocked the pavement with a large pram, while she rifled through a large wicker basket. Jones stepped into the road to get round her and a llama carriage missed him by inches. The driver shouted at Jones to take more care in a colourful Anglo-Saxon. Jones continued to rush down the street, dodging fellow pedestrians as he headed for the red post-box on the corner.
As he approached the post-box, Jones stepped into the entrance to an alley between a newsagents and a wool shop. He pretended to tie his shoe laces before palming the stamped, self-addressed envelope. He straightened, took a deep breath, and then strode over to the post box. As he passed the box, his hand flashed out and deposited the letter in the slot without him breaking stride.
Smiling, Jones darted across the street, zig-zagging between the various cars, buses and llama carts to reach Fred’s Fry Fayre.
It was closed.