Part 56 of “A Couple of Tenors Short”. Just when you think that you have been spared, along comes another instalment and you find yourself with large serving of mayonnaise into your jacket pocket and two tickets to a recitation from the Argos catalogue.
Following on from the unfortunate tale of the World Sauna Championships yesterday, I discover that the sauna can be run at high temperature. There was me thinking that it was the rolling in the snow and being beaten with birch twigs was the worst part!
Onward! From real life, we smoothly transition to the quiz question. I have never heard of the band or the song – but absolutely loved it. Today’s quiz question answer comes with my recommendation for you to have a listen.
OK, the quiz question out of the way, here is my mantra. This is a serial. Any new-joiners should start with the opener known as Part One.
The troublesome recap has now settled into its new home. You can find the recap here!
Now read on...
The morning briefing hadn’t been so interesting for the audience in some considerable time. They alternated glances between the Superintendant and Jones, who stood open mouthed, mid-rant, next to a pale and cowering Johnson. There were expectant whispered exchanges about the sudden appearance of the Superintendant at the event.
A cough from the Superintendant signalled he was ready to speak. The whispering ceased.
“So sorry, for the intrusion, Inspector.” The Superintendant Acknowledged Jones. “Do you mind if I take over and share some exciting news?”
The audience once again turned their attention Jones, probably hoping for additional entertainment in his response.
“Jolly good!” The Superintendant didn’t give Jones a chance to respond, just continued on.
The Superintendant announced that the Light Entertainment Championships had a new and confidential sponsor. As a result, the Light Entertainment Championships would be available to a much larger audience through huge screens erected in public parks the length and breadth of the country.
The Superintentdant paused to allow the audience digest the significance of the news.
“Confidential sponsor? Isn’t that rather counterproductive?” Jones took the opportunity to cut in.
“It is not our place to question our benefactors!” The Superintendant snapped back and shot Jones a withering look.
The Superintendant continued with his briefing. In recognition of the audience and the generosity, there was to be a world record attempt for the largest male voice choir. While the judges were determining the results, there would be a mass rendition of ‘Men of Harlech’ from choirs at every location. The choirs would be drawn from serving members of the emergency services across the whole country bolstered by the thousands in the audience.
The news caused excited conversations to erupt. Everybody seemed impressed, except Jones.
A loud and theatrical cough from the Superintendant brought silence to the room.
“So, this brings me to the subject of weekend overtime” The Superintendant beamed and observed the room.
“Thank you, sir.” Jones allowed himself a smile. “We have reached a critical point in the case and will need...”
“What are you on about, Jones?” The Superintendant shook his head. “The overtime is for choir practice. Every male member of the force will be required for choir practice and ten sharp, Saturday and Sunday.”
“But, sir...” Jones started to object, but one look from his superior quelled him.
The Superintendant detailed the venue and the arrangements, before striding towards the door.
“Ah, yes one more thing, Inspector.” The Superintendant turned and faced Jones. “Given your rather unfortunate lack of prowess in the musical department, you are excused choir duties.”
Jones swore under his breath as he watched the Superintendant, attended by the athletes; stride across the office and out of sight.
The rest of the briefing didn’t get the attention Jones had hoped for. People participated, but every now and again, managed to slip in a reference to the Light Entertainment Championships and all focus was lost.
At the end, Jones had regained a delicate tinge of puce around the gills. When he eventually called a halt to proceedings, Johnson was one of the first to bolt from the room. Jones called him back and told him, Smithy and Brown that they were all going together to look at the lodgings of the unfortunate Sergei Plutov.
In the lobby, they ran into Sir Andrew Witherspoon and his client, Dunker Phil. Sir Andrew greeted Jones coolly and made a sarcastic comment about how grateful he was for the prompt release of his client. Dunker Phil said nothing, just stared at a notice board.
“Where did you get his picture?” Phil suddenly spoke as Jones was trying to excuse himself from the barrister.
“Who’s picture?” Jones head snapped around to Dunker Phil.
“Sergei.” Dunker Phil poked a digit at the picture of the drowned man pinned to the notice board. “That’s him to a tee, that is. Who gave you his description?”
“Are you sure that’s him?” Jones moved closer to Dunker Phil.
“Oh yes, that’s him.” Phil replied.
Jones turned towards Johnson and gave him his very best glare.
“Inspector, my client has been bailed.” Sir Andrew moved in quickly. “I’m sure that this is a matter that can be attended to upon his return. We have a long journey and need to make a start.”
Jones turned away towards Johnson and glared at the detective while he considered the proposition. Eventually, he turned back to Sir Andrew and agreed.