Friday, 17 February 2012

What next?

Our first case was successfully concluded, and we have had a good reception from family and friends on Facebook - where I posted news that we had established a detective agency - so in some ways it's tempting to just retire. Can things at SBI ever be as good as this again?

Yesterday I bought some half-price false eyelashes in case we do a podcast, so actually I don't want to retire before attempting one of those. And I saw several instances of anomalous activity after I left you, though I can't bring any of them to mind as I didn't write them down when I got home.

I do remember that as I stood in Sainsbury's at the 'fancy foreign goods' shelf, looking for Almond Butter because my friend in Seattle mentioned that she eats it with a banana for breakfast sometimes and I desperately wanted to try some, I saw some very strange behaviour by three Spanish people at the spice rack next to me. I think they needed something to make curry (they pointed out a packet of bombay potatoes to each other) but didn't know what to buy. They picked up some garam masala (which would have been just when they needed, and I was about to intervene to say so), then they took the cellophane wrapping off a pot of turmeric and one of them sniffed it, and then he opened the top and passed it round, and then the others sniffed it, too, one of them putting his nose right into the jar. Then they put the jar back on the shelf. This isn't paranormal activity but it is anti-social.

One day, when we have established our reputation at SBI, I'd like to think that we could act as marshalls as well as investigators, and be allowed to use weapons on people who drop litter in the street and behave irresponsibly in supermarkets.

[n.b. I just tried to find the Almond Butter to take a photo of it but it seems I didn't buy any. Did I decide it was too expensive at £2.63 compared to 93p for the 'value' peanut butter that I usually buy (which by the way up until a few weeks ago used to be 64p, Sainsburys, you robbing bastards)? Did I think I would just eat it on bread and that would make me fat? Did I get distracted by the Spaniards? Did I bring it home and put it somewhere where I will later find it? Maybe the Spaniards were special agents whose sole purpose in being there was to stand about and distract people from buying Almond Butter with their 'nose in jar' pantomime? I just looked it up on Wikipedia and Spain is the second largest producer of almonds (at 220,200 tonnes per year) after America. So... 'quite paranormal', then. Possibly. If they are Spanish Secret Agents. Why do they do it? To keep prices artificially high by restricting the number of jars sold? Or do they want to keep all the almonds for themselves? We need to look out for Spanish Secret Agents to gather more data, to be sure of who they are and what they're up to. Can they really beam themselves from Spain to anywhere in the world where people are standing about debating whether or not to buy a jar of Almond Butter? Because if so, that's 'very paranormal'.]

Because of the false eyelashes and the Spanish Secret Agents, I don't think we should retire. I feel we should press on.

What are you thinking of working on next? I'd quite like to invetigate the case of Britain's Only Black Woman, Bonnie Greer. If the BBC need a black woman (Newsnight Review, Question Time with Nick Griffin of the BNP, any discussion about Whitney Houston's death that isn't being addressed by Paul Gambaccini, and so on), they seek out Bonnie Greer. I look around me and I always think that London is a harmonious, multi-racial, multi-cultural city. I see black people. We have black friends. Some of them are black women. The question is this: Am I hallucinating? Or is Chicago-born Bonnie Greer really Britain's Only Black Woman? c.f. Britain's Only Disabled Man, Mat Fraser.

I'd also like to write up the case of the painting of Katie Pitts by Sebastiano del Piombo in the National Gallery. As Katie Pitts is alive and well now, and the painting is from 1510, this can be categorised 'wonder' and 'time travel'. One of the questions that needs asking is whether Katie travelled back in time or Sebastiano del Piombo travelled forwards. But the painting isn't that flattering. KP is an attractive young woman. I don't want to offend her. I'd like to know your thoughts.

I would also like to investigate whether the boiler in a person's house could be connected to the cycles of the moon. I do understand that combination boilers are not tidal but twice, now, in the space of two weeks, the boiler has dumped water onto the floor and then stopped working, and I have had to refill it and start it again. The first time was on 7th February, during a full moon. The second time was yesterday when, as you pointed out, the moon was waning. The question (as with almost every other unexplained phenomenon in my life right now) is this: Is the erratic behaviour of my boiler a signifyer of impending menopause? By the way, this is not an old boiler. It is relatively new.

Are you going to write up the Case of the Giant Rat? I think you'd need to do a reenactment of the circumstances of finding it, so we can understand what happened.

What else? What next? Exciting times. I love you very much. I like being a detective.


  1. you are up and posting so early! I am making a portobello mushroom bap on my lovely homemade rolls. I am wondering if I should investigate the auditory 'hallucinations', but that does involve not eating much and doing lots of physical exertion. Maybe we should start with something less risky xxx

  2. Oh, yes - but that would be like a proper experiment, especially if it involved suffering. Like the man who injected himself with the virus that he believed caused stomach ulcers (to prove they weren't caused by stress) and, of course, dear old Marie Curie. I think you should do the Marie Curie. But maybe have the portobello mushroom bap for now because that sounds nice.

    You can do the Marie Curie and write down the voices and we can try and recreate them in a spooky soundscape and post it here. It will be like the Woman in Black except without Daniel Radcliffe. Did you see the photos in the Telegraph of what he can do with his tongue? My friend Laura Anderson who lives in Scotland (who I have never met), who is a writer and a vegan and posts receipes on her blog sometimes, said that all her family on her Granny's side can do that fancy tongue trick. It's like Twin Peaks!

    I just talked to Westy and he gave me two stories (uh, 'cases'), including a woman who contacted him by phone yesterday and called him Westy but it wasn't him she wanted, and a bucket magicially provided by the spirit of his dead dad for the opening of an exhibition he and Barry Bish had at the Yard in Clapham one spring many years ago.

    He also mentioned the mysterious reappearance of a pair of lost spectacles on a gaido (don't know how to spell it, like a junk/very small ferry) going from Yung Shue Wan to Pat Kok to Kennedy Town. Also, he said there's another one that's really good - it's better than all the other stories - but he can't remember it and he'll call me when he does.

    I love you a LOT.

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  5. LOL at the mysterious deletion of yr comments. I have been out all day on a top secret mission. You know the weird thing? I didn't see one anomalous event. Of course, everyone at the bus stop outside the KFC in Brixton acted like the 109 going up Brixton Hill was the last helicopter out of Vietnam, surging forward to get on it. But that's normal.

    I thought we could maybe use Erna May's gerbil, Snowy, in the live action recreation of the key scenes in the Giant Rat case.