RADBOURNISMS

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I wrote this at Nottingham University, to help the Scout and Guide Society to advertise themselves at Freshers Week. This is a modified version.

Headlock Gnomes, the World's greatest detective and infamous lavatory attendant, had just solved the vicious murder of Lady Fatboddy, and was relaxing by playing his expensive Stradivarius violin. Doctor John Whatsup, his lifelong companion, personal physician, trusty sidekick, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Hedgehog Inhalers, was in a nearby room, practising his trade on a neighbour's cat, the cat being fully conscious and all too aware of the predicament it was in. Both men were producing approximately the same noise. When he had finished, Gnomes carefully placed his instrument back into it's exquisitely designed case, gently closed the lid, then flung it randomly into a corner of the room before retiring to his favourite chair in front of the fireplace. Whatsup hurled the cat through the nearest closed window, then joined his friend.

"I say, Gnomes, how on Earth did you know that the Quiltad chappie was the killer?" asked the Doctor. "Does it have anything to do with intestines? Oh, you know. What's the name of that canal thingy?"

"Alimentary, my dear Whatsup. No, it has nothing to do with any part of the human digestive system. My suspicions were first aroused in that public house we visited in Islington, the Elephant and the Isotope."

"The barmaid there does the same for me," sniggered Whatsup. "How did this help our investigation?" The Doctor was curious. After all, he did have three arms and pale blue skin. Gnomes leaned forward.

"Do you remember the man we met there with one arm, one leg, one eye, one ear, one nostril, and only 50% of his hair?" Whatsup thought for a moment.

"Indeed I do," he replied. "He informed me he 'd been involved in a head on collision with a flower seller, and consequently lost much of his body in a tangled wreck of daffodils. I'm afraid he's only half the man he used to be."

"Do you remember what he was drinking?"

"Yes, it was a strange concoction, a mixture of cider and urine, I think." Gnomes sighed in dismay.

"Lager," he corrected.

"Sorry, lager and urine," amended the Doctor. "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I can't see the relevance." Gnomes stood up, took out his pipe, and leaned casually on the mantelpiece. He knew this made him look intelligent.

"Let me explain, my good fellow. This drink is often called a snake bite."

"Good Lord, Gnomes, that's incredible," creeped Whatsup, "but how does it fit in with this most odious of killings?"

"In that a particularly nasty form of snake bite comes from a snake with a rattle in his tail. Now, what other vile, evil creatures have rattles?" Whatsup thrust his hand violently into the air in a poor attempt to imitate an excited schoolboy.

"Babies," he blurted out.

"Exactly," confirmed Headlock. "Babies which may or may not have been fed on milk, which may or may not have come from..."

"Tesco's?" interrupted Whatsup. Gnomes lit his pipe.

"No. Cows.," he replied. "Do you remember those cows we saw in a field in Suffolk not a fortnight ago?"

"How could I forget them?" answered the Doctor as he picked his nose. "There was a male there with no hind legs."

"And that, my dear fellow, is a sitting bull, and if I am not mistaken, which I never am, there was an Indian chappie who lived in North America with the name Sitting Bull."

"I'm sorry, Gnomes, you've lost me," sighed Whatsup.

"Don't worry," comforted his friend, "I'm the world's greatest detective, I can locate any missing person. As I was saying, Sitting Bull was an Indian, in no way connected to the Indians of Asia who wear turbans on their heads." Gnomes puffed on his pipe and a largish soap bubble drifted gently upwards, bursting just below his nose. "These turbans.," he continued," could, from a distance, be mistaken for bandages, as worn by the Invisible Man."

"That's a book by H.G. Wells, isn't it?" asked the Doctor.

"Quite right, Hg wells also being holes in the ground from which mercury can be extracted."

"I don't see the significance of this," complained a very confused Whatsup again. Gnomes sighed in frustration.

"It's all quite simple. You see, mercury is a liquid metal, and if you rearrange the letters in the phrase 'liquid metal' you get..."

"Qudim Taleli, the top Pakistani fast bowler?"

"Or Liam Quiltad, Lady Fatboddy's chauffeur and the savage murderer." Gnomes sat down, pleased with his ingenious explanation of his brilliant deductive work. Whatsup thought for a moment, then started sniffing the air around him.

"What can you smell?" asked Headlock. "Is it my 7% solution of cocaine?"

"Afraid not, Gnomes," replied Whatsup. "It's bullshit."

 

THE END

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