Cast Out the Pesky The Weekly: Maintaining Britain's Standards
Don Giovanni's cummerbund, ingeniously constructed from an old, dyed sock (suitable only for small Don Giovannis)

Generic peasant tunic made from old potato sack; used on weekends for storing potatoes

A 66-foot-tall radio-controlled King Kong suit (used twice)

Crown made from King James's lost crown hammered to pieces then crudely glued together with bits of painted cardboard as garnish

A complete articulated wood puppet of Beryl Reid, as brittle bones mean the actress no longer performs her own scenes, but crouches in the wings and projects her voice by means of a megaphone
Inspector Geezer
Inspector Geezer replaced the handsomely bound first edition on its shelf unopened and turned to face his puzzled audience. Slowly his gaze swept the library like a justice broom.

"I suppose you're wondering why I called you all here today."

Idiot heir James Blames snorted richly. "Pwossibly it's something to do with the series of grisly mwurders that's reduced the swize of my family by hwalf, haha."

"In fact, sir, it is."


The Inspector began to move about the room with practised smoothness, touching ornaments as he passed, aware every eye was on him. "You see, I suspected after the fifth killing that this was no ordinary trail of death." He paused. One of the eyes had strayed. He coughed, covering the action by twisting a vase. The eye swivelled hastily back. He moved on.

"Inspector, if you've any light to shed on this ghastly mystery, please tell us. You know Jack - I mean Mr Use - you know he's innocent." Youthful governess Dorothy Bof glanced blushingly across to where the mysteriously discredited war hero stood handcuffed and held by Gamp, the ambitious local sergeant, and wrung a puppy in her distress. The Inspector stopped by her pouffe, bending down and facing her cup in his hands not unkindly.

"Don't worry, miss. I assure you that within just a few minutes now, I'll have the truth of the matter." He turned back to the room at large, which, as he was now behind them, resulted in some complicated reshuffling of chairs. "This has been a baffling case," he said, brushing coincidentally past a baffling case, "but I now have the final piece of the jigsaw." He pointed coincidentally to a jigsaw.

Sergeant Gamp harrumphed his disquiet. "This is all 'ighly entertainin', sir, but it's plain that I halready 'ave the murderer. No one helse could 'ave hentered Lord Conks' study."

" With a squawk from the settee "
"On the contrary, my good Gamp," cut in the Inspector, accidentally stepping on a contrary. He strode forwards decisively. "The murderer is in this very room." He strode backwards decisively. "The murderer is in this very room, and has that doorway always been there?"


"I see. Well, no matter." The Inspector gestured, his hand passing through air that indeed contained no matter. "I now know who killed the lots of people who have been murdered. And I shall conclude the case here in the very room where the final victim, Luden Conks-Spang, died. I should have mentioned it before," he added as the cook jumped up with a squawk from the settee on which she'd been sitting beside Conks-Spang, "but I have my... reasons."

He paused just behind a wingbacked chair. His voice rose, but only in volume, without squeaking or becoming tremulous. The Inspector was too wily for that.

"Eh, Colonel?"

The Colonel shot from the chair to the bookcase as if bursting from a ribald cake. "You damned interfering jackanapes!" He span, hurling a thick book at the Inspector, who caught it adroitly and fanned its pages, leaving the Colonel's face a mask of confusion.

Sergeant Gamp took his cue. "Colonel Onk - j'accuse."


"Not you, Jack," sobbed Dorothy, sinking peacefully into his restored arms and tenderly stroking his cuffs.

"That's right, miss - 'e did it."

"Non, monsieur," explained the bishop, rising and presenting his card. "E Didet - en Français, s'il vous plaît."

"Oh, bloody 'ell."

"Steady on, my darling Dorothy's not proud of what her surname means in Swedish."

The Sergeant threw up his arms. "ARRRRSE." Bustling the Colonel to the door he collided with the butler, Reginald Arse, who had come hurrying up from belowstairs. Darting away from the tangle, the Colonel made good his escape.

"No need for pursuit," barked Inspector Geezer. "He won't get far - the quicksands will claim him."

"In Bedfordshire?"

"Yes, Mr Use. I had my men digging pits throughout the night."

"Ha ha!"

"Ha ha!"

"Ha ha! You are a wonder, Inspector. I'd say that wraps up the case."

There was a significant pause.

" Darting away from the tangle "
"Not quite. You see, the Colonel wasn't acting alone. These booby-trapped volumes of The Reasons For Everything - a book no one could be expected to resist - required a craftsman's hands. Of course, you all realise that I switched the dust-jacket when I returned the book to its shelf - I have the original deadly edition here. And if we extremely carefully lift open the cover, we should find as the printer's name - Sergeant Gamp."

"Good lord!"

"That's a lie! When I skilfully constructed these 'ere death-dealing books as part of a plot to murder heveryone in the Conks line and hinstall Colonel H'Onks, unbeknownst to all a distant cousin, as lord of the manor, where as part of 'is duties 'e'd be magistrate and look favourably hon my promotion, I took great pains to hattribute the printing to a false..."


"Curse you, Hinspector. You've cleverly tricked me hinto confessing. But there's one thing you reckoned without." Gamp's hand dipped into his pocket. "I 'ave a remote control!" He pressed a button and the fatal book exploded into action, a diabolical contraption emerging to split the Inspector's head horribly in twain.


The trusty constable leapt from hiding to beat Sergeant Gamp savagely with a truncheon. Dorothy Bof swooned. "Inspector Geezer!"

"There's no cause for worry, miss," said Constable Aaarghh. "The Inspector brought his own lunch."

Inspector Geezer rose from the floor, chuckling. His head wasn't split horribly in twain after all. He flicked off his crumpled hat to reveal a packet of sandwiches. "The good old British doorstop, eh, my friends?"

"Ha ha! I see!"

"Ha ha! Et enfin we know what is under the hat of an Inspector, non?"

Constable Aaarghh stepped over the sergeant's prone, broken body. "Actually, bishop, the phrase is 'under a bobby's helmet' but as it happens you're correct anyway." He doffed his helmet. "Anyone for chutney?"

"Ha ha!'

"Ha ha! Mway I pour you a wwhisky, Inspector?"

"No thank you, Mr Blames. Keep it for the rest of my men, who'll be coming shortly to tie up the loose ends. Constable Aaarghh and I are driving - driving this miscreant to gaol, in our car."

"Ha ha!"

"Ha ha!"

And they all laughed until the police arrived.
Loose Lips Drop Chips

Coughs And Sneezes Spread Diseases, Trap Germs In Your Baking Utensils

You Never Know Who'll Be Listening, So Speak Slowly And Employ Drawings

Singing telegrams
advocate feature   archives   corner shop © the weekly science combine