Schporg Manhattan was a champion fellow. That breed of raffishly suave geezer every chap wants to be, and every gal wants to see. Two twinkling goblin peepers, a shock of tangerine hair rarely seen outside of a Borneo jungle and a devil-may-care skip to his step, he was the epitome of the thoroughly modern bachelor boy.

Every Tuesday, Sunday, High Day and Holiday at 6am on the button he would thrust his pins down to the municipal park to pick a nice metre square patch of the lushest sward, upon which he would ‘dance in the day’, as he called it. Then, boogied out and grinning like a self medicating banana, he returned home to potter merrily in his inventing shed, working on his self-cleaning brogues one moment, switching to his patent leather patent teasmaid trumpet the next.

“Come to pater, my pretty little noisette” he intoned, affectionately, to his custard yellow canary,  Culloden. Popping a seed into the bird’s itty bitty beak, he whistled a jaunty trill, before popping his avian amigo back into it’s gilded gaol.

Then the morning routine. The immutable ante meridiem readying rituals. Kippers on toast, oily rag, a flick through the sausage wrappers and snitch sheets, ablutions, coffee and crap. The last two always in tandem.

A week later the poor old fish expired. The snitch sheets reported a bemusing incident involving an eel, a pair of surgical stockings and a tub of Bryl. It raised 843 eyebrows and set a World Record for the largest contemporaneous ‘tut’.



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