The New Year brings another implausible Mysteries of Holborn report to Millman Street Community Centre, and the long-suffering readers (both of them) of its blog. So, what preposterous tale from the supposed Holborn Dodecahedron has your HCA hack dredged up this time?
Well, this time it’s the January Sales. Doesn’t sound too mysterious, does it? After all, there are always sales, in January (and other times of year), and not just in Holborn. So, what’s so special about this particular January Sale?
Ah, well the January in question is that of 1878, and it was put on sale by a rogue time-traveller who accosted this reporter on his way to Millman Street Centre this morning.
Typically bleary of eye, yet uncustomarily full of post-festive bonhomie, the hopeless hack listened to the Rogue’s spiel – some nonsense or other about a “spare copy” of January, 1878, having been found in his 4D Time Printer. Initially sceptical of such a yarn, he suddenly recalled a similar incident from January, 2017, when he himself had found a copy of 1975 clogged in his own 4D Time Printer. So, he thought, the Rogue’s tale may be credible after all.
Anyway, the rogue wanted to flog a spare copy of January, 1878. Where was the harm, thought our inky-fingered zero, in having a squint at the merchandise?
The 1878 in question featured what is thought to be London’s oldest delicatessen. In fact, the Rogue insisted, when it opened in 1878, it was the first delicatessen in the whole of England. With Queen Victoria on the throne, it was rumoured that she had sent emissaries to pick up a few snacks to take back to the palace for her. This royal connection, the Rogue assured our silly scribe, lent the 1878 artefact a potentially handsome sell-on price. And yet, if that were so, our man countered, why was the Rogue trying to sell it to him at such a reasonable price? Unless, of course, the Queen Victoria connection was a spurious tale designed to make an easier sale to the gullible.
However, the fool bought it and bade the Rogue a fond farewell, asking, as an afterthought, what era he had travelled from. “Oh, you’ll find out soon enough,” replied the Rogue enigmatically as he popped back into history, fading away in a cheapo-cheapo sci-fi effects haze. Our witless wordsmith gave little thought to the Rogue’s parting words, and scoured his purchase for any trace of the potentially lucrative royal connection.
Our hack discovered that said delicatessen is situated in the Clerkenwell Road, near St Peter’s Italian Church in Holborn (Indeed, the whole block is owned by the church). He wandered down there, and had a word with the current owners, hoping for some handed-down proof of the royal connection that might fulfill his minutes-old dream of having more money after selling something than when he bought it.
Alas! The staff shook their heads and looked at him as if his tale of time-travellers, 4D Time Printers, Queen Victoria and The Holborn Dodecahedron was naught but a load of old cobblers. Their smirks hastened his exit, their mocking laughter the perfect soundtrack to his (latest) foolishness.
And so, HCA’s blithering blogger is stuck with a second-hand copy of dubious provenance. If anyone wants to make an offer for a January, 1878 (slightly soiled), please contact him at the usual address. Those wishing to view this tale as a warning to the gullible should note that its true design is to fill and otherwise threadbare blogpost, as with all previous Mysteries of Holborn reports. Anyone wondering whether the Rogue’s enigmatic valediction before vanishing into the fogs of time will ever be returned to should know by now that satisfactory explanations and sensible endings are seldom to be found on these pages.
Nonsense by Notes Smudger