You’ve probably seen the news today, that Cheddar Man (who lived in Britain around 10,000 years ago) has disappointed a lot of racists by having dark skin. Or maybe you recall the unearthing of various bog bodies over the years, including Lindow Bloke (nicknamed ‘Pete Marsh’) who was preserved for a couple of millenia in a peat bog in Cheshire, or fellow peat bog enthusiast Tollund Bloke, who lived in Scandinavia in the 4th Century BC.
Ah, but have you ever heard of Holborn Man? Well, discovered as recently as just after morning tiffin today, when this reporter had the idea, Holborn Man has already begun to fascinate bonekickers (i.e: archaeologists), treasure hunters (i.e: ne’er-do-wells interested in a quick profit) and Friends of Peat Bog Inhabitants (the FoPBI).
Even more interest is predicted to be generated when a proper Professor explains to the media that Holborn Man has been given a fancy Latin title (Holebourne Hominis), which is sure to give the discovery gravitas in the eyes of those impressed by such things.
But what of Holborn Man himself? Where exactly in Holborn were his well-preserved remains discovered? Has he been given a nickname yet? Or some other way of making him more relatable to today’s short-attention-spanners in the torrent of fake or fleeting news that engulfs us? Just how long has Holborn Man been waiting to return to be probed, poked, x-rayed and DNA-tested by the surface-dwellers?
Regular readers, it is your cue to groan as this reporter reveals that the answers to all this and less are to be found in the Holborn Dodecahedron. Yes, that’s right; another load of old cobblers (Erm, for “cobblers” read: Mysteries of Holborn).
The remains of Henry (Holborn Man’s working-title nickname) were found up near that bit of ground which (erm, thousands of years ago) used to be a peat bog; you know, just by what is now that shopping place, home or pub, but not as far away as that other one, no, not that one: that one, just along the road from erm…
Well, definitely in Holborn, anyway. Ahem. On discovery, the bonekickers’ nostrils were assailed by what one later described through anguished tears as “the reek of Brutish 33”, an aftershave he recalled being unaccountably popular in the 1970s. Fanciful nonsense, of course; what would a body preserved for thousands of years be doing being drenched in Brutish 33?
Anyway, Henry wore a shiner and cauliflower ear on his head, along with over-generous sideboards and a five o’clock shadow. Below the neck, he was clad in the remains of a ahem, tasteful, frilly cream-coloured shirt, purple and green chequered jacket, brown flared trousers and orange stack-heeled boots. In his gaudy rings-festooned mitts he clutched a mouldering document.
With help from another impressive-sounding Professor, this was translated into modern English. Which didn’t take long, as it had been written in English: it proved to be a joke book, featuring mother-in-law jokes so predictable that even the late, great Lew Dawson wouldn’t have touched them.
So who was Henry? Well, a quick shufti in his wallet revealed several mouldering £1 notes, a couple of half-pence pieces and a faded business card that gave his name as Lenny Bigot.
After an intensive investigation by your HCA hack (and not 30 seconds on a search engine, no siree), it seems that Lenny disappeared, mysteriously of course, in the winter of 1974. It turns out he was an up-and-coming 1970s-type pre-political correctness comedian – with all the horror which that implies.
Naturally, at the time of his disappearance, it was thought he had been lost in the Holborn Dodecahedron. And no one bothered to look into the incident any further.
But now, equally mysteriously, the Dodecahedron had decided to return him, preserved in his early 70s pomp, to the present day. The FoPBI declared Lenny a major find and wanted funding to study his frozen-in-time comedy (erm, correction: his frozen-in-time body).
However, yet a third Professor declared that there wasn’t much in the way of evidence of peat bogs in the Holborn area. Further investigation of the site revealed that Lenny Bigot had slipped over on a slippery 1970s pavement on that cruel, slippery, rainy winter night so long ago, bashing his features on the hard concrete outside a Holborn hostelry before his drenched cadaver slipped down a nearby open sewer, lost forever (until being rediscovered, obvs). Could excessive imbibing of alcohol have played a part in the goings-on?
Well, possibly. However, after lunch today, there was some talk of Lenny being shoved down the sewer to his watery (yet preserving) tomb by the vengeful spirit of a Suffragette from 1918, annoyed at Lenny’s chauvinist material, but there was no evidence for this. Indeed, it is thought that the Suffragette angle was introduced only because of the Centenary this week of (some) women finally being allowed to vote, another unusually topical reference in this report.
1974 preserved: Lenny Bigot…
Ahem. Anyway, another Mystery of Holborn from the annals of the Holborn Dodecahedron has been resolved. As much as any of them are, anyway. And just in time to fill an otherwise threadbare blogpost, although that is quite coincidental….
Bluebottles force suffragette to read HCA hack’s blog…
Nonsense by Notes Smudger
PS: Check out this bloke-with-a-horse’s face: A real mystery at last?
Tiny man with huge horse face (Ruud van Nistelrooy?)