The Mystery of Farthington Manor – Part 2
Whenever there’s a crime or trouble
That no one can solve at all it seems
That’s when he comes here on the double
Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries!
The hit theme tune to the television show that at least three whole human beings know and love introduces us to another exciting episode of the Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries and let it be known that even I, your humble narrator, am gripped by the intriguing things that have been going down at Farthington Manor.
A whole howl
A strange man eating hair.
These are all the sights and sounds that one hears when the mention of that scary, spooky building leaves your precious little tongue. Our host for HOTv’s seven highest rated show (just after Lee Best’s Vomitorium) is of course the Best Boy, the Hot Lad, the Megastar, the HOW ICON… Mr. Cecilworth M! J Farthington. He appears once more in the illustrious detective office we set forth in the last exciting episode, adorned in his best crime solving deerstalker and tweed jacket. He takes a few puffs of his totally not opium pipe and addresses us all with some regal words. I assume they are regal words because I think legally, he is Lord Farthington now?
Farthington: Hello dear viewer and welcome back to this special two-part edition of AITCH OH TEE VEES biggest and baddest show related to solving crimes and the big questions of life, the Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries. Last you joined us, I was regaling you with the tale of murder most foul, murder that impacts me on a very personal level, the tragic and untimely death of my wonderful father, Lord Farthington, who definitely did not beat me with a belt many times as a child.
The camera cuts to a man in a suit standing just barely in camera view giving a thumbs up to Cecilworth and signing some documents. We can’t see his head too clearly, but it appears as if he is wearing a baseball cap with the word “LAWYER” stitched onto it. Cecilworth gives a cheeky wink and continues on in his introduction.
Farthington: Last time you left us, the town’s dental hygienist, the alluring and disgusting Hayley had pointed out there was a lady called Linda who was in fact in the room the entire time. Now Linda, or should I say Queen Linda was not profiled in the earlier episode of this show due to the fact everyone in the room had forgot she was there the entire time. Not out of the fact that dearest Queen Linda is forgetful mind you. It’s just… no one thought it could possibly be her. I mean sure, she’d decided to cast her lot in with the outsiders in town, but she was basically like a mother to all of us. Well, an abusive mother who once left the local computer programmer Scooter so broken, he ended up recording her encouraging words so he could count how many words she yelled at him. I’m still not sure how that made Scooter feel better about himself but he insists it did so good for him, I’m glad he feels comforted.
The camera cuts to the image of a dangerous looking lady in her early forties wearing a Burger King crown atop her head. A sharpie marker has scrubbed out the word “King” and replaced it with “Queen” and also the word burger has been removed because otherwise I would be implying that Linda is a Burger Queen and that is both rude and untrue.
Farthington: Queen Linda is an interesting part of the equation; she was certainly a known quantity to the village and much admired by all in the land but every time a house opened up in the village, she was much more happy to remain on the outskirts. That’s until Derek and Mary moved to town, she heard word of this and went on whatever the Booking.com is for apartment rentals… I want to say Zapruder? That sounds right. She rented a property in town the minute she heard The Rescue Rangers were coming to town because… she’s super horny? Wait, that doesn’t sound right.
The image of Queen Linda fades away and is replaced with a still image of the manor parlour room once more. The still has Cuban Jim wagging his finger in the direction of Derek while Jackson measures the corner of the room with a set square. We catch a glimpse of Hayley’s face from the glass cabinet in which she currently resides. Mary is looking on at the dispute between Derek and Cuban Jim in horror as Minister Maxwell continues to stand in the back shadows, his one functional eye peering at the chaos around him. Local barman Woody is brandishing a glass bottle in the direction of Tommy, who still refuses to put a god damn shirt on. Dead centre in the middle of the chaos remaines our intrepid host, the honourable CM!JF
Farthington: Yes my friends, the reveal of Queen Linda, who had actually been in the room the entire time, hiding under the wet bar and sipping on a bottle of rum was so shocking that the entire room descended into chaos. It was a real ballyhoo donnybrook. Hayley had thrown the entire room through a loop and on the road to Dangerous Drive… was that her plan all along? Was she attempting to cause chaos and make an escape from her cupboard? There’s only one way that we will be able to find out and that’s to re-join the re-enactment. So do that we shall.
Cecilworth snaps his fingers and suddenly we are back in the living and breathing manor, ready to get to the bottom of this entire mystery. We join the situation just as Cuban Jim has had just about enough of Derek and Mary.
Cuban Jim: I’ve had just about enough of you two. You think you can just stroll into our village and take over? What have you ever DONE for our village? I provide a service to this community, Woody too…
Derek: Oh yeah, a real great service you’ve got going on between the two of you. Liver poisoning and tar lung. I can certainly see why you two would deserve to be community champions.
Publican Woody tosses his bottle of Shmuggles Double IPA Stout Espresso Vanilla Pilsner, which is an 82.4% ABV. Or maybe it was a bottle of ethanol. I didn’t get a real good look at the bottle to be honest, he threw it to the ground real fast. The point is the bottle smashes to the ground, catching to attention of both Cuban Jim and Derek.
Woody: Say what you will about Mr. Lung Death over there but I will not have you besmirch the name of The Wood Universe. I have poured my heart and soul into that business and have been a respectable member of the community for decades. Hell, I even do my own community radio show here to show my dedication to the village.
Mary: I bet that’s not the only thing you poured into yourself. Are you smuggling a keg around that waist of yours Woodman?
An irate Woody begins to lunge towards Mary, who thankfully has her bass at hand, ready to fend him off. It doesn’t go much further however as Cuban Jim stands in the way of Woody.
Cuban Jim: That is not the way our village behaves Woody. If I didn’t know you any better, I’d say after your little tirade here that your hot blood got the better of you. I always knew we should have let Big Chesty Dan run that little establishment of yours. He would have done a much better job.
Woody: Chesty Dan would have done a better job than ME? Have you seen Trip Advisor? Have you seen Yelp? I am a brewery legend around these parts! All Chesty Dan has managed is swindling those Hollywood big boys who came to town out of a couple of grand by massively raising the price of his fish and chips.
Derek: Sounds like a man who would really admire me.
“EVERYBODY SHUT UP”
The bellowing call of Queen Linda reverberates around the entire parlour, stopping all of those under the suspect list in their tracks. Queen Linda pulls herself up from her rum soaked stupor, she holds up a small vial in her left hand as she uses the bar to hold herself steady with the other.
Queen Linda: I have evidence! Evidence of the crime. This is clearly a vial that contains the poison that killed Lord Farthington.
Every single person in the room gasps at the same time in complete and utter shocked. The Best Detective With No Tattoos, CM!JF, rushes over to Queen Linda with a rubber glove adorning his right hand. He grabs the vial from her and quickly zips it up in an evidence bag he was keeping in his back pocket. He gives a small curtsey to Queen Linda, who collapses back under the bar to enjoy her rum, hoping to avoid being involved in this whole situation any longer than necessary. Cecilworth holds the vial up to the small amount of daylight that is breaking in through the parlour window, examining it very closely indeed.
Farthington: It looks like a white substance as best I can see. Is this what strychnine looks like? I am not one of the chemical boys down at the lab so I can’t say that I’m a particular expert on murder chemicals but I once read a book where someone was murdered with strychnine. I assume that is the one murder chemical available to a chemical murder specialists. It’s like that old tongue twister about woodchucks but if you replace it with “murder” and “chemical”.
Jackson looks up from his protracted measurements in the corner of the parlour to offer some help in the solution of the mystery.
Jackson: I know this great CGI team who could reconstruct the entire murder with this valuable clue, I can get them on the line right now…
Literally Everyone Else In The Room: No! No thank you.
One of them may be a murderer and most of them are very rude but they all possess a very diplomatic kind of rudeness. This moment of unity is quickly interrupted by the sound of Minister Maxwell’s mobile phone going off. He quickly rummages in his robes and pulls it out. Everyone in the room stares with intrigue at the call, hoping that perhaps it may be the final piece of the puzzle to this entire incident. There’s a few moments of murmurs, “ahas”, “uh huhs”, “HOW MUCH?” and a quick “thank you” that wrap up the call.
Maxwell: Cecilworth, my dear boy, I must make haste. I have unfortunately been informed that Deacon Harold has been kidnapped by ninjas and they wish me to pay a hefty ransom for his safe return.
Cecilworth looks at his old childhood church minister for a few moments, his eyes blinking over and over again in confusion.
Farthington: Kidnapped by… ninjas?
Maxwell: Yes, my son, it’s been rampant in the village ever since you left. Nasty little blighters who strike without a moment’s notice.
Cuban Jim takes another drag from his definitely not drug laced cigar because he doesn’t nor ever has done all of the drugs that a human could possibly do.
Cuban Jim: First I’m hearing of this, padre.
Minister Maxwell dismissively waves off Cuban Jim’s question.
Maxwell: It’s a church thing, you wouldn’t understand Jimbo, you heathen.
A little bit unsure of this situation, the unbreakable Detective Farthington has a little bite of his nails as he considers everything at hand. He carefully weighs up the very unlikely story being shared by Minister Maxwell and balances that against the family’s long-lasting trust of the church leader. Truly he had found himself papered between a rock and a scissor place with this deal.
Farthington: To get this straight Minister Maxwell, you’re trying to tell me that you must leave my locked down criminal investigation because Deacon Harold has all of a sudden, at the exact time when you may be under investigation for the murder of my father, been kidnapped by ninjas?
The piercing blue eye of Minister Maxwell glares with a cold intent at our Best Boy Detective.
Cecilworth lifts his deerstalker and tips it towards Minister Maxwell.
Farthington: Fair enough, hard to argue with that. I hope the ninjas don’t murder Deacon Harold before you find a way to save him.
The Minister looks back with a sneer as he heads to the door, muttering under his breath.
Maxwell: I hope they gut the coward, that little fucker has been a pain in my side since I hired him, but he told me he could raise the church’s social media profile on “Tout”, whatever that is. I hope that idiot is dead right now.
A good distance away from the muttered utterance, Cecilworth tries to perk up his ears.
Farthington: WHAT WAS THAT?
Maxwell: I said I hope God shines a light upon the vicious villain who committed this dastardly deed.
Farthington: OH, THANK YOU FOR THE NICE SENTIMENT.
Maxwell: I’m only at the door, you don’t need to yell.
Farthington: AND YET I STILL DO.
Minister Maxwell mutters a “Jesus Christ” under his breath as he heads out the door. Suddenly, all of the lights in the Murder Investigation Parlour begin to fade out one by one. All the lights in the entire parlour go out apart from one, the one that sexy dance performance man Tommy finds himself standing under. Cecilworth contemplates this situation.
Farthington: God shines a light! God is shining a light! He has heard our call from the heavens and…
Before Cecilworth can finish his thought, the light above Tommy goes out too.
Tommy: I swear if you were about to accuse me of your father’s murder I’m going to walk over there, punch you in the face and knock that stupid deerstalker right off your perfectly round skull.
That’s the sound of the doorbell.
Farthington: I guess Minister Maxwell cleared up that whole Deacon Harold business up real quick…
Cecilworth’s train of thought is quickly derailed as standing in front of him in the doorway is a bald-headed man. A parrot sits atop his shoulder and a wooden peg leg manages to keep him up on an even base. He stares at Cecilworth as he answers the door, handing him a small post-it note informing our intrepid hero that this man is the “Salty Dawg” and that the parrot is in fact “Pepper the Parrot”. Together, the tandem make the most feared pirates in the whole village.
Pepper: ONE PERCENT! ONE PERCENT! SQUAAAAAWK!
Farthington: Look… can I help you… we’re kind of in the middle of something right now and I think we may be finally getting to the bottom of it all.
Pepper: ONE PERCENT!
Farthington: Yeah, that sounds lovely but we’ve got something bigger going on in this parlour right now.
The Salty Dawg holds up his finger indicating he would like five minutes of his time as his parrot squawks once again.
Farthington: Look, really, I’d love to talk to you but I’ve already made plans to investigate the murder of my father and…
Cecilworth is handed a second post-it note and when he slides it open, the note states “I like you, do you like me. Y/N, please circle”. Cecilworth looks at the note, quite curious where this whole thing is going but tries to not engage.
Farthington: Honestly, you seem like a very curious character, I would love to hear more about you but it’s just… I already made plans with all my friends and some random strangers to get to the bottom of this whole murder mystery so…
A third post-it note is passed over, this one stating “I only visit your house once a year, you could investigate a murder at any time.”.
Farthington: I… look…
Cecilworth slams the door in the face of the SALTY DAWG.
And now a word from our sponsor.
We find ourselves in the wonderfully smog filled, street shitted city of Beijing as the HOW ICON Champion and all around wonderful human being, CM!JF gives everyone a cheery regal wave as he walks down the street.
Farthington: One percent. That’s an interesting deal isn’t it. A special little bet between Lee Best and my close personal friend Michael, a chance to alter the balance of the company until the next time they decide they need to alter the balance of the company. It’s a tricky one, isn’t it. Do I put my heart and soul into this War Games match to win the only man I could possibly trust to not run this dreadful deathmatch company into the ground overall control?
Cecilworth casually walks by a man who is squatting in the street, shitting all over the joint. This is a very common occurrence in Cecilworth Farthington adventures, way more than it should be if he wasn’t constantly in Beijing but… he has to get back from North Korea after his brutal battle with The Big Bifford at OCW’s Redacted after managing to cling hold of his OCW Paradigm Championship. (OCW: ALSO ON HOTV)
Farthington: I’m not sure if I like this bet. Sure, put my title on the line, put Max’s title on the line but putting the company on the line? I feel like that’s something we could do without.
A random bystander begins to yell the words “SHOUT! SHOUT!” in Cecilworth’s ear. Very likely the man is just a massive Tears for Fears fan and let us all be honest, who could blame them. It’s the music of angels.
Farthington: Now I swear I have a document somewhere and a bloody watch I stole that STRONGLY IMPLY that I still own seven percent of this here boondoggle but I suppose those fancy suited men in their lawyer hats have informed Snake Plissken that it’s he and Mike who actually own the entire company at an EVEN SPLIT. Another example of Lee Best lying, making me carry around a watch that still had chunks of human flesh in it all the way to Utah with the mistaken idea it gave me some sort of stake in this horrid little company of his.
Cecilworth shudders at the memories of the flesh encrusted watch he was gifted around… I dunno… March 2015. That sounds like a good sort of time frame.
Farthington: Titles can be lost, titles can be regained. I am a three time ICON Champion after all, the longest reigning champion of the modern era, a title run that almost went an entire year. That’s unfathomable to the human brain but I swear to all of you it is true if you look it up on my personal website and not the misleading lies you find on AITCH OH GRAPPLING DOT NET. Giving overall control of the company to Lee Best though… that’s a dangerous game. That’s gambling a lot. Hell, I think the only reason the Refuelled Era didn’t begin with the sad husk of the remains of Kostoff spiking a recently aborted baby on the entrance way was the calm and rational mind of my BEE EFF EFF Michael Best. Either that or Florida went all Alabama-ey recently while I wasn’t paying attention.
Cecilworth looks at a massive portrait of Chairman Mao, the camera hangs on it for metaphor reasons for a few moments before panning back down to HOW’s ICON.
Farthington: It’s a gamble, I know Mike put together the best that HOW has to offer. Hall of Famers Scottywood, Max Kael and John Sektor, former World Champion, first of the new era, Halitosis and… me. Me… a man who has never stepped foot in a War Games ring, me a man who has never won the big one, me a man who has no chance of making it into the Hall of Fame. That’s a big gamble. People may think Scottywood is the gamble, that Sektor, coming back from rehab is the gamble… but the biggest risk Mike Best took was putting me in his team. I mean, you just have to listen to everyone else. They’ve been there, they’ve done that. Well, maybe not Halitosis unless MVW also had a War Games match because it seems like every god damn promotion under the sun has had one and I’ve just never been invited. I’m untested in this situation, I’m unproven, it is not known even to I how I am going to handle myself on Saturday night. It could have been very, very different but… I’m something of a coward.
Cecilworth admires a large military tank that is slowly trundling across the road in front of him.
Farthington: In 2015, I had the chance to step into War Games, hell I was the bookies favourite to be the number one draft pick from Captains Jace and Tara but… I was afraid, I was afraid that the risks were too great, the stakes too high and I hightailed it out on the first bus to Utah. I was not ready for War Games; I was not ready for everything that the match promised itself to be. I was too proud to accept entering a match I knew there was a very real risk of me losing and… I got out of there. I left, I escaped, I fled.
As if matching the words uttered by the champ, a small man runs past the camera carrying a loaf of bread under his arms, he is quickly chased behind by a large array of police officer looking men.
Farthington: In 2016, I returned to HOW, I returned to fight in War Games, I returned to fight as part of the Best Alliance. Which, if some of my competitors on the other side are under the misconception that the ole BEE EH is some sort of illustrious stable of the worlds greatest winners that they’ve anchored themselves to, they forget this version contained Bobby Dean. Mike Best took one look at the line up and noped right out of town. I didn’t though, I felt that I was ready, I’d been afraid, fearful, too proud to even try my hand in that metallic prison the year before but 2016, 2016 was the time for ole Cecilworth to finally strut his stuff in the ole War Games cage.
Cecilworth wipes his face in the searing heat of the summer Beijing sun, doing his best not to choke on the humidity and smog that surrounds him.
Farthington: I called in sick. No other way to say it. I got those bridal cold feet and just didn’t show up to work. I just couldn’t quite put myself in the risks, the dangers of the match. I felt I was ready, I knew deep down I was lying to myself. I was already a shadow of what I could have been, it was hardly the time to try my hand at one of wrestling’s most brutal contests on a whim. I knew my card was marked, I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew I was going to fail and I avoided that failure. I fled again. I fled right out of the wrestling industry. I was ashamed that the hot can’t miss prospect was too cowardly to step into War Games two years in a row. Sure, I done a little comedic appearance in Defiance but I was out of the grappling game. I thought I might be out for good.
A burst of sun begins to break out from behind the clouds, bathing Cecilworth is the boiling hot beams of fire. He doesn’t look particularly pleased at this development.
Farthington: It’s now 2019, I am the HOW ICON Champion, I am the OCW Paradigm Champion. I am on the best run of my entire career and I’ve already shown to Dan Ryan what I am capable of. Mike has rolled the dice with me, Mike has taking the biggest risk of his career putting the future of the company in the hands of the untested CEE EM JAY EFF. I do not plan to let him down. I cannot let him down. For all of our sakes.
The preceding was a sponsored video paid for by the “Cecilworth Farthington Is Going To Win War Games Committee”
We return from the brief sponsored interlude and right back to the action in the parlour. While Cecilworth was busy at the door with the SALTY DAWG, tempers had begun to flare in the parlour. Mary and Woody had started scuffle between themselves after an exchange of words about the merits of bassists. So that’s where we are going to hop right back in, the middle of the scuffle kerfuffle. Woody has Mary in a headlock as most people look on horrified, all apart from Jackson who has somehow managed to acquire a bucket of popcorn and is looking on at the little tiff with complete and utter delight. Derek attempts to step in and break up the battle, but Cuban Jim takes this as a sign of hostility and throws a wild haymaker in the direction of Derek. Queen Linda remains under the bar hoping whatever is happening will all be over soon. Our intrepid hero turns away from the door and looks at the battle happen in front of his very eyes. Some people may even call it some form of war, a war between the outsiders and those of the village.
Farthington: I swear to god I never want to see that weird pirate man ever agai… WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING HERE?
There is very little mind paid to Cecilworth’s words as Jackson rushes over and delivers a dropkick right into the glass cabinet that Hayley current resides in, smashing the glass into her face and also in every other direction. He doesn’t have any particular reason for doing this horrible act but it seems like fun, so he just went for it. Woody has managed to use a hip check to take Mary down to the ground. Cecilworth looks agape, AGAPE I say at the madness that lies in front of him. He walks over to famous failed astronaut Derek, who has just managed to shove Cuban Jim into a wall.
Farthington: Who started this mess?
Derek jabs a finger in the direction of Mary and Woody.
Derek: Those two started it but it was a plan of my design.
Farthington: What do you mean it was a plan of your design…
The thought doesn’t arrive at the station as Derek decides now would be the best time to uppercut CM!JF right under the chin. Cecilworth staggers backwards into the couch and collapses on to it. He looks up at Derek, stunned.
Farthington: Why… why are you doing this? Why are you doing this to us?
Derek: Us outsiders are taking over this town and we’ll begin by taking control of the seat of power, Farthington Manor.
My thunder brings all the boys to the yard and they’re like “I want no scrubs” and I’m like “well don’t go chasing waterfalls”.
Cecilworth remains in the couch, absolutely staggered by the sucker-upper. His head lolls back as he sees Derek rush towards to fight between Woody and Mary. Derek drills an elbow in the back of Woody.
Money. That’s what I want. I want money.
The Flying Lizard’s version of “Money” knocks Cecilworth back to his senses as he sees his smart phone ringing on the table in front of him. He looks back over to the chaos as Cuban Jim appears to be attempting to smother Derek with his thighs. Hayley has now managed to roll out from the glassy mess she found herself in and has basically blinded Jackson with her breath. The Best Boy contemplates what he should do… he settles on answering the call. Tommy looks on at the war going on in front of him and decides to play a game instead, returning to the pinball table.
Farthington: Ah! Chief! Glad you called, I think I’m making a lot of progress with the investigation… oh, the wild yelling and smashing? We’re punchstorming, it’s a very new technique I read about in a TED Talk… yes, you can read TED Talks… of course you can… I don’t even know why you are arguing with me about this.
An impatient Cecilworth sighs down the phone, giving the indicator he wants to conversation to move on. In the background, Derek monkey flips Cuban Jim into a cabinet of fine China but most of it survives because he’s not called Bull Jim. Cecilworth quickly and excitedly report his findings back to the inspector.
Farthington: Okay, here’s the skinny. Queen Linda gave me some VITAL evidence. She found this vial of white substance that she believes was a major component in the death of my father and…
So the vial was the weapon…
Choked? With THAT? He choked on THAT? No, surely it was foul play, I mean the outsiders and the local villagers… it has to be linked to the simmering tensions there, right? No? It was just… oh Jesus… oh Jesus…
Without another word, Cecilworth ends the call and looks at his phone, completely horrified by the news he was just shared. Cecilworth dusts himself down and stands up from the couch. He clears his throat and prepares himself for the loudest yell he well perhaps ever provide in his entire history.
Farthington: EVERYBODY! OUT! NOW! GET OUT! GET OUT NOW! THE INVESTIGATION IS OVER!
We see shots of Hayley, blood dripping from her forehead, glass embedded all over her face. We see Jackson still rolling around the floor in pain, clearly feeling he may actually be blinded. We see Cuban Jim, Derek, Mary and Woody all piled atop each other, fists and legs flying in all direction in a wild brawl in the centre of the large carpet. We see Tommy looking back at this mess from his game of his pinball. We see Queen Linda clutching her bottle of rum. All of them stop dead in their tracks, shrug their shoulders and leave the manor, filing out in a single line.
The camera fades out of the scene of the manor and back to in studio Cecilworth.
Farthington: There you have it. A wild tale of two sides at war. Remarkable really that something like that could happen in your own family home. Truly shocking. I guess that about wraps it up for this week’s Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries…
A voice is heard from the set, just behind the camera, cutting Cecilworth off in the middle of his wrap.
Off-camera Voice: So, what did the Chief say was the real cause?
Cecilworth’s eyes go wide, a real teacher level death stare is directed to the voice that may find himself forced to solve the Farthington Family Hedge Maze.
Farthington: I don’t want to talk about it.
A large rubber stamp appears on the screen, imprinting the words “MYSTERY UNSOLVED” in large red text.