Did you know that many of the OCW and HOW superstars actually have their own unique programming available only on the HOTv network? I mean it’s likely you didn’t, they normally air around two thirty in the morning after a two hour infomercial for Planet Scottywood so you’re hardly going to stick that form of human torture out just to see “Darin Zion Attempts Basic Human Interaction” or “Scott Stevens’ Tricks to Timekeeping”. Even if you did make it through the infomercials, you would be hardly rewarded with for your efforts with quality programming like this.
But we are not here today to discuss inferior and rancid HOTv scheduling, we are here to enjoy a sleeper hit, a show that only airs once in a blue moon and yet delights the thousands who notice that it is on. Why yes, we are about to share with you the second ever episodes of the Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries. Why, I can hear the catchy jingle hark this very moment.
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!
Yes, that beautiful song, sung by a choir of angels to my ears brings us to a dimly lit room. A small desk lamp with a green shade illuminates a large oak desk in the centre of the room. There’s a smouldering of smoke from a lit cigarette wafting through the air from the ashtray at the edge of the table. The camera pans across the table and we see all the important crime solving tools… a magnifying glass, ink for fingerprints, a mysterious white powder that will no doubt help in the solutions of the mysterious, and of course the most ultimate tool in the detecting toolkit, A BATMOBILE… wait no, I mean a deerstalker. There was a deerstalker sitting on the table too.
A shadow begins to move towards the table and as this dark and mysterious figure takes his seat near the green lamp, we see the lit-up mug of the HOW ICON Champion. He lifts the magnifying glass off the table and opens a small manila folder that was sitting atop the IN tray on the desk. He thrusts the magnifying glass backwards and forwards for a few moments and makes noises like “hmmmmm” and “ah!” and “JINKIES” before he sets both back down on the table and faces directly to the camera.
Farthington: Hello dear viewer and welcome back to another exciting edition of the Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries. As you, the dedicated faithful know, we asked the hard hitting questions on this show like “who the hell still uses the word coloured to describe anyone in the year of our lord twenty oh nineteen?” and “why did Eric Dane’s forehead get significantly smaller in the space of a week?”. Yes, we ask the big ones, the ones that we know that you the viewer are just burning up to hear the answer to.
Cecilworth flips open the manila folder once more and the camera catches him leafing through a selection of photos of to our eye, random males and females.
Farthington: You almost caught me by surprise today though, dear viewer, dear friend. You see, I have been caught up in my greatest mystery to date. The Mystery of Farthington Manor.
A lightning bolt crackles in the background as Cecilworth utters the words “Farthington Manor”, was this an omen? A rehearsed bit? Just unfortunate timing? A magician never reveals his secrets and neither does a narrator.
Farthington: This mystery, as the name might suggest is a very personal one for me as it concerns my family. My father to be exact. On the night of Monday the 22nd of July, a young and handsome rogue of a man called Cecilworth, which is me, travelled back home to have a confrontation with his father about his questionable decision making in choices of partners. If you want to hear about that story, you should watch it on HOTv, I’m sure there will be a re-run at some point. I don’t have time to tell you every moment of that fateful day, but I will share with you the phone call I received. I’m a very good actor so I will now mesmerise you with my talented acting skills.
Cecilworth makes “bring bring” sounds with his mouth to mock what he thinks a telephone sounds like. He lifts up the old rotary dial phone sitting atop the table and lifts the receiver up to his ear hole.
Farthington: Hello, bonjour, ahoy-hoy. This is Cecilworth M! Jamelia Farthington speaking how may I help you?
Cecilworth mimes a short pause.
Farthington: My father? DEAD? MY HEAVENS! MY HEART IS AFLUTTER WITH CONFUSION! WHY GOD WHY?
Cecilworth slams his fist gently to the table to really get over the emotion of this moment.
Farthington: And you, the Chief of Police think that I, the Best Boy, am the only one qualified to solve the murder that you suspect he was killed by? Yes, killed by murder is a very serious offense, although not as serious as it once was. I hear some people can murder to their hearts content and get off Great Scott free. Like that Mack O’ Connor guy.
There’s another brief pause.
Farthington: Mack O’Connor? Oh he’s just a guy who does murders. He’s not important to this story, this is a HOW story.
Farthington: HOW? It’s a wrestling company… look I don’t have time to get into the modern wrestling landscape with you Mr. Chief of Police. I have a mystery to solve… The Mystery of Farthington Manor!
The lightning flashes once more as the thunder roars louder. It would appear someone tosses a bucket of water against the window of the sit to simulate the rushing of a downpour of rain.
Farthington: I’ll take the case!
Cecilworth slams the receiver down and it makes a small *ding* sound like most olden timey phones would when you hung them up. Farthington straightens himself up and faces the camera once more.
Farthington: Yes, indeed, the Chief of Police of Buckinghamshire had come to me, the Best Boy Detective in all of the land to investigate the events of that dark, dark Monday. Now, I warn you, what you are about to watch is a harrowing tale of a village torn apart by greed and self-interest and also my dad died and that’s unfortunate.
Cecilworth pauses for a few seconds, unsure what he’s meant to say next or possibly just digesting the fact that his father has only been dead for a week and he’s already making a public spectacle of it. I mean it’s definitely the first one but it’s nice to think that the man isn’t completely dysfunctional when it comes to basic human decency. The silence is broken by the sound of someone yelling “LEGAL DISCLAIMER” from off camera.
Farthington: For legal reasons, I couldn’t exactly film the events of that night at Farthington Manor…
Farthington: …But I managed to put together a wonderful troop of actors to re-enact the events of my investigation. Fine people who work for the cheapest possible cost. You may not expect a man like me to go cheap but please bear in mind that I consider all actors to be pond scum and they should accept the scraps that I, the Mighty Farthington throw at them.
Cecilworth begins to stand up from the table and slides the deerstalker atop his perfect skull that is certainly not leaking fluids at random intervals throughout the day for no rhyme or reason.
Farthington: Before I take you to Black Monday, it’s important for you to get an idea of the kinds of people I would be investigating. First, there was those local to the small village near the Farthington Manor (CRACK, FLASH, POW) and then there were the… outsiders. As we begin our tale, I have prepared a profile on all our main suspects.
You can hear the absolute disgust in Cecilworth’s voice as the word “outsiders” oozes out of his mouth. The footage of the broadcast cuts to a gaunt, moustached man who has eyes that yell “I was out all night doing drugs on a rented boat”. We hear the voice of Farthington narrate over the image.
Farthington: First we have Cuban Jim, a local businessman dealing in the cigar trade. Fine and upstanding man in the community with a little touch of unreliability at his worst. Several trips to rehab but always the better for it on the other end. He supplied my father with a daily smoking pack of “all the things I can smoke to destroy my lungs”. Did Cuban Jim finally take my father’s dark humour at face value and deliver him a real KILLER cigar?
The feed cuts to the next image, a man clearly in his mid-40s with white guy dreadlocks and an ungodly amount of piercing that is just an awful look for a man his age.
Farthington: Next there is Woody. Now Woody is the manager of the local Public House, The Wood Universe because he’s a bit of a brash egocentric whore. He’s a trier and the saying always goes that god loves those. I’ve yet to see the evidence myself. Woody is a reliable guy, the pub always opens on time and he does the job asked of him. However, in the weeks leading up to the murder, my father had begun an online Facebook campaign to rid The Wood Universe of and I quote “that IPA hipster trash” and Woody wasn’t very keen on that little deal. Was he looking to silence my dear pawpaw?
We see a lady with tangled and knotted black hair, wearing a protective facial mask and wielding a dental toolkit.
Farthington: Hayley is the Manor’s dental hygienist. She’s known my father for many years… well certainly she has known his teeth. He tended to be old cold from his afternoon bottle of scotch before she came round to the manor. Who could blame him though? Hayley, as skilled as she is at her job… her own mouth smells like a miner’s arse after a particularly long shift down the mine. Hayley has never been too keen on the community mocking our own lack of hygiene and has often pointed the finger square at my father for spreading the rotten rumours. It’s like that old logic problem about the barbers but for mouths. Isn’t that fun!
Our next vision is of a man of the cloth. A grey haired, wild eyed, loon of a man who from his image alone looks broken on every conceivable level. Although hard to tell for certain from a single image, you get a sense that one of his eyes is made of glass.
Farthington: Maxwell here is the local Minister. Most Ministers in the UK are these friendly sorts who run coffee mornings and do fun runs, basically running a glorified community centre. Not Maxwell though, a real fire and brimstone preacher of a man, he was often telling the congregation that he expected it to all burn down and he would do it by his own hand if he deemed it necessary. Was my father’s death part of his dastardly plan to bring the end of times?
An unusual photo the next one, we see a man kitted out in a space suit sitting in front of the NASA logo, flashing a big thumbs up and demonstrating his pearly whites. Behind the eyes though, that’s where we see the true sadness that lurks within the man.
Farthington: Then we get to those from outside the village. Derek here, he’s a failed astronaut. Had a small stint at NASA with the desire to be one with the stars but sadly he was prone to explosive bouts of feeling under appreciated. My father had a good amount invested in the European Space Agency and had called Derek around to discuss a potential project. Did the meeting take a sharp turn into the macabre? Who can say? I can say because I know the answer but I have to pretend I don’t for the purposes of this tale.
We see a small child on the screen carrying a bass guitar that is taller than ever her.
Farthington: Mary was an orphan child who had one father as a very talented circus juggler and the mother was doing a banging job on the “Abba Tribute Act” scene. Sadly, one night, on their way home from the theatre, during an incident with a mugger, both were gunned down in cold blood and all poor Mary could do was witness it. Some said Mary should sue but she used that gritty and dark moment to become the bass guitarist she is today. Wait… no… that one is definitely Batman. My apologies. Could Mary have done it because of… I want to say… lust? Yeah, let’s run with lust. Pretty sure she has the horn for Derek and was very suspicious that papa’s chat with Derek was much more than just business.
A large bulking brute of a man fills up the entire screen so much that you could swear that his body was melting out of the screen and on to your carpet. He refuses to wear any sort of shirt at any point in the day but ensures that his trademark sunglasses are on.
Farthington: Tom here, ole Tommy, he was a backing dancer for Corey Hart during the early 80s but the times hadn’t exactly been kind to him. He had rolled into the village the night prior to the murder to perform a low budget off-brand Chippendales act knowns as The Rescue Rangers. Well, he was hoping to perform. My father was very concerned about awakenings and urges so he paid off the local city council to shut the act down. As his only source of income that kept him in the night time sunglasses he desired so, was this blow to his wallet enough to drive him into a murderous roid rage? After all, on the night of his arrival into the village the scoops tell me he smashed poor Hayley’s face into a car.
We see a short man in an ill-fitting suit looking quite dishevelled. His hair wild and all over the place, his eyes bloodshot. An image that would certainly portray a university professor who had recently fallen on hard times. Or as we call them, university professors. HA! JOKES!
Farthington: Finally, there’s Jackson. No one really knows why Jackson was in town that night. He kept handing out business cards informing people that he was an “Independent Protractor Specialist” whatever that means. The only reason he as even called to the MEETING OF SUSPECTS is… y’know, weird looking guy looking scruffy who just rolled into town and no one knows anything about him and then the next thing you know, someone dies. That’s suspect as hell boyeeeeee.
Farthington smiles quite a smug smile.
Farthington: That one was for all the youths watching, I bet you think I’m the bomb diggity now don’t you? Still, we need to get to the tale now we know the suspects involved. Each with a motive, some stronger, some weaker but all as suspicious as the last.
We cut to an image of all nine of the afore mentioned suspects and Cecilworth himself sitting down in the drawing room of the Farthington Manor. Derek and Mary sit an either end of a couch, cold body language as if they were lovers spurned. Cuban Jim stands near the door to the room and has cracked it open so he can enjoy a fine cigar, kindly considering not smoking in the other’s faces. Minister Maxwell stands in a back corner, entirely irritated by his existence in this situation. Woody is doing a tour around the room offering small sample bottles of his latest IPA. Hayley has been quarantined in a nearby cupboard for reasons of her horrible, horrible mouth. Jackson sits atop a stool near the wet bar and dear Tommy is playing a mean pinball.
Standing in the middle of the room with the finest deerstalker is the Best Detective Boy (BDB) himself, Cecilworth M. Farthington.
Farthington: The cast had been set, the dice were rolled and your hero, the HOW ICON Champion was about to get to the bottom of his father’s death. We now take you to recreation of the events that happened in that drawing room on the evening of the 22nd July.
We shift from the voice of studio Cecilworth to the voice of recreation Detective Cecilworth, he puffs on the pipe he pulls out from his tweed jacket, taking a few thoughtful puffs. A brown cloud of smoke evaporates up in the air.
Woody: I don’t think smoke is supposed to be that colour.
Farthington: Quiet criminal scum, if I wish to smoke-ah the cocoa then I will.
Woody: There’s no need to talk to me like that Cecilworth. You’re one of US. You know no one in the village could have done this to poor Lord Farthington. None of us would even has a livelihood if that man and his immense riches didn’t trickle down to our little town. You have to know deep down that one of these OUTSIDERS done the deed and then was hoping for a hasty escape.
All of the local residents murmur nods of encouragement and agreement with Woody but it doesn’t exactly go down too well with the others. Derek stands up from out the couch and begins to wag his finger in the direction of Publican Woody.
Derek: And what the hell is that supposed to mean?
Cuban Jim chuckles and takes another puff of his cigar as he glares over at Derek.
Jim: It means that you don’t belong in this town spaceman. Why don’t you take a rocket ship to the planet “Fuck Off”. I hear it’s lovely this time of year. Our town has always been a peaceful place, the residents all getting along. We meet at the community centre every week to recognise the village’s champion contributor and we have always done that. Sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s Maxwell, one time it was Hayley and that was very confusing. Then you and that Mary roll into town and you’re all “WE’RE THE REAL VILLAGE CHAMPIONS” but you’re really failures who couldn’t hack it in any other village so you tried your hand here. You just couldn’t accept a village was perfectly fine without your rampant brand of bullshit could you… THAT’S WHY YOU OFFED HIM! TO RUIN THE VILLAGE!
Derek balls his fist tightly, trying to control his swelling rage.
Derek: I came to this damn village because Lord Farthington wanted me to come to it. It’s not my fault all of you had dropped to ball so badly in this place that he had to call in outsiders like me and Mary to clear to place up.
Cuban Jim is having none of it.
The Best Cecilworth Detective Agency steps into the situation at try and settle everyone down for a few moments and allow him to investigate further.
Farthington: Gentleman, please. There will be plenty of time to castigate after my investigation is finished but I need to get to the bottom of this whole mess. Maxwell, you’ve been my reliable moral compass for years, the guiding hand to Farthington men everywhere. What do you think happened this evening?
The cloaked Minister steps out from the shadows, his eyes wild, spinning in all directions. Well, his glass eye was spinning in all directions, his normal one, small and blue as it is, peers directly into the soul of Cecilworth, to the level he really feels like he’s been shot with a hate arrow.
Maxwell: My Deacon, Harold, is not here this evening and he has been speaking on my behalf for weeks. For that reason, I refuse to comment further, my son.
Cecilworth looks up to the sky and lets out a frustrated exhale.
Farthington: Come on Maxwell, if you help me out here, I’ll donate a lovely group of flags and even a few saucy dancers to your next village fete. You’d like that wouldn’t you? I know you would…
Cecilworth doesn’t finish his negotiations as an irate Woody begins to yell.
Woody: WHERE WERE THE FLAGS AT THE LAST FETE?
Tommy turns away from the pinball table and he flexes his misshapen pecs for a few moments as he slides his sunglasses back up his nose.
Tommy: I was just here for the big show. Now I respect you Cecilworth…
Tommy: Because I said so and that means it’s true. Anyway, your father, he brought me into town for my “Rescue Rangers” show.
We hear the muffled voice of Her Highness of Dental Hygiene, Hayley yell out from her quarantine.
Hayley: I thought Lord Farthington was trying to shut down the show!
Tommy ripples his pecs a few more times, he winks at cupboard under the assumption that Hayley is enjoying the show.
Tommy: No, that was all part of the plan. People know that old fella is a crusty old miserable bugger and he knew it too. He was doing a fake protest to drum up interest in the show. You know that old saying, cash creates controversy.
Jim puffs once more as he looks over to the ever-flexing Tommy, one eye scrunched up in confusion.
Cuban Jim: That doesn’t sound right at all.
The mysterious Jackson speaks up for the very first time since the conversation began. Many forgetting he was there but not Farthington, Farthington was always watching.
Jackson: Gentleman, I have a very important online college course on video production to attend… I am hoping I can offer my services as a human spirit level to the movie industry if I nail this final unit. I’m not even sure why I’m here! I was just speaking to Derek and Tom outside that pub the white pastarasta runs and suddenly they pulled me into this parlour!
Farthington: You know what you’ve done. I’m watching you buddy.
Cecilworth makes the finger eyes back and forth in the direction of Jackson.
Hayley (from inside her cupboard, slightly muffled): Has anyone considered it was Linda?
Every Single Person in the Room: LINDA?!?
We cut back to the studio where Farthington is sitting atop the large wood desk, one leg askew as his hands rest upon the other leg’s thigh.
Farthington: A stunning moment in my investigation. It turns out there was a woman called Linda who was in the room the entire time! Tragically, even her own friends had forgot about Linda until the crucial moment that Hayley, well known around the village as a person who knows facts about people, pointed out that Linda was always there. This was a lynchpin to the whole investigation but how would it turn out? For that, you will have to wait until tomorrow’s episode of the Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries.
And now a word from our sponsors
There’s a short burst of static as HOTv continues to roll on with live television. We shift from the elaborate set of the CFM show to a great white void. The lights shining as if from the heavens themselves. At the centre of the angelic halo of light stands the man we just saw in a dandiest deerstalker you ever did see. Now out of his detectin’ garb, he stands with his championship held high in the air.
Farthington: Hello, I am HOW ICON Champion Cecilworth Farthington and I hope you have enjoyed another great HOT V show. Unless it’s that one where Darin Zion sits in a bathtub. You shouldn’t enjoy that.
Cecilworth slings his ICON championship over his shoulders.
Farthington: I’m here today to talk to you about the big upcoming PAY PER VIEW. Yes! It’s time for the WIG WAM! I mean… War Gums… War Games. WAR GAMES! Many people seem to perhaps have been a little bit upset or dejected about my recent silence on the matters of this BIG TIME BOUT but let me assure you, I have been trainin’ like a Super Saiyan which I am assured by the boys in the back is a sentence that makes sense.
There is a small tittering that comes from behind to camera as Cecilworth gives a cheeky wink to whoever he just pleased.
Farthington: Eric Dane, Dan Ryan, Ms. Troy, hell even the illustrious High Flyer. They like to remind people of their accomplishments and you know what… that’s fair. That is absolutely fair. They’ve done a hell of a lot in this industry. They’ve been in Hall of Fames, they’ve held World Titles aloft. They have done everything a person could do… They’ve managed the impossible time and time again. They’ve even had shots at running their own wrestling companies. They are a truly impressive bunch. Hell, even the irritating mosquito of a child that seems to hang out with them has managed to get her grubby little paws in the cookie jar and pull out a couple of World Championships. It’s a remarkable team the old Salty Seadawg himself has put together.
Cecilworth looks down at his shoulder, admiring the ICON championship in a longing manner.
Farthington: Yet it doesn’t seem to be enough for any of you does it? You can’t just be satisfied with your past glories. No, no, you have to come stomping into MY PATCH and start wiggling your lady and lad parts around to try and prove you are all equal cocks of the walk. See, here’s a true, honest, factual statistics about me, yer boy, SEE EMMMM JAY EFFF. I have zero World Titles to my name, I have zero Hall of Fame entries. Yet, right now I stand before you as something none of you can claim. HOW Champion. THE HOW Champion. Sure, my dear close friend Max, he has the keys to the heart of HOW but me… I own the soul of the company. I AM THE SOUL of the company and that is a title that none of you deserve to have bestowed upon you.
The Hot Lad and self-proclaimed Megastar has his eyes bulge wider and wider as he gets a smidge frustrated and perhaps angered.
Farthington: Do you know why Max and I want HOW to burn right down to its final, flickering, sad, pathetic ember? It’s because we would rather the company die than be a testament to all your pathetic egos. A god damn fossil park where the only conversations are about who many times you won the BIG ONE in Saskatoon. I’m tired of hearing numbers, I’m tired of hearing history. I don’t know if any of you wonderful humans have realised but we live in the here and the now.
The spittle begins to flow from Farthington’s mouth and he continues on.
Farthington: Let us talk real facts. Dan Ryan got himself a bloody War Games preview when he took me into that Steel Cage. You guys remember that? The steel cage? That place where the big boy of your team was crowing that he’d walk over me and grab MY ICON championship as if it was a morning muffin? Ringing any bells? I’m really not sure if it is. You all seem to be under the misconception that some kind of fluke happened. That perhaps, perchance if I’d decide to pin Old Master Daniel-san, he’d weave his Mr. Miyagi magic and wax himself off a pin. My elbow rendered him unconscious you fools, I had practically minutes to take a casual saunter out the cage because it’s more delightful to make him feel HELPLESS than it is to just take the quick and easy pin. That’s the only reason I decided to go for the door. Guess what? Seems it worked out for me.
Cecilworth does a little nod over to his ICON championship.
Farthington: Oh, for the record, for those who seem to have gotten a smidge of a mistaken impression. I don’t give a SHIT about Defiance. Hell, I worked there. Yes, the normal braying clowns of the High Octane domain will take their ever so witty shots because god knows why but it seems to rile you up something fierce. I mean, I only left Defiance because some mysterious man stole my god damn briefcase and I never did learn who he was.
From inside his pocket, Cecilworth produces a small notepad and pencil. He begins to furiously scribble down the idea that just came upon him.
Farthington: Next episode of Cecilworth Farthington Mysteries… “Who WAS L. Bruises?”… that’s the good stuff.
He flips it back closed again and shove it back into his pocket.
Farthington: I’ve never been in a War Games match before, I’ve never had a World Championship before. I have however been an enduring, fighting champion who takes on the best and defeats him. I have been a King of the Cage and really… isn’t that good enough? It should but… but it doesn’t seem to be. It doesn’t matter the giants I’ve conquered, the legends I’ve slain, people still look at me like a bit of a side show. Perhaps it’s time to… change the perception.
Cecilworth has a little chuckle to himself, perhaps he told a joke that only he gets.
Farthington: I plan to step into that War Games cage an ICON but I plan to leave it a LEGEND. Just think, the Best Alliance, the greatest in the history of the industry and their pet child, falling to a man who doesn’t have the accolades, doesn’t have the foot long title history but DOES have the power to defeat them. Everyone else in this match has been a World Champion so I ask you Best Alliance, I ask all of you…
Who has the most to gain?
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