Auntie Doris’s Mysteries of the Unexplained #9: The Strange Case of the Mary Celeste

image Nobody knows what went on on that ruddy ship, back in 1872. It set sail from New York, bound for Italy on November the 5th that year. It was carrying a load of barrels of alcohol that the Italians were going to put into their wine, so that they could get drunk with it more quickly. But it never got there. One month later, the crew of another ship, the “Dei Gratia” spotted it drifting aimlessly around the sea, about 600 miles from Portugal.
They sailed over and took a proper look, and were shocked to discover that there was no one at all on board, there was no sign of a struggle or a disaster of any sort, and all the cargo and other valuables were untouched. That put the ruddy willies up them, no mistake, and contrary to popular belief, most sailors don’t enjoy having the willies put up them. Some do, admittedly, but no greater a proportion than in any other profession, with the possible exception of hairdressers.
Any road. They were all baffled, and as the story spread around the world, people started getting hysterical and coming up with all sorts of explanations. Of course, these days most people believe that the unfortunate crew of the Mary C must have been sucked off by aliens from another planet, submitted to humiliating medical probes and then made to wrestle each other with their clothes on back to front. But back in 1872, that didn’t have such sophisticated ideas about the possibility of life on other worlds. Star Trek hadn’t even been invented yet. So they went to the only person they could think of. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Sir Arthur was only thirteen years old at the time, but he was already a brilliant surgeon, who had written a load of stories about Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan and Conan the Barbarian, as well as playing as a goalkeeper for Portsmouth Football Club and as a cricketer for the MCC who once bowled WG Grace out. They just don’t make blokes like that any more.
Anyway, Sir Arthur thoroughly investigated the incident as only a youth in the first flush of puberty can, and wrote up his findings in the form of a story about a ship called the Marie Celeste. He couldn’t even get the ruddy spelling right. Strangely enough, he blamed the whole thing on a murderous black man. Because Sir Arthur was Scottish, I can’t believe that he was being racialist. But I suppose I might be wrong. Any road, he was only thirteen and Nelson Mandela would have forgiven him.
Meanwhile stories about the table on board ship being discovered as if breakfast had just been served were doing the rounds. There was still warm coffee in the cups, the bacon was freshly fried and the yolks on the eggs were still runny. There was even tobacco smoke still drifting in the air. This evidence points firmly towards the “sucked off by aliens” theory.
However, some versions of the story tell of three bowls of porridge in the galley. The big bowl was too lumpy, the medium bowl was too salty, but the little bowl was just right.
That does it for me. I reckon that the solution to this mystery is clear. The crew of the Mary Celeste had decided to go for a swim in the sea before breakfast. Imagine their faces when they swam back only to discover that captain Goldilocks of the Dei Gratia had taken the ship into Gibraltar, leaving them high and dry. Or low and ruddy wet! He had probably broken a little chair and was at that very moment sleeping in the smallest bed, whist some Mediterranean carpenter fixed it.

Auntie Doris’s Mysteries of the Unexplained #9: Ask the Ruddy Universe

imageOne of the most baffling mysteries of the unknown to have emerged in recent years, is “how on Earth does Noel Edmonds manage to remain so popular?” I can’t abide the irritating little so and so, and yet he has thousands upon thousands of people watch him grinning all over his smug face every time they switch the television on. By rights we should have seen the last of him when they pulled the plug on that insipid “Noel’s House Party” in 1999. But ohh no. He somehow made a comeback seven years later, and he has never been off the idiot box ever since.
Granted, there’s something about the television business that makes stars out of talentless self obsessed idiots, otherwise how could you explain Jeremy Clarkson. But Edmonds… How on earth did he do it?
According to him, the answer is that he asked the ruddy universe, and it granted his wish.
Back in 2006, poor old Noel was feeling unloved and rejected. He was on the scrap heap of forgotten celebrities, along with the likes of Mike Yarwood, Tom O’Connor and Keith Harris and Orville. He was on Skid Row, barely able to afford to look after the trappings of his celebrity lifestyle, such as the helicopter that he used to ferry his old pal Phil Ruddy Collins around in. When he looked in the mirror of his luxury house down South, the reflection showed the face of a sad old man, with tears of self pity rolling down its plump cheeks. He was clinically depressed, (whatever that means when it’s all at home – is it worse than being depressed? Can you be clinically short of breath, or catch a clinical cold?)
Anybody normal who was depressed would pay a visit to the doctors, or the local ruddy off license, but not Noel. Ohh no, that would be too simple. He had to go and see his reflexologist ( whatever one of them is when it’s all at home.) apparently, she used to make him sit cross legged in his underpants and bang his knee with a rubber mallet whilst he talked about how miserable he was. I’m surprised he hasn’t made that into a ruddy television programme yet. “Noel’s celebrity reflexology clinic.” Imagine watching the Jeremy Clarkson or Phil Collins episodes of that! It’s enough to curdle your stomach.
Any road, this reflexologist mentions that she has just started a new religion called “cosmic ordering” where all you have to do is write down what you want on a piece of paper, and the Universe gets it for you.
Next thing you know, Noel has asked the Universe to get him back on the sodding television, and he is presenting “Deal or No Deal” and making a ruddy fortune again.
And then he has the audacity to publish a book explaining how he did it by asking the universe. Of course, his ruddy book sold loads more copies than the one that his reflexologist wrote, and she lost that much money over it that she ended up having to close three of her clinics and move into Noel’s old place on Skid Row, along with all the other people who’s ideas he had pinched. Like the bloke who invented Mister Blobby.
And to cap it all, he is on about buying the ruddy BBC now, and having adverts on it. And I suppose that the sodding Universe will just stand by and let him do it an’all!
Sometimes I am ruddy well glad that I am dead.