Shellac Rentedrooms is probably the world’s most famous consulting detective. His faithful companion Doc Whatsup has recounted his numerous cases in publications all around the world. So, obviously when another great befuddling series of mysteries struck the British Isles, it was Rentedrooms that the British establishment called upon when all else failed, and there was a danger of MP’s expenses being examined in detail once more.
As Doc Whatsup explained in his write-up of the case, it was not as simple as the duo first imagined.
‘We are glad you could come,’ the Prime Minister said. ‘As you no doubt know from the poll ratings since the last election, something has gone seriously wrong with politics in this country.’
‘Yes, I know.’ Rentedrooms had a normal healthy dislike of being in the same room as politicians. But as Whatsup mentioned in his journal, they needed the fees. Rentedrooms was considering having a second violin lesson, and Whatsup had his eye on a pro version of his noise-cancelling headphones.
‘I think I can see the problem,’ Rentedrooms said after only a cursory glance around the PM’s office in 10 Downing Street.
The PM, the other cabinet ministers present, and the Downing Street staff all gasped in astonishment. ‘But how?’
Rentedrooms pointed. ‘That.’
‘We wondered what that was,’ the PM’s chief of Staff said. ‘We thought it belonged to a previous Prime Minister. As you are probably aware, most of them have some rather odd habits.’
‘What is it, Rentedrooms?’ Whatsup said, venturing closer to the great steaming pile.
‘It’s elementary,’ Rentedrooms said.
‘Elementary? What’s that – some sort of science thing?’
‘No. I mean knowing what it is, is elementary. Not…. oh, never mind.’ Rentedrooms strode towards the steaming pile in the middle of the room. ‘That,’ he pointed again, ‘is elephant dung.’
‘Elephant dung? But wouldn’t we have noticed a great pile of shit in the middle of the room?’ the PM asked.
Rentedrooms looked her in the eye. ‘But you are politicians. Noticing what is right in front of you, doesn’t come easy, does it?’
The cabinet ministers all nodded as one. They knew they had been ignoring so much of what was in front of them ever since that dismal last election result.
‘Somewhere then in this room,’ Rentedrooms said, staring around, ‘logic forces me to say, there must be an elephant.’
‘An elephant in this room?’ the PM was aghast. ‘But where?’
‘Ah,’ said Rentedrooms. ‘That is a mystery for you to solve, I’m afraid. As my good friend Doc Whatsup insists, I may be the world’s leading consulting detective. But if even I cannot make you see the huge elephant that is in this room in front of you, then I would suggest you all start looking for alternative employment. Otherwise, the elephant in this room will destroy you, your government and everything else. Now, I must bid you good day. My invoice will be in the post.’