Wednesday, 28 May 2008

A mystery throughout history

The history of Mr Carruthers is as long as the moustache on his moustachioed face and as complex as it is long. Each answer leads to many more questions, each question leads to a question mark and each question mark is satisfying to draw.

The name Carruthers is apparently derived from both the Brittonic word ‘caer’ meaning ‘fort’ and the much younger English word ‘others’ meaning ‘one day songwriters will rhyme this with brothers and mothers so we’d better find a meaning for it’. Together the name may mean a bronze age form of bouncy castle.

Many believe he inspired a character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure Of The Solitary Cyclist, a Sherlock Holmes tale from 1903. The character in question, is that of Mr Carruthers. It’s difficult to see where this theory came from. Maybe they have the same size collar.

There was a possible sighting in Texas during World War I, then known only as "French Trench Drench 1914 - ?"

Gramsci, the Italian Marxist, once claimed to have a partial fingerprint of one of the fingers on Mr Carruthers’ rightest hand on an acorn. This has yet to be substantiated.

But perhaps the most compelling evidence is this Warhol diptych, discovered in an attic in Margate. Believed to date from 1964 and was described as the least worst fake of 1987.

Can you help? Have you seen Mr Carruthers? Can you take your partner by the gland?

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