"Roadshow" producers are harried lot, generally. Their lives are full of details that must be checked, cross checked and verified again once air time nears, all to no avail some days.
"How do you present the historical facts like this?" Said producer Julie Jenkins, when told of the new BBC rule requiring producers to clear ANY war memorabilia, from ANY war with the Leftenant and the Rightenant at the door before proceeding.
Last Tuesday, "Roadshow" set up shop in the North of England, in a tidy town with a quaint name which cannot be revealed here, or anywhere else for that matter, as the reader will soon learn.
Among the nautical-themed clocks and seascapes, the usual grush of seaside resorts, appeared at a curious relic from the second world war, brought in by a mysterious stranger, leaning on a cane. The stranger, whose name is not about to be released under any circumstances, was by happenstance, a retired naval commander, Royal Munitions Expert, former instructor of Bomb Disposal Technicians with a dozen volumes on the subject to his credit and personal friend of Hans Blix. He placed the unexploded naval shell upon the table and next to it, the fuse he removed himself at the scene instinctively with a precision and attention to detail only found among those of flag rank.
At this point the narrative is best taken over by Guest Presenter Adm. Quentin Quick:
"… and although this particular fuse has no numbers or identifying marks stamped upon it, it is easily identified as being manufactured by the ITT company in the way this particular fold is made of brass and attached here, here and here, he said referring to a close-up photograph of the same fuse purchased by the Royal Navy from ITT."
The photograph revealed the details in full. The shell was Adolf's, clearly, fairly bought and paid for.
"Right!" He continued, his back ramrod straight with purpose. "Let us examine the facts at hand. After the war, captured records reveal how much the Hun paid for each of these masterpieces of American Manufacture: US$.29!
Does anyone have any idea what the Admiralty paid out the wazoo for this exact same fuse? $.92! This is a difference of $.63 per unit! And these are supposed to be our friends? During the time period in question, the Admiralty can produce receipts for the purchase of 7,716,943 of ITT's patented fuse, as shown in the photograph. It does not require the Chair of Isaac Newton to understand a difference amounting to USD$4,861,000,674!"
"The Crown submitted a claim equal to this amount to the Vatican office of Sullivan and Cromwell, but the telephone conversation was the strangest I've ever had since that wedding in Caanan, Connecticut. They said, and I presume this is in some kind of secret code:
"Sorry Old Man, but the Brenner Pass is locked up tight as a drum! Prescott Bush grabbed 3 full shares because of Thyssenkrup, Karl Blessing's Interests Incorporated, blew most of his in away in 2008. Jimmy Angleton can't even remember his full name anymore. He spends all his mind talking to his long gone X-2 buddies.
His daddy, Hugh, keeps up the parts search for his busted national cash register because that guy with the bullhorn is getting too close to finding out that the JFK murder was nothing more that a work-related shooting by a former employee! And he is still pissed after all these years that Hitler chose Watson and IBM over NCR for the Auschwitz contract!
Brother Eugene Pacelli keeps running around screaming 'I told them not to sell that land but That Fat Rat, Ratzinger wouldn't listen to me, would he? Now he has to pretend to be a victim and sells what he can never hope to own!
Questions? Ask Frederick the Great, last seen at the Denny's near Paramus, New Jersey!
"Look under the big W" the voice said before the office closed for good.
International Roadshow is expected to do a whole special on "The War Memorabilia of Sullivan & Cromwell" Especially coveted are the T-shirts with the company motto:
Investments! - Defense! - Reparations Financing!
No Control? No Fun!