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Tuesday 1st February 2005

I was heading off to Wales today for a TV appearance, more of which tomorrow no doubt. I had packed my bags and was heading out of the house when a strange noise started up. It sounded a bit like a drill or a lawnmower, some distance away, but I couldn’t work out where it was coming from. One second it sounded like it was somewhere inside, the next my senses located it as coming from the back of the house. Having had my alarm system go off accidentally several times I was worried it might be something to do with this and wandered around trying to check that nothing was awry in my home. I went into the back bathroom and was pretty much convinced that the noise was coming from one of the gardens adjacent or behind mine. There’s been some building work going on in one of the houses there, so that all made sense to me and I was satisfied with this explanation.
But then when I went into the lounge it now seemed the noise was coming from somewhere at the front of the house, maybe in the road outside, but possibly from inside. That didn’t make sense. It was almost as if the noise was following me around, like some kind of poltergeist vibrator, which had perhaps been killed in the house by some previous occupant (doubtless someone connected with the dubious Shit Films who were here before) and was now haunting this abode of damned sex toys.
Maybe not.
Or perhaps a tiny helicopter was circling my home. Perhaps piloted by Jeffrey Hudson.
Yes that was more likely than the ghost of a vibrator. I don’t know what I was thinking.
Whether the noise was a lawnmower, a mechanised dildo from behind the grave or a four hundred year old midget in a specially made flying machine, or even just a really big wasp, it was slightly disconcerting, but I wasn’t too worried.
And as I went out on to the street all seemed to be explained. The noise was definitely out here and then I spotted a man sitting in his car with his engine running. That must have been what had caused all this confusion. My subconscious registered that this was odd: that all this confusion had been caused by a car (how had it been heard so clearly at the back of the house?), but it seemed the engine was not too finely tuned and there was a distinct buzz accompanying the usual hum. But despite these internal protests my curiosity was satisfied like I was some kind of giant piece of inquisitive citrus fruit and I forgot all about this insignificant incident as I stepped out on to the noisy streets of London town.
However, once I’d taken the noisy tube to noisy Paddington station and run to jump on my train and started taking off my coat and arranging my bags I became aware of this sinister susurration once again. Was the spectral vibrator hidden somewhere about or within my person (and how had it got in there)? Was a mischievous historical dwarf intent on buzzing me wherever I might travel? Was I suffering from tinnitus? A brief moment of confusion was followed by the realisation that the noise was coming from my bag. A further longer moment of intense confusion was followed by the recollection that I had been unable to find a usable normal toothbrush this morning whilst packing and so had been forced to grab my electric toothbrush, which I never usually use when travelling. It had, of course, been turned on in a tightly packed bag and had been merrily buzzing away for the last forty minutes.
You can understand why I would have assumed it was Jeffrey Hudson, but all this is a signal lesson as to why you shouldn’t jump to such obvious conclusions and look for alternative explanations.
How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however mundane, must be the truth?
I think it is no times. But from now on I will be saying it a lot.

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