The murderous pour petrol through letterboxes, occasionally post bombs. The vindictive may go for the softer option of poo in or out of an envelope. Only the inspired eccentric would think of baked beans, in this case Heinz, though other brands are available.
In the medieval village of Wonersh,( pop 3000 )beans have been poured on doorsteps, through letterboxes and on cars parked overnight. The classic: The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town, immediately came to mind, in this case beans being the cause.
Yesterday, we discussed the issue in the Red Lion in the bean-free village of Long Compton. Over a few pints of Old Hooky, we considered motive, reluctantly discounting most of them as unlikely – but then again, beans through letterboxes? Does unlikely even come into it?
So, we considered more seriously: The artist Banksie, moving on from wall murals to art installations. A new NHS initiative for the constipated.
A disgruntled Heinz employee, perhaps from their marketing department. The discussion moved on to how it was done. Obviously, it had taken some planning. Would the perp have filled a shopping trolley with beans? No, he’d have been too clever for that. In a village of only a 3000 it would have been easy to discover who had bought so many beans. No indeed. This was planned, tins bought over a year or two, a few at a time.
And how had he poured a tin of beans through a letter box? Not easily done, the tin being insufficiently flexible. He must have first poured the beans into a freezer bag or its equivalent and squeezed the goo through it.
Some may be upset that I’m assuming the perp is a ‘he’. But in my experience men tend to be loopier than women, though I prefer the kindlier: eccentric. So, if a man, we've narrowed it down to approx 1500. Married, we thought unlikely. His wife wouldn't let him get away with such madness. So that narrowed it down still farther. Surely the police could take it from here?
The police put out a statement. ‘Local officers will be patrolling the area and keeping an eye out for anything suspicious.’ Pshaw! Call that a response? Clearly their heart wasn't in it.
Who was best suited to solve the ‘Riddle of the Beans’? Poirot and Holmes would wrinkle their noses. There was only one contender, the mistress of village gossip and murder: Jane Marple. As soon as she got wind of it – case closed.
No! Not that one! Margaret Rutherford was Agatha Christie's least favourite Miss Marple.
No! Go away Margaret. Someone take her away.