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Keeping The Flame

The visit to Dorset earlier this week of Commisare Bèrglare and his Délégation de l'Authoritées Suisse has, understandably, stimulated renewed interest in the fate of distinguished Professor of Culinary Bio-ethics, pioneer space adventurer, diplomat, painter, photographer, author, horizontal jogger and general all-round good egg Professor Brian Thrupiece whose disappearance from a Swiss Hotel Room whilst attending the Annual Edna Awards in 2005 remains a mystery even until this day.

Hopes that Commisare Bèrglare and his collèagues suisses might be able to shed fresh light on the subject appear, however, to have been dashed with no statement yet to emerge from either L'Authoritées Suisse or their English counterparts ably led as the latter are by Dorset Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave. It had been thought likely that the urbane and televisually-fetching Commisare would brief his colleagues on the emergence either of new lines of inquiry or on potentially vital information gathered as a bi-product of their continuing investigations into the Sepp Blatter-led group which was staying in the Hotel Cornarvin at the same time as the Professor. The Professor is known to have "passed the time of day" with members of Blatter's team only a matter of hours before he "popped out for a quick one" in preparation for his rejoining companion and fellow horizontal jogging enthusiast Ms Shelley-Lulette Sizemore. But not a bit of it. According to sources close to the investigative team from the Sydling St Nicholas Sun which has been on the Thrupiece Case since Day One, nothing of significance emerged and it now seems likely that Commisare Bèrglare and his garçons suisse were in fact in town to stock up on Uncle Joe's Mintballs before the Drexit trade barrier falls and life as we know it ends on 29 March.

Still, if nothing else, the visit has reignited the flagging enthusiasm of the Free the Swiss One Campaign whose occasional support has kept the issue of Professor Thrupiece's whereabouts and status on the middle to last pages of several of the lesser-known regional newspapers. Now, inspired by the singular absence of developments, the group have reissued the tee-shirts originally commissioned in 2006 to mark the first anniversary of the Professor's "unconditional withdrawal from all known activities".

The tee- shirts - which are customisable and are designed to carry a personal message on the back - are available in Sizes XXXXL - XXXXXL, the upper end of the range being suitable for use as a tent for those tired of bivouacking during the colder months of the Dorset year.

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