The Mystery of the Damned Cassette

Murder mystery parties are a bit like Marmite, I think. Now I hate Marmite but I love a good old murder mystery. All the MURDER and all the MYSTERY and not to mention the socially-acceptable FANCY DRESS.

This Saturday I was a boozed-up, pill-popping, Charleston-dancing, 1920s harlot at a spectacular ‘feminism through the ages’ murder mystery, self-penned by the bridesmaids of the first FemDo (feminist hen do) I’ve ever been to.

It brought back memories of the murder mystery I attended the year before last (I try never to go longer than 18 months without a fictitious murder to solve) on a weekend away with friends. We were driving from London to Wales and I was in charge of bringing the murder mystery game that I’d found in a charity shop.

I knew we’d be fairly crammed in on this road trip, with boot space a much sort-after commodity, so I was disappointed to see – as I was attempting to pack light – that this particular dusty old game had a cassette as part of the evening’s paraphernalia. And it doesn’t take a genius to realise that where there is a cassette, a cassette player is also required.

Now don’t drop me as a friend at this point, but even though it was 2013 I did actually have a portable cassette player in my flat. Although ‘portable’ must be taken lightly. To call this cassette player cumbersome would be too kind.

The Mystery of the Damned Cassette

Mine was – from memory – a far heavier beast

I played the tape just to double check it was actually required.

*eerie instrumental music* “Welcome to this murder mystery evening…” *more eerie instrumental music*

Right. I’d heard enough. Obviously the cassette still worked (it was decades old) and we clearly needed it to play the game – it probably had important MYSTERIOUS clues about MURDER.

So – travelling straight from work on Friday evening in my friend’s car – I lugged my big weekend bag, handbag and RUDDY cassette player into the office and then on tubes across London to where I was being picked up.

Saturday night was the night of the mystery. CEO of orchestrating the ruddy cassette player, I made sure it was rewound to the beginning (be kind, rewind) and pressed play to the hushed, assembled, no-good hoodlums in fancy dress around the dinner table.

“Right. Shhhhh! Now LISTEN everyone. This’ll be very important.” I announced bossily.

The familiar music faded in:

*eerie instrumental music* “Welcome to this murder mystery evening…”*more eerie instrumental music*

Except having only listened to the first 20 seconds at home what I didn’t know is that the music only lasted another 10 seconds. Then silence.

ERM. What?

I fast forwarded (summoning all my childhood cassette-operating knowledge) and played further on. Silence.

I played the other side:

*eerie instrumental music* “Welcome to your murder mystery evening…”*more eerie instrumental music*

Then silence.

The suspected murderers behind me were in stitches.

“You dragged that cassette player from London to Wales and all it said was ‘welcome’!”

“Hahaaaa – you’re a MORON!”

I could have murdered the creator of that instrumental murder mystery cassette there and then.

You may think me rash but I threw that ruddy cassette player away that night, never to listen to another cassette again…

*eerie instrumental music*

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