Shenanigans aplenty at Hooting Yard yesterday, when I awoke to discover that your favourite website had been targeted by fiendish cybercriminals from the hacking community. Well, in truth I did not notice immediately, for I spent my earliest waking hour or so researching a forthcoming Little Ruskin adventure – one where he is admonished for jumping off his favourite box on a Sunday. When it became apparent that I was unable to make postages, and that other funny business was afoot, my first impulse was to call in Detective Captain Cargpan. The doughty copper has, I understand, recently added a cybercrime unit to his force, a team of toughies who intersperse roughing up suspects down in the basement with tippy-tapping impenetrabilia into their laptops. Their helpline, however, informed me that Cargpan had taken them on a team-building awayday to some kind of jazz-funk seaside resort bowling alley aromatherapy human rights retail and leisure fairground complex, funded by a new and exciting quango. Money well spent, say I, never begrudging a single penny diverted towards the personal development of Detective Captain Cargpan and his crew.
I turned instead, as perhaps I ought to have done from the outset, to Hooting Yard’s own technoboffin, asking him to investigate. Tirelessly, he poked around in the digital innards of the website. It took all day to isolate the horrible truth – that an unkempt oik, as pockmarked as Stalin, somehow connected to Horst Gack and his mysterious wife and collaborator Primrose Dent, had tampered with Hooting Yard for his own nefarious ends. And those ends? Nothing less than a delusional attempt to undermine years of Dobson scholarship. Had the oik succeeded in his plan, the titles of every single out of print pamphlet by the titanic out of print pamphleteer would have been altered. Fake ones would have been invented, and passages deleted or rewritten or attributed to other, non-existent, pamphleteers. There would have been the perpetration of similar outrages, not least among them the recasting of Marigold Chew as mere figment.
That none of this happened is due entirely to the technoboffin. Single-handedly, he has averted disaster, and preserved the reputation of Dobson. We all owe him our gratitude.