Sunday, May 14, 2017

Totally in generously defined manuscripts...

Brace yourselves, I have some terrible news: a thief or thieves have stolen a Harry Potter prequel worth tens of thousands of dollars. A heist that, it turns out, was incredibly easy to do since the prequel is written on a like a single piece of paper.
Above: the 'manuscript' seen here being handled by an intense
auctioneer wearing rubber gloves which I presume is because it's
actually written on a repurposed scrap of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Hey, speaking of, if they can fly and
teleport why are wizards tooling around on
 motorcycles all the time? Do they think it
makes them look cool or what? Because...
The text is available online and is about James Potter (Harry's father) and Sirius Black (who is Gary Oldman) years before Harry's birth, getting into an altercation with the police. The young wizards are out riding motorcycles for some reason and a couple of cops try to pull them over because being a couple of reckless teens with limitless magical powers they aren't wearing helmets. The cops corner the kids who, forgetting that they're supposed to be part of a secret, unseen world of wizards, decide to scare the ever-living shit out of the muggle with their wizard-ness before zipping away on their broom sticks. 

It's an enchanting tale of friendship, evading the authorities and forcing public servants who are just doing their jobs to question their own sanity. 
'I just...I just don't know what's real anymore...'
-Former police officer Fisher trying
in vain to cope with his encounter
Holy shit British people, I mean,
threepence? What were you thinking?
Yeah, it's being referred to as a manuscript which I think is a little generous. It's a prequel to HarryPotter in that it's an 800 word super-short story set before the events of the first book, but since it was scribbled on a random piece of A5 card stock by J.K. Rowling whose every post-it, grocery list and 'sorry I dinged your door' note pinned under a windshield wiper it's worth at least a few grand. In fact, this particular piece of ultra-rare eBay fodder went for the £25,000 at an auction in 2008 which works out to be $49,000, or Twenty-Five Thousand Pounds, two shillings and a threepence in pre-decimalization British money adjusted for ridiculousness. And just a heads up, that's not my last crack about Britishness.

J.K. Rowling, considering new granite
countertops while penning a new story about
Hermione's Tuesday-night pilates class. 
Anyway, I'm kind of making Rowling sound like some kind of cynical jerk who need only scrawl a new Harry Potter story on a napkin whenever she needs a kitchen reno, but she wrote this random scrap of fiction as part of a charity event. It was never meant to be included in new book and by itself raised all those afore mentioned Queen Elizabeth II fun bucks for people suffering from dyslexia. So in many ways, we (ok, I) should all feel terrible for making fun of someone who uses their talent to make the world a better place. I mean, what have either of us done with our day? Huh? Yeah, me neither.

'Ello ello, what's awl this then?'
-BPD official statement
So back the theft. The manuscript was actually stolen three weeks ago but we're only hearing about it now which I suppose means that the Birmingham area metropolitan police department, whom I will refer to as the local constabulary because it's more quaint and British-sounding, are out of ideas. And since the Baker Street Irregulars probably violate child labor laws, they're turning to the public for help in tracking the story and whomever stole it down. Rowling also sent out a Tweet to spread the word about the theft and to ask people to not buy it if they see it for sale online.

So if you're on Craigslist or whatever and someone tries to sell you fifty thousand dollars worth of not-so-great Harry Potter side-quest, it might be hot so find the nearest non-TARDIS police call box and inform the constabulary. Yeah, you heard me. I know she's a great writer and humanitarian but as hastily written, non-canon one-off's go, it's not her best work.
Wait, I'm confused. Do people use Twitter for things
other than threatening their political opponents? 

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