An affair that never happened and a murder that never was are just two of the offerings in Britain's soaps this week, alas, the truth is often even more bizarre.
Vicars are strange people, none more so than Ashley Thomas of Emmerdale village. This is a man who will believe on faith alone that Christ died for our sins, and that three days after he was crucified he came back to life. And that is without all the other little things he did like walk on the water, turn water into wine, feed a crowd of 5,000 with a French stick and a can of sardines...He will take all that on faith alone, yet when his wife tells him: I did not sleep with the chef from the local boozer, he can't take her at her word.
The truth is that the affair the gorgeous Laurel had with Marlon involved nothing more than a hug or two and a room in a hotel with a double bed they didn't share; just in time she recognised her foolish infatuation for what it was, and called it off, but try telling her husband that. Oh, she did. Their marriage is well and truly on the rocks when Laurel tells her spouse she thinks she is pregnant, because rather than welcome the good news, Ashley can only question the baby's parentage. The thought never occurred to Laurel, and Ashley didn't actually ask the question, but sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
While the affair that never really was may be torturing Ashley, over in Coronation Street there are real affairs, and skulduggery going on. Housewife and always aspiring airhead Sally Webster has fallen into the clutches of Frank the rapist - well, not so much fallen as dived - while the local bookmaker and Frank's former business partner Carla - the woman he raped - have been doing what men and women have been doing since time immemorial. Unfortunately, he is only recently married to a woman who although having once worked as a female escort (read sometime prostitute) has considerably less baggage than the twice widowed Carla, whose first husband died with the bookmaker's future wife bundled into the boot of his car, and whose second died when the knicker factory burned down with him inside it after he had come perilously close to murdering her. That was before the tragic John Stape buried a body under the same factory.
Now the bookmaker is coming perilously close to being uncovered, while at the same time his evil sister has ensnared the local publican, Steve. Having murdered her previous lover and got away with it, she has now framed Steve's former wife Becky for pushing her down the stairs, an action which resulted in her miscarrying Steve's unborn twins. Except that a) Becky didn't push her and b) she had miscarried already.
Now, evil Tracy is also about to be found out before Becky rides off into the sunset - well, sunrise actually - to a new life in the Caribbean with her new hotel manager lover.
Alas, over in EastEnders, Phil Mitchell will not be seeing daylight much less sunshine for a long time if the local plod get their way, because he is about to be framed for a murder that never happened. This is a long story dating back to July 2007 when Phil's wife of less than a day, Stella, threw herself off the roof of a building during an angry confrontation with him.
Having confessed to murdering her at the time, Phil was promptly arrested, and just as promptly released when the (convenient) CCTV revealed that she had indeed jumped. Now he is about to be set up by his angry son and a bent copper - heck, is there any other kind? Hmm, how will this happen in view of the CCTV? Well, Phil's son says his Dad told him that he told Stella if she didn't jump, he'd push her. And that is good enough for a murder charge? If you want to know about fabricated confessions, ask Michael Stone, and if you want to know about murders that never happened, ask Eddie Gilfoyle. As far as Britain's police are concerned, words mean what they want them to mean, when they want them to mean it, and anything else will be ignored or acted upon as the whim of the moment dictates. This is what is known as the theory of blanket dismissal. EastEnders may be fiction, but the scriptwriters certainly based that particular plot on fact.
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