Last week I travelled oop North to Wigan—TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE OF OUR POUNDS STERLING for a Standard Open Return on a smart, modern, and nausea-inducing Virgin Pendolino. There, I had to give (as I admitted to the audience) the hardest kind of talk: one where you stand in for someone who really knows what he’s talking about—in this case a former pharmaceutical industry statistician.
On the last part of my journey, I did, however, make an important discovery. My epiphany came on my (very) short walk through town from Wigan rail station to Wigan Town Hall. I came closer to the answer to a puzzle that has troubled generations, a question that has echoed down the ages, a mystery so long-established and widely-known that it has even become a frequent topic of public debate at sporting gatherings all over the English-speaking world, namely: “Who ate all the pies?” The answer is, statistically speaking, very likely to be: “Someone in Wigan”.