Friday, August 07, 2009

since you asked

i'm sorry for the veiled threats about your imported rugs. i have always been a little bit jealous of your taste in home decorations, so you'll have to forgive me for making an analogy that suggested i might physically harm some of your favorite household treasures. it's just been one of those weeks for me. i had a few friends over last night and we were playing rummy in the driveway when i became aware of several small stains on the whitewall tires of my toy wagon. i generally don't keep toys around so that other people can make a mess of them, so i had to call the game while i investigated the situation. no one admitted to the crime, but i took their fingerprints anyway and called my favorite private detective. she was on vacation in detroit, visiting her sister's former butler, but her machine directed me to an agency i hadn't worked with before. they sent someone over right away. unfortunately, these businesses seem to be lowering their standards lately, as the individual who arrived in my driveway looked to be approximately seventeen and was wearing a german sweatsuit. i half expected a techno video to break out in my driveway while he looked around for evidence.

it was about an hour later that he finished up, and i have to admit, i got so bored that i wandered inside to make a watermelon smoothie with some freezer burned tropical ice cream. i generally try to avoid liquid desserts, but i find it refreshing to drink something new when i'm in a stressful situation. only halfway through the smoothie, i found myself looking for something more substantial and ended up devouring about half a packet of water crackers i had left on the sofa the night before. you know how it's impossible to match your cheese and cracker intake so that you run out of both at the same time? one of the reasons is that if you leave the crackers lying around the house, someone's bound to just eat them all...or, in the case of adolescent private detectives, take them back to the office in the hopes of getting a bored lab technician to share them and spill about some of the firm's more interesting clients. sure, ok, i'm just imagining that last part, but the fact is that the second half of the crackers turned up neither in my trash nor my stomach. i thought the point of avoiding fathering my own children was that i wouldn't while away my middle years wondering why my favorite foods could disappear with no explanation.

two hours later, i heard back and the investigator had failed to turn up any usable prints. it strikes me as elementary fingerprint science that you should be able to tell on site whether you have an actual print. after all, if you can't tell what is a print, how do you know what to take with you for further examination? i suppose the problem was really that the young hero who had stopped by my place was more interested in insect life or plant identification, and had simply gathered evidence of the wrong life forms. i can accept a phone call that says they couldn't tell which person was guilty, but please just give me a refund if you're investigating the wrong species.

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