Fire Up The Searchlights !
I love a mystery – don’t you?
There is a mild mystery afoot concerning The Usual Suspects – those folks who seem to gather at St. Arbucks on a regular basis for coffee and idle conversation. One of the Suspects (Let’s call him “R.”) has, it seems, dropped off of the radar screen. He has not been around for more than a week and he gave us no inkling that he was going away.
Given our close bonds of camaraderie and nosiness we have done the only sensible thing: We’ve initiated a betting pool about where “R” might be.
Could we do something more traditional and indicative of real concern? Not likely. After all, our missing compatriot is a grownup and can take care of himself. He has a driver’s license, credit cards, and the legal right to cross state lines without having to notify local law enforcement agencies (to the best of our knowledge and belief). If he doesn’t, of course, then all bets are off and he may as well have been selected for that one-way ticket to Mars space shot.
So far, the betting pool has a surprisingly large number of participants, and quite a variety of plausible scenarios to explain his absence.
However, I think some of the entrants are not taking this whole thing seriously and have posited that “R” is, “Down the rabbit hole.” Now, that’s just silly, isn’t it? If you knew him you would know that he is a large man who couldn’t fit down a rabbit hole if you stripped him down and covered him with butter. The person who suggested this entry insists that “R” could fit down a rabbit hole if he was “WD-40’d” first. An ad hoc committee is studying this and we await a ruling on it before the close of business tomorrow.
We have rejected outright one entry from one of the baristas here at St. Arbucks. “To Hell in a Handbasket,” is too vague to be judged as possible without independent verification.
In an effort to present, at the very least, the superficial appearance of real human concern, I sent off an e-mail to “R” this morning. I have done this for two purposes – to silence those Suspects who claim to actually give a rat’s behind and to get a little insider information that might improve my chances of winning the pool. Here is the text of my communication –
Because you have not been seen for a while, the usual suspects have started a betting pool on your whereabouts. I have you either in a Mexican jail or in Las Vegas married to a 16 year old barista. Others think you are being held for observation somewhere or in North Carolina scouting for rich widows. We have approached several dairies and supermarket chains about getting your face on milk cartons. Kroger has declined to participate.
Should I double down?
I think that shows that we care and I feel secure in the knowledge that, if it was me who had vanished like an itinerant roofer ten minutes after getting a cash advance from a little old lady, the Usual Suspects would do the same.
It all makes me feel warm and fuzzy, kind of like a plate of week-old lasagna left out on a park bench in July.
Come home, “R”. We miss you.