One mystery at a time

I love mystery stories, so I’ve read a bunch, especially the British style, including all of Doyle, Christie, Sayers and Carr. I tend to apply my own version of Holmes’ and others’ methods to life.

I was recently reflecting on profound insights when I heard our stove give the three-beep announcement that the desired temperature had been reached. Who was about to use the oven? Who was at home and likely to cook? Since I knew who had likely fired up the oven, I used my intimate knowledge of him—it was obviously a him—to deduce what would go in the oven, namely leftover pizza.

My deductions usually go unverified, but I was curious about this one and I traipsed into the kitchen to check my work. Actually, my wife was roasting yams, but other than that I nailed it.

Sometimes I deduce from a distance what’s going on with people I don’t even know, one of my specialties. A friend of mine lives next door to a pair of young women whose lives I have examined from his side of the fence. I saw a local musician riding a bicycle with one of the women once, and I figured he was the new man in her life. I was happy for her because he seemed like a nice young fellow, and I decided he would be good for her. I had seen some of the guys she’d brought home, and this new young man was a big improvement according to me.

He was seen taking out the garbage a couple of days later, and I thought all was well. Later he was heard singing in their back yard about the wonderfulness of a butt hole of which he was fond, and I naturally thought the orifice was hers, unless it was an old song that predated their relationship. I preferred thinking of it as hers for various reasons, and I visited my friend more than ever, somewhat straining our relationship, in order to monitor the progress of what I took to be a fresh romance.

Then he was there no more, and it’s been months since she’s been seen with anyone in particular. I suspect that my friend hasn’t been diligent in keeping an eye on the subject, but I can’t be there all the time so I have to rely on my minions.

I don’t need minions when the lady across the street has the young guy who does yard work for her over in the evening and he’s still parked in her driveway, so to speak, the next morning. There’s no mystery. Some jobs take all night.