Inspector: Good morning, Robert Harold. As you know, you’re being questioned regarding the arson case at the Bolton warehouse. My name is Inspector Clouseau. I didn’t name myself after the character from the Pink Panther movies; Clouseau is a fairly common name, as both my parents are Clouseau [turns his laptop on]. Now, John Steckley recently had a book published and a first edition printed, and the perpetrator broke into the Bolton warehouse and burned all the books. That’s right; he or she burned all three of them. I’ve seen the ad for the film “Authors Anonymous,” and it seems to me the most likely motivation would be jealously, so I’m investigating his students at Writer’s Ink.
Rob: That’s understandable.
Inspector: Yes, Robert Harold, it is. So far we’ve identified and investigated yourself, Linda Murphy, Tom & Barbara Cowan, and Hugh Camford; the last one’s also known as the Caledon Curmudgeon. The library has a security camera at the main entrance, and a librarian has identified those who are members of Writer’s Ink, and provide photo stills. [Turning his laptop so Rob can see it] Do you know this fellow’s name?
Rob: Please call me Rob, Inspector. This guy’s name is Ian Anderson. I’d like to say I think these people are all nice people, and I’ve never seen anything suspicious about them. .
Inspector: That’s what they said about OJ, Robert Harold. I’ve pulled Anderson’s basic details from the police computer, but I can’t find him on Facebook.
Rob: I don’t know if he’s on Facebook, but he’s on Wattpad.com.
Inspector: Lessee, Wattpad.com [pauses]. Don’t see him listed as a writer.
Rob: He goes by the name JethroTull, all one word. It’s a pen name because ‘Ian Anderson’ is a somewhat common name.
Inspector: A false name – I’m going to make sure we investigate that. There’ve probably been thousands of criminals with false names, right?
Rob: Personally, I don’t think you have to investigate that. But, whatever!
Inspector: Can’t you be nicer? Now, let’s get back to Steckley. As the books were insured, we have to suspect him too. In the movie “Authors Anonymous”, the main character, Hannah, is suspected of sleeping with the publisher. However, I don’t think we have to worry about that with Steckley, Robert Harold.
Rob: NOW you’re making perfect sense.
Inspector: However, we have found Steckley on Facebook. [long pause] Nothing really suspicious there…..As Steckley is an uncommon name, I’m going to check it out on Wikipedia. [pause] Aha! Heather Steckley is an alias for a female super-hero named Moondragon; she was a member of the Avengers, and has had romances with Thor! and with Captain Marvel’s daughter.
Inspector: And (!) John Steckley might not be his birth name.
Rob: You think he named himself after a bisexual super-heroine from a comic book?
Inspector: Robert Harold, I have to mark down that it’s possible. Now his wife’s name is Angelika Meisenbacher, probably a German Canadian probably linked to Oktoberfest in Kitchener. Do you know how many crimes have been committed at Oktoberfest over the years?
Rob: No, how many?
Inspector: I don’t know, that’s why I’m asking you! Robert Harold, I have to make a note that there are possible indirect links to criminals [Clouseau pauses as he catches his breath, and pulls up a new window on his computer]. The librarian thinks this lady is named Patricia Lawrence, and her Facebook account doesn’t reveal much. There’s a deceased actress named Patricia Lawrence on Wikipedia, so that will be investigated. However, she has the same last name as author D.H. Lawrence, born September 11th, 1885.
Rob: Another coincidence, right?
Inspector: Maybe, Robert Harold, maybe not. She could be a great-granddaughter, great-great-granddaughter, etc. And look at that date – September 11! 9-11!
Rob: You think Osama Bin Laden might have picked D.H. Lawrence’s birthday?
Inspector: No, I KNOW he picked September 11th, and I KNOW D.H. Lawrence’s birthday is September 11th.
Rob: I didn’t mean it like that. He probably didn’t know who D.H. Lawrence was, and if he did know, he probably didn’t care. I think you went off on a tangent, and your tangent has a tangent.
Inspector: 9-11 was a horrible crime, and I have to investigate every possibility. Of course, Robert Harold, I need hard evidence to arrest someone and throw him or her in jail.
Rob: So you’re not arresting anyone?
Inspector: No, I’m throwing you ALL in jail!
By Rob Vrieling (known on Wattpad.com as Trebor Haldor)