We’ve taken off a couple of weeks (er…many months) and are back with the “bowl” word EVIDENCE. As usual, we take complete different spins on the word. Here, then, is our offering!
Despite All Evidence to the Contrary
The evidence was obvious and overwhelming, at least to me.
Poor John “Buddy” Boddy’s braincase had been cracked wide open by a baseball bat wielded by none other than Jonathan “Jack” Mustard, legendary gridiron great turned sportscaster The murder took place in the observatory of Buddy’s Hollywood Hills party home as he peered through his 150mm Maksutov-Cassegrain during the wee morning hours. The dumbbell never saw it coming.
I was sure that I had more than enough evidence to take Mustard off the air for the rest of his life; but Buddy’s body was missing, and the other five overnight guests hadn’t a clue. I knew that I had no choice but to roll the dice and play the game if I was to come out a winner.
Who am I? My name is Victor Plum. I’m a billionaire software designer, and I’ve got “game.”
Let’s start with the party guest/suspect list. In addition to myself and Mustard, we’ve got Kasandra Scarlet, leading lady and consummate casting couch cover; Jacob Green, a man of murky occupation who, a couple of hundred years ago, would have been a highly successful snake oil salesman; Diane White, a child film star whose grip on the present is tenuous, at best; and Eleanor Peacock, a woman so filthy rich she can only marginally relate to life forms beneath her caste.
We had all received the party invitation, which had included an intriguing addition. Buddy had scribbled a note to each of us that he feared for his life and hoped that his true friends could help.
“True friends” was a stretch. To me, Buddy was, at best, a frequent associate; but who could resist a note like that?
We all arrived fashionably late and were met with enthusiastic greetings by our host. Dinner and drinks filled the night. We all asked Buddy about his strange note. He had no real evidence to support his fears, only a sense of being watched and a vague feeling of dread.
As the party wound down, we all bid Buddy good night and retired to our rooms. By morning, he was gone.
While the others buzzed about the shocking but not unexpected development, I quickly gathered my evidence. I knew that Buddy was dead, but I wanted to make sure I had what I needed to implicate the killer.
I had been around the board enough times to know that jumping into a room and announcing the perpetrator right up front would not work, so I bowed to tradition and let Scarlet take the lead.
She quickly sashayed to the spa and declared that Green had done the deed in that very room with a wrench. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Buddy was about as handy as a thumbless Tim Taylor. He had wrenched his back several years ago attempting to do a cartwheel after six margaritas, but any wrench Buddy had owned was left behind when he moved from his old mansion to his new home in 2008.
Green was livid at the accusation. Buddy was his best bud, he said — an unquestionable quid pro quo kind of guy. He wasted no time in naming the real culprit. Without a doubt, he said, White had offed Buddy by whacking him over the head with a lead pipe in the library.
I stand corrected. Scarlet could have been more wrong. Not only was Buddy’s home too new to incorporate lead plumbing, the library had been remodeled into a theater not long after video had replaced print as the world’s primary source of entertainment.
White, although she said that she was flattered by being cast in such a central role in the intrigue, could not claim credit. She nominated Peacock for the honor, adding that she believed Peacock clubbed Buddy to death with a baseball bat whilst he was spying on the neighbors from his observatory.
Whaaat? Right location, right weapon, wrong perpetrator. Had she actually seen something?
Peacock frostily replied that she would not dignify the accusation with a response.
It was Mustard’s trip to the plate. The man sputtered something about Buddy having no enemies and expressed complete amazement that any foul play could befall the man.
Mentally, I rubbed my hands together in glee. Everyone had taken a shot, so my turn had come.
I dismissed the clueless Scarlet and Green in short order — no wrench, no lead pipe, no library, no supporting evidence. White was another story.
I questioned her and was able to determine she had only seen a shadowy figure in the observatory with Buddy when she looked out her bedroom window during a bout with insomnia. The baseball bat was pure conjecture because she had seen one in the hallway umbrella stand when she arrived for the party but it was no longer there. “Evidence” like that would not hold up in court.
I produced the bat, decorated with Buddy’s blood and Mustard’s fingerprints. Solid evidence establishing the bat as the murder weapon and Mustard as the culprit. Then, I led them to a large trunk in a storage room just off the observatory, opened the lid and produced another essential piece of evidence in the case — Buddy’s body.
Mustard was still proclaiming his innocence as the cops cuffed him and took him away. I knew he would. Despite all the evidence against him, Mustard did not kill Buddy. I did.
Back in my office, I removed the incredibly lifelike mask I had worn to the party and resumed my true identity — Professor Plum. Yes, I had killed Buddy for the sole reason of framing Mustard and taking him out.
I knew that Mustard, as an ex-jock, could not resist the urge to swing that bat sitting in the hallway when he arrived for the party, leaving a nice set of fingerprints. The rest was easy.
Victor Plum had been my first victim. I had primed Buddy’s paranoia by following him for weeks.
Next on my list is White. She came a little too close to derailing things this time. I’m not going to give her a second chance.
Nothing is going to get in the way of my master plan. In the end, nobody in my game will have a first name.
The Evidence is Clear – Men Nap Because They Can
We had our annual summer picnic yesterday for my husband’s side of the family. Attending were his four sisters and their various spouses, his brother and a couple of offspring and offspring’s offspring. In all, there were approximately six men relatives and eight women relatives and two 7/8 year olds in attendance.
The party got rolling around 1:00 with everyone bounding into the house carrying their food or snack offering to the party. Hugs and greetings were exchanged while beer and wine was cracked open and served. Before you knew it, the house was filled with Berg lineage all huddled around our kitchen island while laughter and good natured ribbing filled the airwaves.
By 2:30, my sister-in-law, Phyllis’s husband Tony had retreated to the living room and was slouched down at the end of our sofa with his eyes closed and gentle snores rising melodically from his mouth. Phyllis, apparently well accustomed to Tony’s spur of the moment naps, took no notice of him and continued to converse with the family. Someone mentioned her slumbering spouse to her and she simply brushed in off with a wave of her hand and a roll of her eyes.
As with most mixed gender parties, the women were soon out on the deck conversing about what it is that women converse about while the men continued to circle the kitchen island devouring the taco dip, painfully hot salsa and beer dip. The deck conversation had somehow turned to the feeding habits of rabbits (loosely derived from why our dog had parasites earlier this year) their custom of eating their own feces (we had just finished discussing women issues, bunions and plantar fasciitis), when the eldest Berg sister’s husband wandered onto the deck.
Phyllis’s daughter, Nicki, had just completed looking up on her phone “do rabbits eat their own poop”and we were laughing and coming up with different scenarios where that would or would not be appropriate when John, the wandering spouse, suggests that it has to do with the rabbit’s cecum and that humans have cecums too.
Well, thank you for that information Dr. John and by all means join the conversation.
John sits down and within minutes of taking his chair, his head is tipped back, his mouth lax and open and he too is making gentle rumblings from within his throat. We all looked at John and then at his wife who just shook her head in apparent disgust and the rabbit conversation and raucous laughter resumed.
I walked back into the house to see if the menfolk had run out of snacks or heaven forbid, beer, to discover that my husband’s middle sister, Dianne’s husband was now fast asleep on one of our recliners. By now, I am questioning our ability to host a party whereby our guests could stay awake. I looked toward my own husband to see if he too had found a little corner to curl up in, but was pleased to see that he was still awake and engaged in conversation with various family members. This is not to say that my husband has never fallen asleep at a gathering, but rather to say that I was pleasantly surprised that he was at this time awake and partaking in the festivities.
So what’s up with men taking naps at family events? I can honestly say that except that one time when maybe someone had a little too much to drink, I have never seen a woman doze off during a party. We talk. We busy ourselves picking up after others. We endure long, drawn out men conversations regarding their jobs, beer, tools, race cars and other interesting topics with a smile on our faces…not a yawn, but we do not lie back in a chair, close our eyes and begin snoring in the middle of a party!
After all guests have departed, I log onto my computer to research rather than just blame the male species for their lack of social graces in a festive setting. Is it a genetic defect? Does, as my husband claims, their blood leave their brains and rush to their stomachs to aid in taco dip digestion rendering them unable function for a period of time? Or, as I suspect, do they simply find idle chit-chat a complete waste of time and they escape into their own dream-like state to survive a family function?
According to the Pew Research Center, the evidence is clear. “More than four-in-ten (41%) men ages 50 and older say they napped in the past day, compared with just 28% of women of the same age.”
Okay, so they are in good company. But why? Why do they do it?
The Family Education Forum explains that, “Men take naps, women get cranky. Men do the things that they notice need to be done. They don’t mind being asked to do things. Women notice all the things that could be done. They do the martyr thing, try to do it all themselves, get exhausted and — once again — cranky, and then fly off the handle at the unsuspecting husband who would only be a martyr if it was truly necessary, and then would literally work himself into an early grave without complaint.”
Ah, so really, it’s the women’s fault. I see. But wait, why do they nap? So they don’t get cranky or so they don’t have to do all the work that women do? And what does this have to do with party napping?
And finally, the evidence on naps, reports the Smithsonian, is that frequent naps of longer than an hour can signify a major health concern including cancer, heart disease and respiratory issues and are a warning sign that should not be taken lightly.
Oh my gosh, I’m calling 9-1-1 and giving them my brother-in-law’s addresses! I didn’t know. I didn’t realize. I thought they were just comfortable in my house.
I look over to tell my husband of my fears and concerns to see him sitting on the sofa with his fingers resting on the keyboard of his laptop while his head is back and his mouth open in pre-snore mode. He looks neither ill nor like he’s avoiding a cranky wife. He just looks peaceful in a loud, sort of snoring way.
I say don’t overthink it. Just let ‘em rest.