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Tracking a cereal criminal


Yesterday I called the police, but not for the reason you think.
As has often been said of me — no doubt by my enemies —I tend to throw myself into things I’m not qualified for.
I can’t help it. When I read a great book or watch a good movie, particularly where the protagonist approaches superheroic levels of awesomeness, I think “yep, I can swing that.”
So after getting through a slew of Sherlock Holmes-related content, I was ready to throw my technological career out the window (which would cost me a very expensive MacBook) and become a detective.
But I am not that spontaneous. Despite what my enemies may say, I do think about things before I do them. Not for a very long time, and not very well, but think I do.
So before I went off to become the greatest detective the world has ever seen, I decided to ask my local police department about how I should go about it.
I set up a time with a lieutenant on the force. When the big day came, I called the police. Just at the non-emergency number.
I know, I know. Go “aww,” if you’d like. But they don’t take interviews through 9-1-1.
The detective was busy. Probably bringing down Professor Moriarty or something. So I called again five minutes later, and he picked up.
I got right down to it. I explained my interest in detective work. I detailed what I had learned about forensics.
I told him that no matter what people said, I was undaunted by detective work and utterly qualified for it. Or maybe it’s the other way around.
“You’d have to go through formal training to become a detective officer,” he said, “But that’s a good place to start. Say, what inspired you to do this? Got relatives on the force?”
“No,” I said, with an air of cool nonchalance. “I watched a movie.”
He took it in good humor. Kudos to him. He recommended that if I wanted to become a police detective, I should volunteer or find work with a department.
Then after a few years, I could get promoted to the role. Of course, it’d take less time if I brought down an organized crime ring, but that goes without saying.
“What’s the greatest misconception people have about detective work?” I asked. Just showing off my perceptiveness, you know.
Turns out a lot of people think that detectives piece together things like carpet fibers, cigarette ash, and the color of mud on somebody’s trousers to find a criminal.
And that’s true. But they’re helped extensively by the incredible amount of surveillance footage captured daily by cameras around the city. That’s something Sherlock Holmes never had.
It’s also how my local lieutenant solved his first case. Some teenage hooligans had carted off a cereal dispenser from the university dining hall.
It was school property, so he had to find it. “But it was easy,” he said, just like a real-life Holmes would. “They were all on camera.”
This gives me hope. This isn’t just because I know there are good people out there who are hard at work finding stolen cereal dispensers.
It’s because when I crack my first case in a superheroic moment of awesomeness, it’ll probably be on camera. That’ll knock my enemies down a notch.
And it’ll give me a great reason to smile.

Copyright 2024 Alexandra Paskhaver, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.