The Shoebox Mystery – Useless TV
Has this ever happened to you? You’re watching your favorite program, and the TV dies?
On Sunday afternoon, I was watching my hero, Sherlock Holmes, in the movie The Hound of the Baskervilles. It starred Basil Rathbone, and like many of the old time pictures, it was filmed in black and white and extra spooky.
With my orange juice and popcorn nearby, I had the living room lights off and the curtains drawn because the darkness makes it feel like the inside of a movie theater. Suddenly, the TV went nuts with a gazillion zigzagging lines. I walked over and whacked its side, and I heard an actor’s voice say Hello there! Hello there! Is something wrong?
The picture and actor then magically reappeared! My wife and I found him lying dead in Yew Alley face downward.
I’d seen the movie a hundred times, so I knew this was the lead up to Sir Charles Baskerville’s lifeless body being found in Yew Alley, but it still bugged me that I’d missed an important bit.
Our ancient TV is driving me crazy—sometimes it works, sometimes, not. It’s one of the old ones about half the size of a refrigerator. Dad said he almost got a hernia lugging it upstairs to our apartment.
“Hey, Mom. Can we get a new TV? Pleeeease! Ours is useless.”
The Dinosaur Bone Mystery – The Big One
I sat there thinking of the Coyote Howl headline: Fisherman Billy Fender Catches the Big One. Photographers were taking pictures while Raffi handed me two popsicles. My daydream dissolved when my rod tip ripped into the water. I struggled not to lose my grip.
“You’ve got the big one,” yelled Grandpa. “Hold on!”
I tightened my fists around the handle, and the rod curved at a crazy angle. My muscles quickly started to ache as the big one pulled harder and harder.
Suddenly, it jumped high out of the water and landed with an enormous splash.
“It’s enormous,” hollered my father.
My rod whipped backward whacking me on the forehead and flinging the fishing line into the Zodiac. I tried to reel it in as fast as I could, but the line wrapped around my foot. I kicked and kicked my leg trying to shake it off, but it tangled even more.
As the big one dove hard and fast toward the bottom, I watched in horror as the excess line disappeared over the side. “Help me,” I hollered. “My foot. I’m trapped!”
My dad lunged forward and tried to tear the line away.
The big one yanked hard again, this time pulling the line taut—pitching me overboard! Stunned by the shock of the cold water, I almost passed out. Icy fingers seemed to curl around my heart.
Still clutching the rod, I held my breath and flailed my legs as the fish tried to drag me down. I threw my head out of the water but was snatched below the surface again.
I’m finished, I’m going to drown.