Sometimes more news reveals itself between Indy stories. Last week was an example. I read the Indy’s “Human Smugglers Return to Crystal Cove.” Followed by “Seven Sea Creatures Return to Local Tidepools.” These news stories appear to have nothing in common, or do they? I went undercover to find out. I dressed up as Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow to better blend in with local day-trippers. I applied waterproof mascara and added a touch of local disguise. I carried a clipboard, like any committed Design Review Board member, sashayed down the beach and muttered, “No can do.”
My first stop was Crystal Cove. A park ranger explained that a 20-foot boat was found on shore. Authorities believe the abandoned boat carried illegal aliens from south of the border. I asked, “Did you find a picnic basket in the boat?” The park ranger answered, “No, we didn’t.” I smiled and offered up, “Yogi Bear. Sounds like his MO.” The park ranger winced. “Not likely. He’s a cartoon.” Twenty-four hours later I passed a mental health examination and was released under my own recognizance. I enjoyed their special interest in me and promised to be available upon their future request.
My investigation continued. I checked out the local tidepools. Over the past five years. I’ve taken my grandchildren down to the tidepools to show them rocks. “Where’s the sea life, Pop-Pop?” I said right here in this Laguna Library book. “Look at the pictures. There are mussels, starfish, red and black sea hares, six pack rings and empty Gatorade bottles that make sea life swim faster.” One of the grandkids didn’t buy into the lesson. “Pop-Pop you’re talking trash here. And you’ve gotten the library book all wet, to boot. I’m calling the librarian to turn you in.” Twenty-four hours later, I passed another mental health exam. I agreed to pay and replace the tidepool book. I received a one-year suspension of my library card. Unfortunately, the grandchildren were less forgiving. They left town. Hopefully, they’ll return like the sea life has done.
My investigation continued. I didn’t believe in coincidences. The abandoned boat and the sea life arrived in the same week. I checked in with a Main Beach stool pigeon, who gave up the truth in exchange for a Shirley’s bagel. He cooed, “These occurrences were not accidental. The tidepools are teeming now with new sea life brought in by that abandoned boat.” I said, “That’s just a theory. Who drove the boat?” The stool pigeon held out until I gave him an Old Fashion doughnut from Starbuck’s. “The docents drove the boat. Now, they have disappeared. Word on the surf is that the docents have gone to ground to avoid the Coastal Commission. The Commission is mad because the docents didn’t get approval first. A guy carrying a clipboard said, “No can do.”
Crantz tells the Indy that he’s dedicated his life to finding out the truth no matter how many mental health exams he needs to pass.