Pet Peeves


Run In

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz

I was marveling over the new look of the digital Indy when I ran into the story about someone driving onto the porch of the Historical Society on Ocean Avenue. It was hard to tell what kind of car it was due to hanging branches over the hood. I’m going with Porsche on porch. Why readers? It just works better than Bug on porch. Everybody has those infestations. It’s not newsworthy. The new digital Indy deserves news popping headers to go with their eye-popping new look.

The police arrived at once and told both parties to pull off the road. It became obvious that the Historical Society vehicle was unoccupied. This put a crimp into the Porsche driver’s assertion that the Society backed into him. “Honest officer, I was just sitting in my cool car reading the ingredient labels on my Whole Food packages. Then boom out of nowhere the Historical Society ran me over.” The officer looked over at his new K-9 partner, whose growl wasn’t buying it. The police officer asked, “Why were you reading food labels instead of texting?” The cool dude said, “Texting is illegal. Label reading is a right. Citizens must defend themselves from gluten, GMO, and unnatural ingredients found in our food. Would your dog like a treat?” The K-9 named Ranger had just finished the Police Academy’s Code of Conduct training and knew a bribe when he heard it. Cool dude was cuffed and leashed. The K-9 Ranger perp-walked cool dude to lock up.

The investigation continued. Police personnel scoured the Society vehicle to find the other missing party. “We need to try to corroborate cool dude’s story,” explained the lead investigator. His associate replied, “I dunno. Society looks like an older model. Might be a case the vehicle just outlived the owner.” The lead investigator nodded his head in agreement. “Good point. But nobody ever throws out anything in these older models. Lets bag and tag everything. I believe the owner is some old timer named Murphy-Smith. He couldn’t have gotten far.” The associate scratched his head. “Which is it? Murphy or Smith?”

The first 24 hours make or break a successful investigation. There was a lot of stuff in Society and the Friends of the Library were brought in to help pore over documents looking for leads. These bespectacled professional readers uncovered many clues. Laguna started out as a wild area full of limitless parking spaces as far as the eye could see. And there were no parking meters. It was free range. Everybody had a view. The kudzu committees hadn’t invaded the wide-open space. Consultants and politicians hadn’t blemished the natural order. There was even a time before when sea star wasting was contained to the Marine Room Tavern.

But none of the information disclosed the whereabouts of Murphy-Smith. The investigation was stuck. The clock was ticking towards nightfall. The lead investigator told the search party, “Let’s call it a day. Bring in the chains from Ganahl Lumber.”

The fire department hoisted and centered the Porsche on porch and the search party retired to the new Porsche swing to mull over the Murphy-Smith disappearance. The Marine Room Tavern donated libations to stimulate leads. Ranger knew a donation from a bribe and happily accepted the Slim Jims. He knew better than to read the ingredient label. Now that’s one cool dude.


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.


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