Push the Button, Frank.

I was in the middle of an experiment.

I tend to get two kinds of case, the real serious kind and the utterly stupid kind. Seeing as how I’ve got on my team here a real serious detective and an utterly stupid hanger-on, I figured it might be worth a shot to see if I could hand off all the stupid cases to Max. Course, some of em you can’t tell in advance. But the cases I pulled this morning looked like they’d been hand picked for just such a test.

Yeah. Lucky Me.

She Looks Like Calvin’s Mom.

So I’m out here looking into a rash of kidnappings. All winter, kids have been disappearing at night, the kicker being that it’s been exclusively human kids. Five so far. Headquarters suspects some kinda specist thing, but I’m not ruling out the possibility that these kids are just the only ones stupid enough to get in the stranger’s van in search of hypothetical candy.

But Max doesn’t know about that. Max thinks were only here for the second case.

I dun really unerstan dis. We’re here lookin fer-?

“‘The Cookie Snatcher'”

An that wuz?

“That’s somebody that, well, snatches cookies I guess.”

He gives me this look, like my hair turned pink or something.

Hey! Police!

Well, that salvaged an awkward moment.

There’s a man in MY campsite! He is eating MY omelet, with MY dishes! We both look up in time to see what has to be a hybrid between a human and a bulldozer barreling down the majestic mountain slopes toward us, trampling vegetation and showering the area with terrified wildlife. I’m tempted to join them.  So you two will get your flea-ridden butts up here and arrest him before I make you both into coats!

“Hold that thought, Max,” I say.

I am on a wilderness retreat! she tells me at the top of her lungs even though I didn’t ask, It’s vital to my work! I’m working to build a better future for my people and I think he ought to understand that, but no! He comes upon my omelet and he eats it! He is a traitor to his race!

Max catches my eye and twirls his finger around his ear significantly. He has a point.

YOU! shrieks the valkyrie.

Hmmm? replies the man, who looks a little familiar in a superficial way, with his mouth full.

Here you sit, eating my food, snatching the food from the mouths of my children!

Hmm?

“Alright ma’am , just settle down and let us handle this.”

You think I’m going to leave the welfare of the future generations of my people to the cognitive powers of a henhouse predator? Your job is to shut up and arrest him as soon as I get done chewing him out, is that quite clear?!

Yes’m, I hear Max squeak.

Hmm? says the guy.

There are five children depending on me to feed them! And you ARE GOING TO JAIL!

“So’re you.” I say, slapping the cuffs on her from behind. Guess headquarters was right about it being specism. They just didn’t count on it being reverse-specism.

What? she says. First word she’s said that wasn’t loud enough to shatter crystal.

“Miss Whatever the hell your name is, you’re under arrest for multiple counts of kidnapping . You’ve got the right to remain silent, which I’m sure’ll be a novel experience.”

You, YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME!

“Well, you mighta noticed I kinda already am, so-”

Just, uh, what the, uhh, heck is going on here?  splutters the male of the species, having finally cleared his throat of scrambled egg. And why is, uh uh, a rat rummaging through my backpack?

Oi, Sly! His bags is filled wit cookies! He’s da cookie snatcha, I cawght ‘im!

So I guess the experiment is a success.

The Final Word.

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