Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Turn Off Your Computer

Turn Off Your Computer
Winter Question
Murder Mystery

The time to relax is when you don't have time for it.

Sydney Harris
I got up this morning full of vim and visions. I had a busy day ahead of me. I had a couple of important phone calls to make. I had my journal entry to think about and write. I had to write the next section of the murder mystery. I have a long list of thank yous to send out to the people who wished me well on my birthday: Facebook comments, emails, phone messages, cards I got in my mail box. I had to acknowledge messages and questions sent to me on other matters. I had to vacuum the main room. I had to check on the bird seed. I wanted to take a walk to "exercise my boots." I wanted to do some research for the artists group I'm with. I wanted to work on my painting. I was looking forward to a day of great accomplishment and joy.

And what happened you ask? No you didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway.

First my computer kept shutting down for no reason. When I got it back up it would stay on just long enough for me to be in the middle of an important document I was writing and then shut down again. Much restarting. Much turning off, waiting, and turning back on again. Much turning off the modem, washing dishes, pacing around, turning the modem on again, waiting, starting up the computer. All in all a waste of more than an hour.

Then someone sent me an Instant Message at about 10 am and the computer decided it was so sociable it would connect me to everyone on the IM list. I was going berserk answering people who wondered why I was IMming them. "Yes?" "Hello" "What do you want?" "I can't talk now." That kept up for hours. Meanwhile I was trying to carry on a conversation with one person while I was being interrupted by two others. And there came the spam, and the great offers of auto insurance for the car I don't own, and the definitive mortgage offers for the house I don't own.

At sometime in the afternoon I purposely set fire to my stack. I shut down the computer, put on Wagner's "Siegfried" the Solti recording, lit up a cigar, made more coffee and did nothing but listen and enjoy.

Now it's after 6. I still have people to thank, emails to answer and things to write. The vacuum cleaner is still in the middle of the floor.and I don't care.
I'm relaxed. The day is shot to hell, but I'm relaxed.


(This is not a contest)

What was the most significant event that happened in 2010?


Will you people get your act together and answer this question, please?
Only 9 responses so far. Winter is almost over.
What happened to old Jasper Fingerhut?

A murder mystery in 7 sections.

Section 1

The police came soon after Brett Salazar called them. He had called to report seeing a man floating face down in a quiet part of the Borden River. A police wagon soon arrived and they fished the man out of the water He was dead.

The man was old, barefoot, wearing large brown corduroy trousers and a tattered and torn blue shirt. There was nothing in his pockets. He had a large metal cross around his neck and on his left middle finger a ring in the shape of a skull with a small green stone in the left eye socket, the other socket was empty. No one recognized him.

Doctor Skinner, the Bordentown Medial Examiner, received the corpse to begin his examination. He was to determine time and cause of death and any other important information he could find about the mysterious dead man.

While this was happening Boris Klipton, Professor of Art History at Bordentown State Teachers College, was way upstream. Sitting by the river, he was working on his latest book. It was an account of recent unsolved art thefts.

During his interview with Detective Rice Turner, Brett Salazar, testified of hearing four gunshots in the distance long before he saw the body. When Detective Turner asked him what he was doing at the river, Brett answered that he was planning to fish but had forgotten his fishing gear and was about to go home when he spotted the dead man floating in the water.

Section 2

At around 3 p. m. Professor Klipton gathered up his papers, put them in his briefcase and got back in his car. He noticed some lint and bits of cloth on the seat, brushed them off on to the floor, put down his briefcase and drove to Sam's Place.

Sam Nevitt opened his general store and gas station about 25 years ago. It was on the outskirts of town, away from all the bustle, which is the way he liked it. He would get business from folks leaving Bordentown on their way home and others who were passing through. He did a good business.

Sam was a good man, but he had one nasty habit. He liked to go down to the river with his rifle and shoot birds.

When Professor Klipton arrived he found Hank, Sam's part time help. When asked Hank didn't know where Sam was but thought he was probably out shooting. Klipton filled up with gas, bought a few items for his dinner and drove home.

The dead man came to Doctor Skinner's office in a body bag. He and Ivan, his assistant, opened the bag and as they did Skinner immediately put a large towel over the dead man's face and upper body. Then he dismissed Ivan for the day and went to work.

section 3

Detective Rice Turner didn't speak often, he seemed to others to be bored with life. That was a mistake. He was very well educated. He had a PhD in Economics from Yale and a law degree from Princeton. He was Phi Beta Kappa and a Mensa member. He was looking forward to a career in government whn he discovered he had a genius for solving problems. That soon became criminal investigation. He settled.

Signing, he opened the report form the Medical Examiners Office. Reading through it he discovered that the dead man was between 70 and 75 years old, approximately. and in reasonably good health for a man his age. Doctor Skinner had removed three 22 caliber bullets from the body, one from the shattered right shoulder, one from the right ventricle and one embedded in the large intestine. All the bullets had entered the body from the right side of the back. There were severe bruises around his neck. There was water in his lungs and a strange substance in his blood stream which Skinner had suspected was poison. He sent it on to the police lab for analysis. Time of death was between 2 and 3 in the afternoon. Cause of death: strangulation.

Attached to the report was an advisory. Skinner thought the body should be buried as soon as possible. He didn't say why.

Presently the report came from the police lab confirming that the substance in the man's blood was arsenic.
Section 4

Detective Turner hated to look at dead people even though he had seen many in his career. Nevertheless, accompanied by officers Rourke and Minetti, he went to the morgue. The cadaver was laid out on a table. Dr. Skinner had done a sloppy job putting it back together but Turner could see that the man had been in his seventies. He had long hair and a long beard, very gray.

Officer Rourke said that they should locate the next of kin if there was any, but since they didn't know who he was it would be hard. Turner told them to take photographs of his face, front and sides, take them around town and see if anyone recognized him.

Turner lifted up the dead man's beard and uncovered two pieces of the puzzle. One, the bruises around the man's neck did not seem as severe as the doctor had said, particularly for one who had been strangled to death. And two, somewhere between the time he was removed from the river and this moment, the large metal cross had disappeared from his neck.

When Professor Klipton returned to his home he put his briefcase down next to his computer, checked his watch and took a shower. About an hour later someone rang his door bell. He opened the door. Without a word a man handed him a large, thick envelop, then turned a walked away. Klipton didn't open the envelop. He knew what was in it. Two hundred thousand dollars. His commission.

Sam Newitt leaned his unloaded rifle down against a chair and unbuttoned his shirt. Roy, his gay lover, was waiting for him in the bed.

Section 5 tomorrow.


Valerie said...

When it rains it pours. I had to chuckle... when everything was going wrong your computer IMed your entire Buddly List! How mean is that?! I would have turned off my computer at that point. LOL

Hope you are relaxing some today, too. Hugs!! Off to read the 4th installment of your mystery... dum-duh-dum-dum-dum.... xx

Arlene (AJ) said...

Sounds like you had one of those yuk days DB, would it make you feel better to our water heater decided to crap out on us and we had water flowing into our bedroom ceiling and also onto our floors..let's just say it ruined our Monday for us in a big time way, moneywise, cleaning, etc. Now don't you feel better knowing you weren't the only one having a lousy day dear, lol. Look at the bright spot, we both made it through our non-fun day.

pacifica62 said...

This story comes in a close second to the one about Thanksgiving. Can't win for losing sometimes. Perhaps you were supposed to be listening to the Solti, smoking that cigar and enjoying more coffee. Just took the long pot holed road in getting there. The day wasn't actually shot to hell. Fate had different plans than you did, but your day turned out alright.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Hope you enjoyed the cigar and relaxation. I usually only have a cigar on vacation, my next one will be May in New Orleans :o)