Good Morning Ted and Jody:
Thank you for the call yesterday on my birthday. I got three other calls: two from Chris and his daughter and one from Rene, Nancy’s former daughter-in-law. It is interesting how Facebook and messages on the cell phone replace actual phone calls. I was reminded of a routine a comic did years ago about the difference between phone calls and letters. As I recall the difference was after a phone call you had a memory of the conversation. After a letter, you could read it again and again. Today, we don’t even think about letters. My thinking is that in the past too many people wrote letters and used all the alphabet up so we can’t write them anymore. It would be interesting to tell the pestilence about the fact that he is reusing letters that have been used billions of times before and ask him if he is too cheap to buy new letters?
I have a friend who takes a week to celebrate his birthday with organized events—dinners and parties. Since he is in England I have been meaning to ask him if he organizes Jousting Tournaments, steeple chases and polo matches and the like. Anyway, I am thinking that next year I will do something similar and rent the Indianapolis Speedway on Memorial Day weekend and put on a 500-mile car race to celebrate my birthday. Or I could celebrate by having everyone display a flag on June 14th. However, I may settle for having everyone celebrate my birthday on June 2nd by eating donuts. With so many options I will problem just declare all of June and half of May and July as my birthday and having every one party for 8 weeks (even essential workers should get the eight weeks off).
I think this is my third morning today. Last night I went to bed early and got up to go to PDX to pick up Liz and her friend. We got home around 12:30 A.M. and I went back to bed. I got up close to my normal time and did my morning stuff. Since Liz is on Eastern Time she and her friend were up too. I committed the unthinkable and got Nancy up. A few hours later Liz had headed back to Michigan, so I went back to bed. It is still mid-morning (for normal people, mid afternoon for me), so it is my third morning of the day. I think I prefer a day with only one morning.
I trust this finds you happy, healthy, wise and sobered up from celebrating my birthday yesterday.
Warmest regards, Ed
O45 The Man with a Goatee and Scar over his Left Eye Recruits New ‘Associates’
Fiction in 956 words by T. Edward Westen, 2017
“I have to say, until I reminded the Commissioner that the case involved a kidnapped child and that the safety of the child was in our preview to investigate both before and after the kidnapping,” said Edith Gunderson, “the Commissioner was most concerned about my working with the police on a case reported in the newspaper. Indeed, she was not mollified until I reminded her that the story was after the fact and appeared in a less than reliable source and perhaps the author made up things. I am afraid I embarrassed her when I asked if she regularly read that paper.”
Detective Philipson entered Edith Gunderson’s office holding up a copy of the Enquirer and said, “There is an interesting advertisement in the employment section of the classifieds of the issue today. ‘Wanted men who are willing to take risks and go on adventures but are willing to follow orders. A criminal background will not be an issue as the position is not bonded.’ This along with a convenience mailing address. “He paused and then continued, “This is very close to the wording of the advert that the Seams Brothers reported responding to for their ‘adventures with the man in the goatee with a scar over his left eye. As I recall Walter said they got a response to their inquiry a few hours after they mailed the letterer of, shall we say, interest. I did check the Enquirer for the time in question and the advert is identical.”
Agent White asked, “How were the brothers contacted?”
“They got a note slipped in the mail chute at their mother’s house,” replied Detective Philipson. “No one was home at the time the note arrived.”
Captain Batan shook his head and said, “Since time travel is involved it would not have been a problem for Scarface to have popped around until he found the place empty.”
“Pivot, Captain, pivot, not pop around,” corrected Special Agent Fleishman.
“Sorry about my insensitive choice of words,” replied Captain Batan. “The end result is the same. The guy knew when to leave the reply. Then when he interviewed the brothers he did so in a vacant office downtown. I suspect he was a hologram at that point for the brothers never recall him other than in a seated position.”
Agent White interrupted with a question, “How did he get the brothers into the five periods of sleep training necessary for them to learn how to use an implant?”
“Let me answer that, “said Detective Philipson. “He had them check into a specific room at a local hotel and met them in there. He produced beverages for them and from Wilbur’s reaction, they were drugged and not alcoholic. Wilbur was very disappointed that they were not, as he put it, cocktails. Neither brother recalls anything after that until they awakened four days later. When they came too, they had already had implants and the hologram of the man in the goatee told them of their special powers as that point. He did tell them that he could withdraw the powers if they used them in a way that did not conform to what he wanted them to do.”
“If someone responds to this new advertisement, we can simply intercept the person who retrieves the envelope,” said Agent Amanda.
“I went to a judge and got a warrant to examine the contents of the box at the convenience mailing address,” said, Detective Philipson. “I was not allowed to actually open the mail but could see what was in the box. The envelope the Seams Brothers sent, was still in the box unopened. This suggests the man with the goatee and scar over his left eye opens it sometime into the distant future. Then he traveled back to before now to recruit them. It is unlikely we will nab him in the act of getting his mail. However, we can watch the box to determine when the next, err, applicant sends, what did you call him Captain, oh yes, Scarface and then have some idea of when the applicant will start work for Scarface.”
“Is your warrant still valid for the mail drop?” asked Special Agent Fleishman.
“Yes,” replied Detective Philipson.
At that moment Outreach Agent Simmons appeared in Edith Gunderson’s Office. “I guess I am in the right place,” he said. He held up the projector the man with a goatee and scar over his left eye had use to communicate with the Seams Brothers. “This is a copy. I returned the original to where and when we found it. It is as if it never went missing. We made dozens of copies. The device is temporal local, so that means the man with a goatee and scar over his left eye will . . . “
Edith Gunderson interrupted, “We seem to be calling him Scarface, Outreach Agent.”
“Oh, good idea,” said Outreach Agent Simmons, “As I was saying, err, Scarface has to be in the same time as the projector. But the range is several hundred kilometers. I could get a fix using old radio location technology, but that would require two devices located several kilometers apart and he could be gone when get to his transmitting location and he does not have to leave the transmitter when he leaves.”
Edith Gunderson scratched her head. “Why don’t we watch for applicant’s letters and then stake out their addresses?”
“Capital idea,” said Captain Batan. “With this advert and the one the Seams brothers responded to I think the Chief will allocate the funds to cover a 24 hour surveillance of the addresses of letters sent to that convenience mailing address along with video surveillance in case Officer Dixon is put on the surveillance team?”