Simon FitzKit...In The Field!

Makes mouths happy. MAKES MOUTHS HAPPY!!!

July 10, 2008
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I’ve been laid low by Jumanji Twizzlers.

It waits for some unsuspecting person to find it, play it, and release the evil jungle magic within.

But I’m not prone to opening mysterious board games that wash up on the beach. No, this time the evil jungle magic had to bend itself to my weak spot:

I couldn’t help it. It just popped in there.

Twizzlers. One of the new resealable two-pound pouches that locks freshness in. Like we used to eat at Camp Waconda.

Only this bag didn’t just lock in freshness. Oh no. Let’s turn back the clock to last fall when I came down with an annoyingly persistent flu-like virus that completely floored me. My sister bought me a bag of resealable Twizzlers to cheer me up. No, not healthy for me, but hey, I was sick, and I wanted to feel better in some quantifiable way.

So I had some, sealed the bag, went back to cowering under the covers and got better.

February came around, and, as I was straightening my landfill of a room, I found, buried under clothes, DVDs, PSP games and comic books…

The Jumanji Twizzlers.

Oh, at the time, I didn’t know it was they, but the effect was immediate: I ate a few, and a couple days later, I was going through boxes of tissue like… well, like Kleenex. And I was not in the mood for Twizzlers any more, so they got kneaded back into the bottom of the counter bread machine that is my room.

And then I was sifting through piles of stuff I had recently tossed around (to be able to sleep on my bed again), and there, innocent and sweet, sat…

THE JUMANJI TWIZZLERS.

I carried them downstairs, having only an hour before discovered I had nothing but frozen meals and Pop-Tarts as immediate dining options. I sat down in front of CSI: Miami Season 1, and I had several strawberry-flavored twists.

Now everything above my philtrum is pounding, my nose is gushing, and my throat constantly feels like I’ve gargled with salt. Not salt water; salt.

So, of course, I threw the bag away as soon as I realized where the evil jungle magic had come from.

But now I realize: I didn’t burn it. It’s sitting in a trash bag somewhere, on its way to a dump, in some homeless child’s hands… and the Freshness seal is intact. The Jumanji Twizzlers are pristine inside. And someone will find them… and eat them… and the horror will live again.

Oh, God, I can still hear the drums! The hideous beating of those unearthly bongos, their sheer intensity threatening to drag me into my own personal heart of darkness!…

…Oh, wait. Sorry. I was just playing Rock Band on Nyquil.

Never mind.

Thank you, Seattle. Are you ready to r–BEWARE THE JUMANJI TWIZZLERS!

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At second glance, it said something different

December 22, 2007
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Norton Antivirus has detected
the traitor on your computer.


The Lights Are On, But Nobody’s Holmes

December 8, 2007
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I was at Borders earlier this evening trying to buy my father’s CMas gift (Shh. Spoiler Alert) when I ran across something he might like even more:


The Crimes of Dr. Watson: An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

Book Description From amazon.com:
Quirk Books is excited to announce the discovery of a never-before-published adventure from the pen of Dr. John Watson, steadfast companion of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes. As the tale opens, we discover that Holmes has vanished and Watson has been framed for a grisly murder! Writing from a damp cell in Coldbath Fields penitentiary, the falsely convicted prisoner recounts the events leading to his arrest …and provides twelve removable, facsimile clues that point to the true culprit. Among them are:

An article torn from a newspaper in California
A puzzling manuscript ripped into several pieces
A catalog of Victorian medicines and marital aids
Plus a telegram, an arrest report, an empty matchbook, a train schedule, and much more

It’s up to you to sift through the clues and solve the thrilling whodunit. When you think you’ve identified the culprit, slice open the final signature of the book (sealed at the printer) to read the remainder of the story. With beautiful Victorian-style illustrations and first-rate production values, The Crimes of Dr. Watson will appeal to mystery lovers of all ages.

Wow, I thought, it has the entire story “The Final Problem,” comes with envelopes of letters for clues, and a sealed Answers section at the back? Dad’ll love this!

So I flipped it open to the first envelope. It was empty.

Hmm, I thought, maybe this clue is just the envelope itself.

The next envelope was also empty. In fact, the sentence on the following page made it clear I was supposed to be holding a train ticket of some sort. I wasn’t, so I began to suspect shenanigans.

I flipped to the back cover, thinking that perhaps they’d been worried that the clues would fall out, so they’d decided to put all the enclosures in the back with the sealed Answers section.

The clues were, in fact, with the Answers, but unfortunately, the Answers weren’t with the book. There were overlapping flaps of cardstock inside the back cover, suggesting that Answers should have been contained within their protective embrace, but they were as empty as the rest of the book.

How odd, I thought. Someone’s flipped through this Display Copy and removed all the useful bits.

I grabbed the copy behind it on the shelf. It was empty.

Eight copies of the book –every copy in the store, as it turned out– were all empty. I took the entire collection to the Information Desk and informed them of the problem, then waited a good 5 minutes while they checked my story against the reality of the books.

So bizarre. Those clues were, according to the book’s own blurb, the only things that could free Dr. Watson. Who could have stolen them? The publisher? The manufacturer? Did the author have a change of heart after realizing some of the clues implicated him as one of Watson’s persecutors? Did someone murder everyone in the Korean mystery-envelope-stuffing sweatshop? Or was it a jealous wife? Or an adulterous doctor? No. It was her employer: Ms. Scarlet. …Um… Miss Study In Scarlet?

To make a long story short (Too late!), I bought the book I’d originally planned on buying. Sadly, Dad will have to wait for his Interactive Mystery. …UNLESS I KILL SOMEONE AND SEND HIM THE CLUES!!!

…enh. I’ll probably just buy it for him for Father’s Day.