Sunday, February 24, 2013

Val on Your Side

Another brainteaser solved by Val. And without even the help of Mystery, Inc.

The convenience store where I regularly buy my eighty-cent or FREE 44 oz. Diet Coke, which shall be referred to as the Voice of the Village, has exhibited a curious trend on days after a snowfall. Black plastic milk crates are placed in the parking spaces. Middle, as in right smack dab in the.

Being a curious sort, this got my attention last December when we had our, ahem, first unforecast eight inches of snow. Oh, I thought. They're keeping people from becoming impaled by icicles falling from the roof overhang. That's how my mind works, you see. It jumps to the goriest, most human-carnage-resulting conclusion. Next, I supposed that maybe the management did not want people slipping on ice that may form on the parking lot. Which was silly, because they did not block off the sidewalk, or even scatter chunks of salt over the lot by the gas pumps.

Because I'm a curious sort, I noticed that the widely-corrugated green metal roofs of the prison outbuildings that I pass twice every day harbor great sheets of compacted snow that sit complacently all the live-long day, until that instant they decide to slide over the edge in a spectacular show of exploding white crystal smithereens.

Aha! I thought. Voice of the Village does not want people bombarded with stealthy ice-pancakes from their metal roof. Still. They left the sidewalk unblockaded. I suppose business would be hurt if they did not allow entrance into their facility. Today, I voiced my theory to The Pony.

"Uh. No. They are worried about it hitting people's cars. Not people."

The intention was revealed when I paid for my precious elixir. Yes, paid. I startled my soda-giving clerk, he so deep in contemplation, sitting on a stool behind the register, that he did not recognize it was me until he had already reached his hand out for my three quarters and nickel. Val always pays for her 44 oz. with correct change.

"Hey, do you block off the parking spaces so people won't get hit by the falling ice chunks, or the cars?"

"Oh, the CARS!"

"We had a disagreement. I said it was the people, but my son said, 'Duh. People might get mad if they get hit, but they will SUE if their car gets damaged.' "

"That's right! People can get out of the way, but their CARS are something else!"

Any mysteries keeping you awake at night? Allow Val to investigate.


  1. Mystery solved...simply by asking. I probably wouldn't have figured it out.

  2. Mystery # 1: How does eating 16 ounces of fudge result in a 9-pound weight gain?

    Mystery # 2: How does one smallish nose contain 3 1/2 cups of greenish-yellow snot?

    Mystery # 3: Why is one writer almost as elusive as J.D. Salinger?

  3. Mystery # 4: How does a writer continually be funny?

  4. Yes, Lynn. That makes me think of Mystery #6:

    How does a blogger write responses to people's comments that make her followers return to read HER comments because they're just as funny as her posts? This happens every day, twice a day, and it is indeed puzzling.

  5. Stephen,
    It's deceptively simple, really. Just like asking for directions when you're lost. Something tells me you have never thought of that, either.

    Mystery #1 is a simple math problem: 16 ounces of fudge contain 31,500 calories. Divide that by 3500 calories per pound, and you have your 9-pound weight gain. Oops! A 9-pound weight gain. Didn't mean to imply that YOU were the fudge-eater retaining calories.

    Mystery #2 is a biology question: the smallish nose is connected to the largish sinus cavities, which can stockpile enough greenish-yellow snot to last approximately four months. When guns are outlawed, the outlaws will use greenish-yellow snot.

    Mystery #3 is a conundrum: to be non-elusive, one must be easily accessible to the public, which can result in children falling willy-nilly over the edge of a cliff in a rye field. Likewise, if a writer was to appear at the drop of a hat, or have hundreds of irons in the fire, the free milk of creative writing would drop in price so that the writer would practically have to pay people to give it away.

    Mystery #4 is best explained by Richard Bach's "Illusions." Not that it's funny or anything. People see what they want to see.

    Most people follow the number 4 with the number 5. You, Madam, seem to be marching to the beat of your own drummer. In crazy 6/6 time.

    Commenters are to bloggers what hecklers are to stand-up comedians. They must be dealt with, for to leave them to their own devices only encourages anarchy.