Monday, May 23

The Annual Educators Field Day is something Mr. Happy Puppet Head drags me to every year. It's supposed to bring teachers and everyone that educates in the community together. We are always the only TV personalities there. The rest are real type of people, with cars and paychecks and families. None of them can take off their arms and legs and still function. None of them can float.

Mr. Happy Puppet Head loves it. He drinks punch out of plastic cups and makes bad jokes with the guys. He flirts with the women, and they laugh and blush. He eats hot dogs and chips and tuna salad until he can barely lift himself off the ground.

No one ever talks to me. And now that I've lost my arms and legs, they don't even look at me except out of the corners of their eyes. I feel naked, leaning against a tree, hoping I don't have to play any of the games.

"Midnight!" yells Mr. Happy Puppet Head as he bobbles up to where I'm standing. This is the first thing he's said to me in over an hour. "Hey! Egg Toss!"

"What about your friend over there, maybe he can be your partner."

"No, come on," he turns and bobbles towards the playing field.



"Just remember," Mr. Happy Puppet Head tells me. "Gentle. Think before you Toss."

"I will." But I don't. I panic. The Principal guy blows his whistle and I just toss. Overhand. Mr. Happy Puppet Head has to jump way into the air to catch it.

"What was that?" Mr. Happy Puppet Head yells at me, his mouth full of unbroken egg. I shrug my shoulders and we both take a big step back. Mr. Happy Puppet Head spits it to me, and miraculously, I catch it. We take another step back, and before I know what I'm doing, before the whistle is blown, I throw the egg as hard as I can. My furry red friend dives for it, but I've thrown it too hard, too high. It lands in the field next to the field we're playing in.

"Maybe its okay!" I yell as I run after it. Mr. Happy Puppet Head sighs and forces a smile for the rest of the group.

In the field I find the egg has landed neatly on what looks like a small girl's jacket. I pick it up and read the tag. Mary Ellen's jacket. The little girl who disappeared last fall and was never found.

"Hey everyone!" I call. "I think I can figure out the mystery of little Mary Ellen!"

Everyone groans. They don't want to solve a mystery on Field Day, but I'd rather do anything than finish this game of Egg Toss. It'll only end badly.

With a group of antsy Educators, I lead them through an adventure of Deductive Reasoning and Thoughtfull Pursuit of Clues.

"Can't we do this later?" asks one woman with a flower print dress.

"This is important," I tell her. "Unless you want some poor child's tormented ghost to haunt both parents and murderer for the rest of eternity, go on back to your games. See if I can't solve this mystery all by myself." I continue examining the rusted chainsaw I found in the secret cave under the oak tree. None of them go back to their games. The pinata dangles in one piece, fat with candy, and the burlap sacks go unraced.

Finally, after following month-old bootprints left in mud, examining syringe after syringe, measuring the length and girth of countless pieces of rope, we find little Mary Ellen's skelleton hidden under an intricate pile of rocks decorated in brilliantly depicted scenes from ancient Norse mythology.

And now it's dark and everyone has to go home. "Great job, everyone!" I tell them. "We solved the case!"

Someone mumbles about how we still don't know who killed her, and somoene else mumbles about a ruined Field Day. I ignore their negativity. I may not have won any friends or Field Day events, but a mystery solved is a mystery solved.

Now here's my favorite recipie for eggs. They're called:

"I Avoided the Embarasment of Group Activities and Found a Dead Girl Without the Use of Arms or Legs Scrambled Eggs"

you need:
Some eggs
Some corn tortillas (not tortilla chips, but rather, plain old corn tortillas)
Some Onions
Spicy cheese, like with jalepenos in it.

to cook:

tear the tortillas into tiny pieces and grill them until crispy with some chopped onions. you could use butter or olive oil or whatever.

scramble the eggs and mix it in with the crispy tortillas and the browned onions.

cook until desired consistency is met. (i don't like mine too dry)

put cheese on top. maybe some hot sauce, too.

now you eat it. it's so good.

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