I realize it’s April Fool’s Day, but this is no joke. The retrospective of The Door (of Shame, Blame and Brilliance) in our newsroom has come to an end. But by request, we’ll be spending Wednesdays during April looking back at The Box (Of Weird Unclaimed Photos) in our newsroom with Skippy the Wild, Blindfolded Squirrel.
For those who are unfamiliar with this past weekly feature, or who, after reading this introduction, feel they might be having a stroke, let me explain.
The Box is a collection of odd, unidentified photos which — just like many items in our break-room refrigerator — have remained unclaimed for 10 years or more. Utilizing my journalistic training, combined with the full extent of our 1980s computer technology, I attempt to explain the circumstance surrounding a randomly chosen photo from The Box. This random selection process is achieved by me quietly dumping the photos onto the floor and then, just as quietly, releasing a Skippy the Wild, Blindfolded Squirrel into the newsroom. The photo nearest the first reporter to scream or get bitten (possibly both) is the winner!
The debut photo from The Box appeared in October 2013. It called upon me to utilize my extensive journalistic sleuthing skills like never before. As with all photos in The Box, this one contained no information as to the identity of the individual or the circumstances surrounding it. My only clue was that it was inside an small envelope with the word “suspicious” written on it.
Naturally, the first step in my investigation is to determine a time frame. For obvious reasons, this was easy. Once I identified the type of artificial plants that are in the photo, then tracked down the manufacturer, it was simply a matter of narrowing down the year in which that particular style of plastic plant was made, which I did by driving to Hoboken, N.J. and sifting through hundreds of order catalogues. I eventually determined the photo was taken in 1999. This was confirmed by the date in the top left corner of the sign she is holding, which I noticed shortly after my return from Hoboken.
Armed with the year of our photo, I entered our newspaper’s “morgue.” This is where, as I mentioned last week, we keep issues of Siuslaw News dating back to 1870 which, to answer one follower’s question, was actually several years before I started working here.
It wasn’t long before an ugly truth began to surface about our quiet little town, and a cover-up involving what I believe was a short-lived senior citizen prostitution ring.
While I could find no direct evidence supporting my theory, I find it oddly coincidental that our local Senior Center held dozens of “bingo nights” followed by “pancake breakfasts” the same year it re-modeled the badminton court and bought all new shuttlecocks.
As expected, when I called the center I was told “no one from 1999 was available for comment” because they were “no longer with us.”
Well… How convenient.
Rest assured I will find out where they went…