Strange But True XII: Reading the San Francisco Chronicle (of 9 April 2008)

This is one of those days when self wakes up out of sorts, checks her blog stats and, in a fit of impatience or what-have-you, deletes the previous night’s post. All of this is just a roundabout way of saying that “What Happens When Self Is Alone” has disappeared into the blogosphere.

But, not to worry! There are heaps and heaps of ideas still milling about in self’s brain. Today, since self is reading the San Francisco Chronicle, she’s in “Believe It or Not” mode.

Take this news item in the local news section. A neighbor reported seeing another neighbor bash a man over the head “with a piece of lumber.” This incident took place in the Mission Terrace neighborhood of San Diego.

The man waited until “weeks later” to inform the police of what he had seen.

Police searched the scene of the crime and “cadaver dogs showed interest” in a van, so the police towed it to an impound yard. This was on Jan. 24.

On Feb. 1, police decided to search the van. Inside they found a decomposing corpse. So this time they hot-footed it back to the scene of the crime, but by this time the couple who owned the van, a Richard Carelli and a Michele Pinkerton, had, not surprisingly, absconded.

Then, news reports surfaced that the couple had been spotted in Baja California. A week later, a freelance radio reporter, James Spring, who says he goes to Baja “all the time,” heard that still no arrests had been made.

“They made it sound like Baja was the planet Jupiter,” Spring said.

So Spring had 2,500 “Wanted” posters printed up at his local Kinko’s (If this is beginning to sound rather bizarre and unbelievable — as whoever heard of an ordinary citizen having “Wanted” posters printed up at Kinko’s — self wishes dear blog readers to know that this is an example of what simple American “get up and go” will accomplish. Self now thinks that working at Kinko’s might not be such a bad idea: she could probably gather a lot of story material. That is, if there are more customers like Spring hanging about. So, self stores this information in a file in her head called “Career Change Opportunity” — to be consulted if/when self ever gets truly fed up with teaching)

The enterprising Mr. Spring then loads the flyers in his car and heads down to Baja. He spends two days distributing the posters “at gas stations and police stations on Highway 1.” Finally, in the small town of El Rosario, “about 200 miles south of the border,” a gas station attendant (You mean, self gulps, such a job still exists? Because self can’t remember the last time she’s even seen a gas station attendant) Well, anyhoo, it is extremely lucky that they still have such in Baja California, for this man pointed Spring to a motel a few doors down, and the motel clerk pointed out the wanted couple’s home, where — and this self finds particularly interesting — they were giving dance “lessons to local children for $1 an hour.”

Spring then alerted Mexican police “and Mexican authorities arrested the couple without incident a few hours later.”

The San Diego police were purportedly “so thrilled” (the Chronicle says, with risible understatement) with this development, because they had just been “waiting, waiting, waiting” for a break in the case.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers, stay tuned.

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