Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tips for When You're a Kid Sleuth (Part 2)

Penny and Brain discuss Inspector Gadget's mediocrity

So you're back, are you? Still think you've got what it takes to be kid sleuths? Well then, let's get to it, maggots, by memorizing these important tips.

You Might Want to Put Some Aloe on That

Here’s the thing: you’re going to get knocked out a lot. Whether it’s a blackjack to the back of the head, a tranquilizer dart, or the ever-popular chloroform-soaked cloth, something’s going to render you unconscious about ten times a year.

This is, medically speaking, a really, really, really bad thing. Or “res perquam, perquam, perquam mal,” in the Latin. You see, the human brain is not a lightswitch that you can turn on and off without consequence. It’s a series of tubes. (Ordo de angustiae.)

For one thing, tranquilizer dosing is tricky. The dosage that puts me into a comfortable nap might well kill you, and it might do nothing to a larger person but make them groggy. There’s a reason that you have to spend ten years getting licensed to keep an eye on an anesthesia machine that administers sedatives with practically unfailing precision. So, do you really think the idiot thugs you’re investigating are going to get the ketamine dosage right on their first try?

Nuh-uh. You wouldn’t trust those morons to tranquilize a stray dog, let alone a person. And as a kid sleuth, you probably have a lower than average body weight, raising your risk of death-by-dart even higher. Given these risks, you might be tempted to hope for chloroform, but that’s even worse. Chloroform is just as dangerous and even harder to dose. Plus, it’s a carcinogen.

Being knocked out is even riskier. A total loss of consciousness after being hit on the head indicates a traumatic brain injury (traumaticus cerebrum owie,) which is especially damaging to children and teenagers. Given the rate at which they’re knocked out, it’s sheer luck that the average kid sleuth isn’t lying comatose with a tube up their nose, trying to solve the Mystery of the Persistent Bedsores.

So, no matter how often it happens to you or your friends, treat every loss of consciousness as a bona fide medical emergency. Immediately arrange transport to the nearest emergency pediatric snooping facility.

As a consolation, any villain who tries to knock you out is guilty of premeditated assault, so you can have the police and/or your dad add that to their rap sheet.

Some Miscellaneous Advice

Encyclopedia Brown meets Se7en - Bugs Meanie has a gift

Never step foot inside a lumber mill, or any industrial space that features a conveyor belt of any kind, for that matter. Just don’t, because everyone you investigate, no matter how trivial their offense, will prove to be an opportunistic murderer. The perp’s big crime could be having his car double parked, and he’d still be willing to kill you to stop you from exposing him.

You can be a kid sleuth even if you’re an idiot. Hell, some scholars argue that it could even make you better at it. Just make sure you have a highly competent friend, and unconditionally forbid them from helping you.

If you’re between cases, get a hobby. You’ll be shocked at how often it’ll be critical to solving the next case you’re on. Any hobby is fine, as long as it’s not the same hobby you had before your last case. In fact, never mention that old hobby again, because it’s against Sleuth Union rules, and you could lose your insurance coverage.

Making an adult disguise by standing on your friend’s shoulders and wearing a large trench coat is ALWAYS an option.

Purchase a pair of tactical door wedges and take them with you whenever snooping in a haunted castle, pyramid, Aztec temple, or etc. It’ll save your bacon when you inevitably get trapped in a room and the walls start closing in. Make sure you get a wedge that’s rated for both spiked and unspiked walls of doom.

Never try to figure out what state your hometown is in. You may be the world’s greatest detective in the under-15 category, but this is one mystery that no one will ever solve. Thinking about it will only give you migraines.

Office hours are critical. Have a time and a semi-public place were other kids can consult you, even if it’s your mom’s garage after school. Because, if you don’t have boundaries, you’re setting yourself up for trickery and kidnapping. And if you ever get a message from someone asking you to go to a remote location after dark, so they can hire you for an important case? That is so a trap. Immediately hand the message over to the police. Believe me, this is one time they’ll actually listen to you.

If I Listen Twice as Long, They’ll Say Something Twice as Incriminating!

Know how long to snoop. We’ve been over this already in the Superhero’s Girlfriend guide, but it bears repeating. When you come across a couple of goons who are—fortunately for you and unexplainably for them—discussing their plans in intricate detail, eavesdrop long enough to learn their plan and not a second longer. Then exit the area in a careful manner. Do not under any circumstances back blindly away from your hiding place, because perps surround their most sensitive sites with ankle-high pipes and tree roots for exactly this reason.

And One Last Thing...

I don't want any messages saying “I'm contemplating the clues.” We're not contemplating a goddamned thing. We're snooping the perpetrator constantly. We’re going to snoop him by the nose and we’re going to kick him in the ass. Our plan of operation is to sleuth and keep on sleuthing. We will sleuth through the perpetrator like crap through a goose.

Thirty years from now when you're still the same age you are now, someone will ask you, “What did you do in middle school?” You won't have to cough and say, 'Well, I shoveled bullshit on the essay portion of my history tests.”

All right, you sons of bitches. You know how I feel. I'll be proud to lead you wonderful guys in sleuthing anytime, anywhere. That's all.

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