Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Strange Case of the Cereal Killer

Current Reading: Mainspring, by Jay Lake

Inspirational Quote: "People always ask me, 'Where were you when Kennedy was shot?' Well, I don't have an alibi." -- Emo Philips

Yesterday morning, I woke up to a mess. One of the boys, in the middle of the night, had apparently decided to have a midnight cereal snack. Three open boxes sat on the floor, and someone had emptied a nearly-full box of granola into the recycling bin. Weird, but although I have no idea what thought process could lead someone to do such a thing, I rarely understand the thought process that leads my sons to do ANYTHING.

Telemachus denied any involvement. Aeneas has a standing policy of denying everything, especially when he's involved. He's like the CSIS that way. More curious than frustrated, I had them park themselves at the table while I made supper and tried to figure out which one of them was covering up a secret desire to recycle fiber-rich grain products.

Clues? None but the neatness of the crime. The perpetrator had not spilled the box on the floor and swept it up. On those rare occasions when I can force a broom into my sons hands, their efforts are spotty at best, and the floor showed no signs of missed spillage. Moreover, the culprit had been thorough. The box was back in the cupboard, still open, and completely empty. It was as though they had deliberately emptied the box into the bin. But why? Even for a teenage boy, that's bizarre behavior.

"Telemachus, were you up last night?"
"For the last time, no! Both of us went to sleep at one."
"What about after that?"
Telemachus stared at me while the wheels turned. "No, I... Oh, crud. That would explain my phone."
"Uh... What?"
"I had my phone with me in the basement last night before I went to sleep down there. This morning, it took me half an hour to find it. It was upstairs in my room."

Telemachus is an occasional sleepwalker, and his behavior during those bouts shows the heavy influence of dream logic. That night, he'd gotten up, searched through the cereal cupboard for just the right thing, then poured himself a nice big recycle bin of granola before putting his phone away in his room and heading back to bed.

I'm just glad he changed his mind before pouring the milk.

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