It was the First Annual Idaville Children’s Dog Show was being held, and Encyclopedia and Sally were on hand to look at all of the children’s dogs dressed in different costumes.
We’re already a paragraph into this story, and I already have a problem with it. You shouldn’t use the word “annual” until you’ve already held the event two successive years. Whatever, I’m just being nitpicky at this point. Wait, isn’t that the point of this whole deal?
All in all, it seemed like a pleasant event. And with the exception of the heavily favored Twitchy to take the title Ugliest Dog, it was a pretty uneventful day. It should be noted that Twitchy wasn’t able to compete because his owner had been unable to wake him up in time. There’s nothing suspicious about that.
Scott Curtis, who we have met before, was taking photos of all of the participants. When the event was over, Scott wanted to take a picture of all of the winners. However, Kate Felton, whose dog named Something Else had won the Ugliest Dog Contest, refused. She had accidentally brushed by a wall with wet paint, so she didn’t want to appear in a photo with her skirt covered in paint. When Sally offered to trade skirts with her, Kate scoffed because the colors didn’t match.
That’s when everyone openly criticized Kate. “Aw, hurry up and change,” yelled Bill Seiple. “Who’ll notice the colors, anyway?” asked Ted Corbin. Earl Hanes offered that the colors “won’t even show.” Debbie Worthheimer gave the most convincing argument by yelling, “Stop acting like a spoiled brat.” Because seriously, Kate, stop being a brat.
So, it seemed like a pleasant experience for all; just another great day in Idaville. Except for maybe that part where that girl was shamed and taunted by her peers into doing something against her will. Oh, and also when that dog wasn’t able to wake up.
Later that evening, Encyclopedia got a phone call from Jim Mack, Twitchy’s owner. Jim had been worried about his dog’s inability to wake up, so he took him to the vet. It seemed as if Twitchy had been drugged. A few minutes later, he got a call from Scott saying that someone had switched the film in his camera at some point, and that he only had the few pictures taken at the end of the day, and those had been in black and white. Scott explained that he had always shot in color.
That’s nice. Most young and pretentious photographers occasionally shoot things like fallen leaves and a dirty old shoe in black and white because “it’s artistic.” Good for Scott for not being that guy.
Sally, still grumbling about her unwillingness to pose for a photo, immediately suspected Kate. Normally, I’d be with her. Her dog won the event that the heavily-favored dog was mysteriously absent from. And with that whole story about her getting paint on herself, she was getting an awful lot of play in this story.
But the culprit this time around was actually Earl Hanes. When Earl was in the mob bullying Kate to pose for that picture, he mentioned that the colors wouldn’t even show. How did he know that the colors wouldn’t show? Because he knew that he had replaced the film in Scott’s camera with black and white film.
Earl had been the one who drugged Twitchy, in order to give his dog a better chance at winning. But he then began to worry that Scott unknowingly got a picture of him drugging a dog, so when Scott was away from his camera, he switched out the film with his own.
So that meant that this kid is always carrying a roll of film on him? Okay, benefit of the doubt; maybe he had the film because he had his camera bag with him. But that doesn’t explain why this kid, in the early ‘80s, would carry only black and white film. I’d say that maybe Earl was the pretentious type who only took black and white photos “for his art,” but he seems to be more of the type who poisons animals to give his pet a better chance at winning a stupid contest. I have a hard time believing that these groups have much of an overlap.
And it seems that when you read as many of these stories that I have, you get desensitized to the idea of children drugging animals in order to win a contest, as we’ve already seen this sort of thing happen in Idaville.