Unlike Caswell Philpott, who did headstands as part of his yoga, Elton Fisk did his for charity. He would stand on his head on the street corner and raise money for the local hospital. Like Caswell, Elton witnessed something that would be of great interest of the police, but took the information to the Brown Detective Agency instead.
Elton had seen three men wearing yellow overalls and carrying paper bags go into a store downtown. While he didn’t think twice about it at the time, he found out the next day that three men wearing yellow overalls and masks had robbed the First National Bank, carrying their loot in paper bags.
It was assumed that these were the same men. Good assumption.
It was also assumed that the store they went into must have been their hideout and that that was where they could be found; presumably ad infinitum. Bad assumption.
Just because they went there after they robbed a bank, it doesn’t mean that that was their designated hideout. Why would three bank robbers go to their downtown hideout together in daylight while wearing the same thing they did during the robbery? Wouldn’t they worry that someone would see them? And why rob a bank wearing something easy to spot, like yellow overalls? I guess I can give a pass to that one, given that this is the town where past bank robbers have worn capes.
So let’s suspend logic and doubt and assume that the bank robbers could be found at the one place where they were seen, the question was what store was it?
Well, Elton had no idea. All he knew was that there was a black and white sign in the window, but he couldn’t read it because he was upside down. Not only was he upside down, it the sign was being reflected by a mirror.
Why was it being reflected by a mirror? You see, once while he was standing on his head, Bugs Meany sneaked up behind him and gave him a hot foot. Since then, he’d bring a mirror with him so that no one would be able to sneak up on him.
Why didn’t he just do a headstand with his back near a wall so that no one would be able to sneak up on him? I don’t know.
Why didn’t some adult just grab Bugs by the shirt after this hot foot and say, “You little asshole. This kid is doing something for charity. Can you be a semi-decent human being once in your life?” All Bugs needed is a few good adult role models, and he’d cut the shit almost immediately. I digress.
Elton did say that the sign had two words that were upside-down and backwards, so he was able to read them while standing on his head and looking at it through a mirror. The problem was that he couldn’t remember what those words were, nor could he even remember what store it was or even a general idea of where he was at the time.
So Elton is completely useless.
Encyclopedia decided the best thing to do would be to tell his father, the chief of police, what Elton saw. Maybe with Elton’s information, he could back it up with other witness accounts. Because, surely, someone must have been downtown to see three guys wearing bright yellow overalls. It’s downtown, there must have been someone around.
No, I’m just kidding. Encyclopedia, Sally and Elton decided to do their own detective work. After all, it’s not like the police would care about information regarding a bank robbery, right?
They combed the streets of downtown. Surprisingly, there were four black and white signs – usually, the list of suspects is whittled down to three – but none of them had words written upside-down and backwards.
Slattery’s Fish Market was advertising its sale on choice cod. Meleger’s Furniture Store was having a summer sale. McDuffy’s shoe store had “prices slashed.” And Dwight’s Men’s Store was touting “bargains.”
Well, the trick here is that the words weren’t actually upside-down and backwards, they just appeared that way. Elton should have maybe seen these signs and had some sort of recognition. Usually, people don’t think they could remember something, but then they have their memories jogged, and suddenly, they have an “oh yeah” moment. Elton was apparently too dumb for even that.
The men were hiding out at Slattery’s Fish Market. Encyclopedia knew this because the words “CHOICE COD” appear the same when it’s being read upside-down and backwards.
Wait, were the three men wearing yellow overalls because they were fishermen? That didn’t tip anyone off?