The Brown Detective Agency had an unlikely customer one day. Bugs Meany plopped a quarter down to get Encyclopedia to look into the theft of his pen knife, Excalibur. He claimed that he saw Woody Fanfingle steal it from the Tigers’ clubhouse just fifteen minutes earlier. Why? Because Excalibur is the best pen knife in the world, and because Woody knew that without it, Bugs wouldn’t win Idaville’s Mumblety-Peg championship (more on what the hell that is later).
Bugs said he saw Woody put the knife in his left back pocket as he was running out of the clubhouse. Bugs didn’t chase him because he took pity on Woody. His left arm was broken, so it was in a cast. Yeah, you see where we’re going with this. With is left arm in a cast, why is he putting stuff in his left back pocket? Once again, Bugs could have saved himself by not specifying which pocket, but instead he got burned by giving too much information.
Well, shit. I just ruined the mystery. Whatever, I’ll keep going.
Bugs told Encyclopedia that he didn’t want to accuse Woody of stealing the knife, because he thought that Woody’s mother was going to be Bugs’ teacher the following year. He didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot with her. He just wanted Encyclopedia to retrieve the knife without anyone knowing. The concern wasn’t that Bugs was lying about whether or not the knife is his. Bugs’ name is carved in the handle.
Sally was suspicious. I would be too. If this was simply a case of needing to track down Woody and getting the knife, why would he need Encyclopedia? He had a band of petty thugs at his disposal. Why wasn’t Bugs saving himself the quarter and getting one of the Tigers to do it?
Encyclopedia found Woody at the Little League game. Though he wasn’t playing, he still got in uniform. The teammates thought he was good luck to have him around. Encyclopedia went down to the locker room (Idaville’s Little League teams have locker rooms?), found Woody’s locker and his pants. Sure enough, the knife was in the left back pocket. He took the knife and put it in his pocket. Before you ask, no, it’s not important which pocket he put it in. That’s when Bugs appeared with Mr. Evans, the school’s security guard. “So you’re the one who has been stealing from the lockers during the games,” Evans said.
At first, this seemed like a remarkably smart plan on Bugs’ part. He gave Encyclopedia a reason to take something from a locker, and then showed up with an adult to make it look like he had been stealing. Except, when you think about it, it’s not really all that great of a plan.
Bugs then told Evans that Woody stole the knife. He didn’t want to publically accuse Woody at first. Why did he change his mind? Well, wait. Who was Bugs accusing here? Encyclopedia or Woody? If it was Woody, then why involve Encyclopedia? If it was Encyclopedia, then that makes even less sense. If he was going to accuse Encyclopedia of stealing something out of Woody’s locker, why have it be an object that clearly belonged to Bugs? If Bugs was telling the truth and Woody did steal the knife, then it would appear that Encyclopedia was just taking something that had been stolen. While two wrongs don’t make a right, Bugs would have no reason to blow the whistle on Encyclopedia taking something to return it to Bugs.
And how shitty is Evans at being a security guard? Someone had supposedly been stealing things from the locker room during games. There was a game going on, he should be keeping watch of the place where people have been stealing stuff. Instead, not only was Encyclopedia able to just waltz into the locker room to take something from a locker – which he would have gotten away with had Bugs not dimed him out – but Bugs was also able to sneak in to plant the knife in the first place.
Of course Idaville’s elementary school would hire the world’s worst security guard.