Thursday Andersen, Kid Detective

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
After watching the latest episode of Adult Wednesday Addams, I just had to rip it off. I’ve always read about middle aged men pretending to be teenage girls on the internet. Now, I am doing it. Melissa darling, please don’t think of it as me ripping you off. It’s more like, my band plays down at The Corner every Friday night, and we do lots of covers. We just love covering your stuff, cuz Yer So Bad.

Submitted: February 20, 2015

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Submitted: February 20, 2015

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My name is Melissa Andersen.  When I discovered I am a Goth, and I found out who Melissa Hunter is, I started calling myself Wednesday Andersen.  It was really cool to find someone famous, who was kind of like me, and also had the same first name.  I’m not very famous at Maynard County High School.

Then Mom and I had a talk about originality.  She made a lot of sense.  She said it’s nice to want to be like your heroes.  But it’s a lot more important to be like you.  She didn’t tell me not to call myself Wednesday.  She just said I should think more about it.  She said, “Changing your mind later is always okay.”

After I thought about it, I decided that I was on the right track.  I just needed to pick another day of the week.  Thursday was open.  That is how I became Thursday Andersen.

I never decided to be a Kid Detective.  I always have been one.  When I grow up, I’m going to be an Adult Detective.  I’m pretty good at it.

I have been locating things ever since I can remember.  If Fido gets lost, I’ll find him.  Can’t remember who borrowed your ladder?  I’ll find out.  It’s somewhere in the neighborhood.  I’ll probably see it when I make my rounds.  If not, I’ll start asking questions.  I’ve done this enough times.  I know who to ask first.

Retired people are always your best source of information.  They stay at home a lot and keep an eye on everything.  Mrs. Lettuce lives across the street. 

Dad says Mom would have divorced him a long time ago if he didn’t constantly lie to her about how pretty she is.  Mom says Grandma is really self-conscious about her thinning hair, that’s why she gets her hair done so often. 

When I realized Mrs. Lettuce would be a good source of information for my detective work, I started by telling her how nice her hair looked.  She had just got a perm.

I got in really good with Mrs. Lettuce.  I hear about everything.  After a while, I showed her how to use the internet.  Dad gave her an old PC, and now she updates me via Twitter.  I don’t even have to leave the basement.  Except when Mom says I need to get some exercise.

BTW, her real name is not Mrs. Lettuce.  But her son tends a big garden in her back yard.  The first time I remember meeting her, she was handing Mom a bunch of lettuce, wrapped in newspaper.

Mom and Dad are really cool about letting me do my own thing.  As long as I make good grades, keep my room clean, brush my teeth, and use sunscreen.  And always be polite to people.  But Mom really freaked when I told her I wanted to dye my hair black.  We Andersens come from Norway, where blond hair and fair skin are the norm.  Mom used to tell me I look like Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde.  I’d rather be Elvira, Mistress of the Dark.

Eventually I wore her down and we dyed my hair.  She showed me how to braid it so now I walk around with the same pigtails as my hero Wednesday.  I don’t wear any makeup.  Just black nail polish.  And black dresses.  Never pants.  Always black dresses, always long sleeves.  Black purse.  And opaque black hose.  I’m not ashamed of my skin.  But I don’t want just anyone looking at it.

I considered going by “Thursday Andersen, Goth Kid Detective”.  But that would make it look I was specializing in a specific area of detective work.  I’ll investigate anything.  I dropped the reference from the title.  All you have to do to tell I’m Goth is to look at me.  If more people would look at each other, we wouldn’t have to try so hard to get people to look at us.

I’m not kidding about being a good detective.  I can prove it.  I’ve already got a sizable resume.  Dad told me when I got started I should write everything down.  He said after a lot of years, it gets hard to keep up with stuff.  It made sense.  He showed me how to use Microsoft Excel.  Every detective should know how to use it.  Spreadsheets are awesome.  Data is awesome.  But you have to be able to put it together into meaningful patterns.  That is how you find things.

So I’ll start by telling you the story of how I found Serge Wlodarski’s cat.  First, I have to tell you about Serge Wlodarski.  He lives two doors down.  The short version is, he’s a dork.

But life is more complicated than that.  Mom says that people who are nice to cats and dogs are almost always good people on the inside, no matter how dorky they are on the outside.  I knew Serge was smart, he was always helping his pal Earl with his math homework.  And it was obvious he was really upset when Cooter went missing.  That was Serge’s new kitten.  Cooter was about 6 months old when Serge started letting her out of the house.  And she almost immediately disappeared.

I saw him stapling the Lost Cat poster to the telephone pole.  It had a picture of a chubby little gray tabby.  I remember when he found the cat.  She was almost dead, you could see the ribs sticking out through her mangy fur.  The cat in the picture had a thick shiny coat and obviously had not missed any meals lately.  When I saw the look on Serge’s face, I knew I had to find her. 

There’s more to it than that.  I have a crush on Serge Wlodarski.  But I can’t do anything about it.  Because he’s a dork.  Every time I try to talk to him, he gets red faced and never says anything.  I can’t get a word out of him.  Mom laughs at me when I tell her about Serge.  She won’t give me any advice on how to get him to like me.  She says, “When the right one comes along, he’ll know what to do and we won’t need to have this conversation.”  She’s probably right.

But she also says, “Everyone is wrong some of the time.”  So maybe, if I find Serge’s cat, he’ll start being nice to me.  Or at least, say “Hello, Melissa” to me when we pass in the hall at school.  I wish more people would do that.  I’m not looking for perfection.  Just progress.

Dad works in IT, and he says that all successful people start with a plan.  He also says, every plan gets changed almost as soon as you finish writing it.  You’re never finished writing your plan.  Not until you’re finished.

When I told him I wanted to be a detective, he suggested I map our neighborhood out on the computer.  Then build a database of information I could use to assist my investigations. I have been doing that for years.  Dad is always showing me some new trick for how to store or query the data.  He says, “If you’re not careful, you’re going to follow your father into IT.  Watch out!”

I don’t think that is going to happen.  Dad is cool, but he and his IT buddies are a little dorky too.  When I’ve hung out with him at work, I was the only Goth.  They are nice people though.  Daddy likes his job.

Dad also says, “If you want other people to give you their best, you need to talk to them face to face.  When you make eye contact with people, it makes it hard for them to say no.  It makes them want to say yes.  And it doesn’t cost you anything.”

So I check in with Mrs. Lettuce regularly, even though the Twitter feed never stops for long.  I told her about Serge’s missing cat.  She gave it some thought.  She said, “You know, its cold outside.  If I were a scared little kitten that had wandered off, the first thing I’d do is find somewhere warm to hide.”

That got me started.  When I got back to the basement, I pulled up my neighborhood map and started thinking about which places would be good for a cat to hide.  Within a few minutes, I had jotted down 6 locations on a sticky note.

The Bender’s shed door was always open, the hinges had pulled loose so they left it open all the time.  I carefully went through it with my flashlight, but no cat.  Next on the list was the McAfferty’s garage.  The door was closed now, but I knew from my daily rounds that Mr. McAfferty kept the door open a lot.

I rang the doorbell, and explained my mission to Mrs. McAfferty.  By now I’ve grilled all the neighbors more than once, they are all used to the procedure.  I asked if they’d left the garage door up much in the past day.  She said yes.  I asked if I could search the garage.  She grinned.  Most people like helping out when I am on a case.  It’s a job to me, and I take it seriously.  But other folks seem to think it is some kind of adventure.

We began searching through the garage.  It is full of stuff and there are a lot of places to hide.  We cover all the bases in about 15 minutes.  No cat.  Except I had noticed the attic staircase was down.  Cats love climbing up stairs.  The McAfferty search was still underway.

When I got up in the attic, I panned the flashlight around.  And almost immediately heard a muted meow.  Cooter was found.

From the time I saw Serge stapling the poster to the utility pole, to the time I rang Serge’s doorbell, Cooter in hand, was less than two hours.  I am good at this.

I was disappointed when Serge grabbed the cat from my hands and ran back into the house, without a word.  But his mother gave me the twenty dollar reward, and we talked for a few minutes.  She is nice and she explained that Serge was really upset, but he is definitely happy I found his cat.

The next time I saw Serge at school, I took a chance and said, “Hi, Serge.”  I was really surprised when he high-fived me and said to Earl, “That’s Thursday Andersen, Kid Detective.  If you’ve got a lost pet, give her a call.”  No one aside from my Mom and Dad had ever said anything like that to me.  No one had ever high-fived me before.  People should do that kind of thing more often.

Alas, there would never be a romance between the Kid Detective and her first crush.  But a few weeks later, I got a really nice homemade Valentine’s Day card.  It had a familiar picture on the front.  Inside, along with a paw print, was:

 

Thanks for finding me.

Love and kisses. 

Cooter

That was a lot better than the twenty.


© Copyright 2017 Serge Wlodarski. All rights reserved.

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