A Guide to the Perplexed

Contributor: Dr. T. Michael Roberts

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Dear Pius XII,
I need your advice on something weird. For the last 12 months random things have being disappearing from my house, toilet paper, toothpaste, laundry liquid, chicken fillets and even money. There have been no break ins, no one has a spare key and yet these things are vanishing from one day to the next. Do I have a Demon or a poltergeist and if so how do I get rid of it?
Yours Truly,
Uncle Joe Stalin

Uncle Joe,
I have your stuff. It has been appearing without rhyme or reason on the big screened porch on the back of my house for the last year. I'm sorry about the raccoon. A critter with an electric blue strip running down his back and continuing in the same shade in a barber pole configuration around the tail is certainly distinctive. But, this gave me no clue who to call when the distressed yawls of my cat signaled me that something unusual, which turned out to be your critter's mysterious and unexpected arrival, was occurring out in the sun-room.

I don't think Kristoff would be alive today if I had not realized instantly that what he was complaining bitterly about was the unreasonable way your guy defined him as prey at first glance without even asking where he went to church or how he voted. That is considered at best rude and, at worst, cop-like behavior where we come from. You don't just decide to kill a fellow creature just for shits and giggles without, at very least, making sure you do not have friends in common first. For all your guy knew, Kristoff could have been a Mason. We were both fine with letting him set up shop out in the back yard. There was even a dog or two that comes around that we were hoping he would take care of for us in response to our kind-hearted hospitality.

Your guy hung around for a week or so living high on the hog in our spacious and well-provisioned suburban garbage can. According to the Brookfield Zoo, there are, at present, several times as many raccoon {as with “moose” singular and plural are the same} in North America as there were when Columbus opened up a lively trade in infectious diseases that made life more exciting on both sides of the water. Also according to BZ, The preferred contemporary habitat of a race grown more cosmopolitan and civilized as they have grown more numerous is the suburban garbage can, so your guy was treated as he deserved until he decided, with absolutely no encouragement from us, to take himself elsewhere, without, I might add, doing anything about those dogs. I hope for your sake that he got bored and came home but I really would not know.

Anyway, send me your address, $300 for shipping and handling and another $300 for one year's storage and I will get your stuff back to you. This is a message from God but you will need the decoder ring to get much benefit from it. I'll slip that in for free just so you will not spend your life wandering around all troubled and perplexed by life's mysteries.
Sure Hope this Cheers You Up,
Pius XII

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Dr. T. Michael Roberts, rumored to be guilty of virtual ethnography, writes and teaches from an undisclosed location in order to have no face. He needs readers like heroin and seldom interacts except in a somewhat distant and cryptic manner.
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