by Rocky the Diabolical Cat™ After we parked the car, Evangelina, Hector and I walked over to the Medal of Honor Memorial. I took a magnifying glass from my pocket and began examining the area for signs of the reported spray-painted anti-government slogans.
A rotund child sipping from a gallon container of soda approached me and screamed, "Hahahahaha, you look just like Encyclopedia Brown with that magnifying glass!"
"Who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Edgar Beaver, and I'm 5 years old, and I love Jesus and anything that has to do with the Army and killing people!"
"Young Edgar, I must ask you to back away from me lest I become infected with the Bushist virus you seem to be carrying."
His mother, also sipping from a gallon container of soda, waddled over and screamed, "We hate you, you ... you ... activist judge ... activist cat! You're going to be Left Behind because you are a heathen! If you don't love this memorial then you are anti-American and anti-military and anti-Christian! This is a Christian country!"
"Madam," I replied, "I refer you to Count Tolstoy's seminal essay 'Patriotism and Christianity,' written well over a century ago by that noted Christian, although I fear it will have little effect on you, as your brain seems ate up, as they say. Please excuse me or I will be forced to spray on you."
Mother and child, tragic examples of the American condition, waddled away.
Evangelina, Hector and I spent another hour investigating and found no remains of the reported epithets. "Whitewashed!" Hector exclaimed.
"Truly!" Evangelina agreed.
As we left I picked up a clip-on ponytail from the sidewalk and placed it in my pocket.
A few days later, I read in the local daily newspaper that a teen-ager from Danville had confessed to the breaking of glass panels on the memorial. I called Hector with the news.
"Ah, but did you see that the police do not believe that he was involved in the spray-painting of the slogans?" Hector asked. He continued, "It is my opinion, after analyzing the slogans reportedly spray-painted at the memorial site, that this was what is known as a false-flag operation, that is, an action carried out by one group with the intent of making it seem as if their enemies had carried it out."
"How so?" I asked.
"I ran the slogans through my Language-Cruncher machine and there is a glaring anomaly - 'Legalize Ganja.' This saying, which only could have come to the mind of someone who spent time in a dorm room 25 years ago listening to Peter Tosh records, sticks out so badly that it is my opinion that, textually speaking, there is no way that a group of young anarchists - everyone's favorite suspects for everything from jaywalking to throwing pies at crazed conservative commentators - could have done the slogans. There was an anarchist 'A' found, of course, but I think that was sprayed as a set-up," he said.
"You know, Hector, when I examined that clip-on ponytail, I found 'U.S. Government Property' in tiny stenciled letters on the clip."
"So, then, it is possible, if not probable, that the defacing was done by agents of the junta to manufacture sympathy for the military," Hector said.
"Exactly," I said. "But this doesn't answer the question that's been burning in my mind ever since this incident came to light."
"What's that?" he asked.
"What business does IPALCO, a privately-owned electricity monopoly, have spending $2.5 million to erect a memorial to militarism? Do people realize that their electricity bills pay for this sort of thing?"
"Yes," Hector replied, "it'd probably be more appropriate for them to build a memorial to victims of their service outages, or better yet to people who literally have died during heat waves because they couldn't afford to cool their homes."