I found two clues this week! “Two clues” sounds like a French phrase if you repeat it often enough. For that I apologize.

At step number 1,275 of one of my counting-steps campground walks a few days ago, I looked down to find this:

Plant Tag Clue

It’s a tag. From a plant. A stolen plant!

Here’s the interactive part: Make sure your volume is not muted. Say the phrase, “a stolen plant” out loud, then immediately click this link (a new window should open) and click play.

Keep that Drama Button window open. Let’s try it again. Say it with me: It’s a tag. A tag from… a stolen plant! go to the window and click Play again!

I carefully picked up the tag by the corner and slid it in my left back pocket. I would dust for fingerprints later.

Fifteen steps further into the walk, I found another clue! It was … it was … (say it with me) the ten of spades! Click “Play” again!

Ten of Spades

I picked up the card, examined it, then tucked it in the same back pocket. Just like Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby Doo didn’t do, I didn’t use gloves or a plastic evidence bags for my findings.

These same investigative techniques landed the Scooby Doo gang their own animated reality television show. If you haven’t seen the original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? series, it’s just like The Partridge Family, only more realistic. The Partridge family never worked, yet they had new outfits and nice things.

The Scooby Doo cartoon gang was unemployed, homeless drifters with a cool van, but they stayed true to their penniless roles by wearing the same clothing. They were given updated outfits in the 1990s, but those clothes were given, as in donated, not earned with animated paychecks.

The Partridge family played one gig a week. Even then, they only sang part of one song at their weekly “concert”. David played the latest Ovation guitars. When the Scooby Doo gang broke out in song, they played acceptable music on skeleton bones and trash can lids, all while being chased by ill-intentioned bad guys.

Freddie looked good in that orange ascot though! He was one scarf-wearing handsome animated young man. It’s a good thing we didn’t have smell-o-vision back then, because Shaggy looked like he smelled of urine. I like to think that Daphne smelled heavenly – sort of like a field of animated lavender. Velma smelled like a library.

Where was I? Losing focus.

I walked back to the campground anxious to analyze new evidence, which I forgot was in my back pocket until I washed clothes the next day and found this in the washer:

Laundered Plant Tag

I had forgotten to remove the evidence from my jeans, and now the bad guy’s finger prints were gone, laundered away and washed down the drain forever. The playing card was also gone, vanished into the land of missing socks. Thankfully, I’ve got photographic evidence! That MFA isn’t going to waste!

Let’s analyze our findings. I believe that the criminal dropped the plant tag by accident, but intentionally placed the playing card in my path. How do I know? Have you ever heard or read about a ten of spades being dropped by accident? Exactly.

But what does the card mean? What is the plant-stealing pseudo-killer trying to tell us? Is it simply that he/she/they/it likes playing games? Symbolically, ten is a natural numeric value. Most of us came with ten fingers and toes; therefore, a human with ten fingers and ten toes committed the crime. But when?

As I write this from a friend’s house, I’m staring at a National Audubon Society clock on the far wall. It chirps every hour on the hour with the song of the bird pictured at that hour position.

At the six o’clock position is an image of a house wren.

National Audubon Society Clock

(For the record, the fine print underneath the wren says, “National Audubon Society is a trademark of the National Audubon Society, Inc”)

Wren rhymes with ten. Dang I’m good at this. The optimum wren reference would be when both hands point to the bird, so the crime was committed at 6:30.

AM or PM? There are two 6:30s. Crap. Since the ten of spades is as black as the ace of spades, the crime occurred at night, so PM.

On what day? Metasymbology, the study of cards, tells us that the ten of spades day is February 2nd. February 2, 2013 6:30PM. Done!

Also according to Metasymbology, some famous tens of spades are, Ayn Rand (too cerebral for Mapping The Edge), Shakira (maybe too animated in a jiggly-wiggly below-the-belly way for Mapping The Edge), and J. Edgar Hoover. Oh my…

Mr. FBI Director himself was a ten of spades! And Virginia is the 10th state in the union. Where is that community with the two $100,000 cadaver dogs? You guessed it! Virginia!

You want ultimate proof? Click on the official FBI webpage about FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover. The official stance is that, “This page does not seem to exist…” (please don’t fix that webpage yet!).

It does not seem to exist. But does it?

The plant-stealing pseudo-murder took place on February 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM by a ten-fingered, ten-toed human within spitting distance of the glass-enclosed cat-protected mobile world headquarters of Mapping The Edge. That’s a fact!

Also, a fact is that I accidentally laundered the evidence and lost the playing card, but this is irrelevant to our conclusions.

We know that the webpage for the famous ten of spades FBI director does not seem to exist, yet we are all staring at it.

I know I have not seen our white-haired, translucent blue-eyed friend in a month. His car is in front of his house, but he is invisible. Do I see him? (Noooo, Professor Vinson.) Therefore… (Work with me people…) It’s called air-tight logic.

Ultimately, we know that “they” have everything under control. By default, we do not. Sometimes, as a Frenchman once said to me as I rushed past to save a fallen friend injured in a climbing accident in the canyons of Utah, “you can do nah-sing.”

I must find solace in these facts: In my head, Daphne smells heavenly and Fred is a good-looking animated figure. So is Shakira.