Wikipedia Brown: ‘The Case of the Swiped Shoe’ (Part 1 of 3)
Episode 1 in the serialized adventures of Wikipedia Brown is complete and you’ll find the entire series here. Now that Episode 1 is complete, it’s time to move on to Episode 2, Wikipedia Brown and the Case of the Swiped Shoe. Of course, all of these fine works of fiction were meant to be recorded and listened to rather than read. Only one episode was produced, and you’ll find that here.
At any rate, on to the Swiped Shoe episode. The script was by First Arkansas News owner/editor Ethan C. Nobles and will be presented in three parts. Ready for the first installment in this thrilling adventure? Sure you are! Here we go.
What’s going on down at the Wikipedia Brown Detective Agency and Knowledge Repository Today? Well, Wikipedia Brown – self-professed smarty pants and student of the phenomenon that is the World Wide Web – is explaining the history of video games to his able assistant, Webster.
“So you see, Webster, Magnavox made this primitive, hardwired thing that hooked up to a television set in the early 1970s,” Wikipedia Brown explained. “It wasn’t very complex, but you could play games at home on it.”
“Amazing stuff, Wiki.”
“It seemed amazing at the time, of course, but the best was yet to come. There was this fellow named Atari…”
“Well, there was a company named Atari…”
“Stop interrupting Webster. You see Atari – the man – founded Atari, the company. He named the company after himself…”
“The guy was just named Atari? No Atari Jones or Atari Smith or anything?”
“No, just one name – Atari. A single word. Like Cher, Madonna or Carrot Top…”
“Carrot Top is two words…”
“No, just one. Listen, you’re going off on a tangent,” said a flustered Wiki. “Stop it. Stop interrupting and pay attention.”
“Now, like I was saying. Atari played with the Odyssey – the Magnavox Odyssey – and liked it. But he knew he could do better. So he invented the video game cartridge, meaning a person could buy a machine – in this case, an Atari – and have it act like a whole new game system every time he put in a new cartridge. Revolutionary stuff, Webster. Revolutionary!”
“Revolutionary, indeed. But wasn’t it Jerry Lawson who invented the Fairchild Channel ‘F’ and the cartridge?”
“No, Webster. It was Atari. He founded Atari. He invented the Atari. And the cartridge. It’s all written down right on the Internet. You should do some research sometime.”
“So, a man named Atari founded a company named Atari and made a video game machine named Atari that used Atari cartridges. Wiki, I sometimes wonder just where you get information. I mean, Nolan Bushnell founded Atari…”
The discussion was interrupted by the door chime. Could it be a new client? Perhaps.
“Hush, Webster,” Wiki said. “I’ll tell you why you’re wrong later. We’ve got a client and it’s…”
“Ms. West,” both boys said in unison.
Yes, Ms. West sauntered into the office. Both Wikipedia and Webster were in her civics class a few short years ago in junior high. While Wiki was convinced she spouted lies spun by The Establishment to hide The Truth about what the government was doing, he figured she was simply misguided rather than intentionally bad. Besides, he thought she was pretty back then.
Wiki couldn’t help but think she was still pretty. Brunette. Blue eyes. Thin. Old? Yeah – like in her late 20s, but she had aged well. She looked distressed, confused. She walked lopsided, too, because she was only wearing one shoe. Little did Wiki know that missing shoe would kick off a new adventure. Another chance for Wikipedia Brown to prove to the world how great he is.
“Hello, boys,” said Ms. West.
“Hello, Ms. West,” the boys replied.
“It’s good to see you both again. And particularly you, Webster.”
“What about me?” Wikipedia asked.
“It’s good to see both of you, but I was always fond of Webster – he actually paid attention in class. He read his assignments and came prepared, whereas you – Wiki – mostly corrected me and blurted out cockamamie theories.”
“Cockamamie? The Truth is never cockamamie. I think you mean ‘cockaright’ theories or ‘cockatrue…’”
“’Cockatrue?’ Sounds like a bird. Look, I’m not here to argue, Wiki. I want to hire you to solve a mystery. You did such a great job undermining Britannica’s ridiculous plan to ban the Internet from libraries that I know you’ll be able to solve my little problem.”
“What problem is that?” Wikipedia asked.
“You probably noticed that I’m only wearing one shoe…”
“I did, but I wasn’t going to mention it. I figured it was some fashion that was popular with you older people.”
“Older? My 10-year high school reunion is two years from now!” Ms. West, clearly offended, said. “Uh, anyway. I was getting some work done after school today. I had my shoes under my desk and – when I went to put them on – I noticed one of them was missing and had been replaced with this note.”
Ms. West took out the note and showed it to the boys:
Dear Ms. West:
Your shoe is safe with me. If you’d like it to stay safe, you’ll meet me tomorrow night at the Tastee Freeze at 7 p.m. Come alone or I will destroy the shoe and I know you don’t want that to happen.
P.S. I’m not a nut.
“Hmmm. You probably don’t need to go meet that individual,” Wikipedia observed. “Probably not safe. Who knows what he – or she – has planned?”
“That’s what I thought and that’s why I’ve come to see you. The person who left that note has the right half of a $500 pair of shoes! If you can figure out who stole my shoe, I can call the police and maybe get it back before that Tastee Freeze meeting.”
“Good thinking, Ms. West. Leave it to me. I’ll find out who wrote the note or my name isn’t Wikipedia Brown! My fee is $20 a day plus expenses.”
“That sounds fair. Thank you, boys. I know you won’t let me down. Here’s my phone number – please call if you find out anything. I’d better get going – I need to get home and put on a pair of shoes. I feel like an idiot walking around with only one…”
“Don’t worry about a thing, Ms. West. We’re on it!” Webster enthused.
Ms. West said her farewells, turned and hobbled out the front door.
“She did the right thing coming to me first,” Wikipedia said. “If I can find out who sent the note, I can send the police over to shake that shoe out of the thief. If she brings the police to that meeting, well the culprit will simply lay low until the heat is off, head home and destroy the shoe. For someone who spouts the lies endorsed by The Establishment, Ms. West is pretty smart.”
“Well, I hope we can help her,” Webster said. “Our only clue, really, is this signature on the note…”
“True, and this may be a simple matter. All I have to do is figure out who that is. Let’s see – KUMBU VYTRQ. That spells Cumboo Vie-Ter-Cue! Could be a name. Webster, open up Firefox, go to anywho.com and see if there is a Vie-Ter-Cue living in town.”
“Uh, Wiki – I think that might be a cypher. Maybe we should concentrate on decoding it…”
“A cypher! Great call. Glad I thought of it. I just need to decipher Cumboo Vie-Ter-Cue and maybe I’ll have a name. Brilliant idea! Yay for Wiki!”
“Yes, you’re brilliant. Anyway, a cypher…”
“Fortunately for Ms. West, I never stop learning. I was reading about cyphers just the other night on the Internet. It seems it is very popular right now to send messages encrypted messages with cyphers developed by … space aliens.”
Oh, no! Space aliens! Could it be that Ms. West’s shoe was abducted by extraterrestrials? Extraterrestrials? Stop in next week and find out!
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.