Somebody is always trying to pull the wool over somebody else’s eyes. And while many of us are blessed with wool piercing vision, to others the world always looks like the hind flank of a sheep – a tangled, imponderable mess. These unfortunate people often wind up at Metro Police headquarters, telling their tales of woe to the professionals in the CAG (Crimes Against the Gullilble) Unit. They are a sad lot, beset by confusion and despair. The luckiest of these are assigned to the most spirited, kind-hearted and curious Inspector on the force – Goatlock Combes.
Beverly A. came into the C.A.G. office to report an extortion scheme. A person claiming to be her college-age grandson Alex had called in a panic from a Winnipeg jail. “Alex” said he had been on a long distance bicycle journey to the Edmonton Mall where he was going to serve a summer internship in Marketing to the Northern Personality Type when he was rudely seized by red-coated Mounties and thrown in the hoosegow.
While doing necessary business in the woods during his long journey through the Canadian wilderness, “Alex” was spotted showing disrespect for a maple leaf.
“Alex” reported to his grandmother that he was, indeed, guilty. Being well-brought-up, he had resolved to take his punishment. But once he was in custody, “Alex” learned that the authorities had upgraded the charge to Trafficking in Moose Sweat – a more serious crime. Moose Sweat is a controlled substance in Canada because it is considered a potent aphrodisiac. It fetches a hefty price in the most free-spirited countries, especially those with territory north of the Arctic Circle.
“Alex” begged Beverly to wire two thousand dollars to pay for his release while he fought these charges, and he told his grandmother not to tell anyone he had asked for the money, especially his parents, since “Mom and Dad would be livid”.
Beverly did as she was instructed and wired the money to an address in Alberta. But after two weeks with no response from anyone, she became suspicious and did a little digging. She discovered the address automatically bounced to a P.O. box, which was now closed. She called Alex’s parents and discovered that he had never been in Canada. His summer internship was in Russia, at an institute in the Moscow suburbs studying “Situational Ethics”.
Beverly believed her money was gone, but she didn’t know if it had been stolen by a stranger posing as Alex, by organized criminals in Russia, Mounties gone bad, or by Alex himself.
Inspector Combes job? Make sense of this strange story.
If you were Goatlock, where would you begin?