Chapter 44: Massive Levis, Sam (Jimmy)

Published on 4 June 2024 at 19:32



Lizzy gave me her most inquisitive stare, which I could just barely make out in the dull moonlight. She looked lost, and not just in the woods. For her benefit, I repeated myself.


“I said, Massive Levi’s Sam,” I informed her, hoping that it would clear things up. From her face I could tell that it didn’t. I silently reminded myself that girls are slow and then I began to explain more.


“When I was in the second grade, we used to get the Scholastic Book Fair magazines. They always had cool stuff, like Goosebumps and The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle. Or joke books, really stupid ones like 101 Hamburger Jokes, junk like that.”


Lizzy frowned. “What does that have to do with - ”


“I’m getting to that,” I said, brushing her off with a wave of my hand. I patiently reminded myself that girls were impatient too and liked to interrupt you. “So anyway, they did a deal where if you bought three books, you would get one free mystery book as a gift. A mystery, Lizzy! So I ordered three books and I waited a couple of weeks for them to come in the mail.” I paused to swat at a swarm of mosquitoes that were circling my legs like tiny black vultures. They wouldn’t leave me alone. Just my luck, I thought miserably, I must be delicious.


“Finally my books came and the mystery book was revealed. It was real short and it had a bunch of crazy pictures in it. It was called SO MANY DYNAMOS!” Lizzy jumped with surprise as my scream echoed and bounced off of the dark trees surrounding us.


“Sorry," I said with a shrug. "There’s an exclamation point in the title so you’re supposed to shout it. Anyways, the book was all palindromes. You know, sentences that are the same backwards and forwards? But the problem with palindromes is that they’re all kinda stupid nonsense sentences, so they needed to draw really dumb pictures in order to make them make sense. You with me so far?”


Lizzy nodded, although she looked a little annoyed for some reason. “So my favorite picture was one that had two cowboys running through the desert. They were being chased by an enormous pair of pants. Pants, you see? Just like what started this case.” I paused again, but this time it was for dramatic effect instead of mosquito bites. “Pants,” I repeated again, but this time in a light whisper.


“It’s getting dark Jimmy so I need you to tell this story faster,” Lizzy said, obvious fear starting to fill her eyes. “I’d be further along if you didn’t keep interrupting me,” I told her. As she huffed out an exasperated sigh, I went on. As usual, I was making this story as short and sweet as possible.


“As you should know from chapter thirty five of my book, you have to keep an eye out for patterns. The patterns never lie. So I’m about to lay something out and I need you to just hear me out, okay? It’ll all make sense in a minute and you’ll see why I’m calling this case: The Case of the Backwards Pants.” As I made my points, I held up the fingers on my right hand, checking them off one by one. “Number one we had the pants go missing, but with footsteps leading the wrong way. Number two, we were led to a strip club where nobody wears pants in order to throw us off. Reverse psychology, you see? Number three, I lost my pants during operation Cheese and Freeze when I went forward and my pants went backwards. Number four, I thought of this book which had a reversible sentence about pants. And then number five, I had muffins for breakfast this morning. And when you read the word ‘muffins’ backwards, it says what you do before you eat them.”


While Lizzy scrunched up her face and thought about that last part, I decide to make my final point before she was caught up and could interrupt me. “And so that is why I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that we are absolutely, positively going the wrong way. We have to go - ” I whirled around with lightning speed and made a big show of pointing back to the way that we came. “THAT WAY!”


The moonlight was fading even faster now, darkness was closing in around us. Still, it wasn’t hard to see the annoyed look on Lizzy’s face. “You can’t just change directions because of a gut feeling and a bunch of crazy connections, Jimmy.”


“Crazy connections and gut feelings are 99% of detective work, you know that.”


She sighed. I could tell she wasn’t convinced, but I could also tell that she was getting scared. Getting scared wasn’t good. When you were scared, you froze. And if we froze, we would be stuck out in the woods all night. She was my partner on this case. I had to protect her. Plus, it was really cold without any pants on.


“Come on Lizzy, don’t you trust me? I am lead detective after all.” I smiled, hoping my words reassured her. I know that mentioning my status as the lead detective always made me feel better at least. After a moment of contemplation, she returned the smile, although weakly, and we started to walk back the way that we came.



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taco cat
a month ago

Palindromes are really fun but they must be hard to figure out. I really want to read that book, but I'm already reading this one to make sure these kids don't die of exposure. That's what really happens when you're messing around in the woods with no pants on.