Sweet mother of mercy.

AM Report, left on Scout’s FB page: thin, unhealthy woman at coffee shop with dog resembing Scout; back leg inexpertly bandaged.

Huh. Well.

I remembered a call from two days before - homeless woman had a dog that looked like Scout on a chain, distant neighborhood but possible. I checked it out, and of course, no. But this - well, the injury was a detail that might fit with what we heard from the kids last week.

Had other plans, but this moved right to the top of the line. Drove to the neighborhood by a circuitous route, in case the Mystery Lady was out walking. Went to a Farmer’s Market, which was awash in this fog of self-satisfaction; hard to describe. Could have been my mood. Everyone seemed to behave like they’d just left church. Virtue! Virtuous produce! Found the coffee shop, went inside, ordered an Americano, showed the barista the flier and told her the story. Said we’d talk more after the line thinned.

Went outside to have coffee. Showed the flier to a guy; he said I should show it to his wife, who was the other barista inside. She loved dogs. She’s the one dressed up like Tomb Raider.

Went back inside; there was a short, fit barista with DOG TATTOOS. So yes, she’s probably dog aware. Showed her the flier, told her the story. She wasn’t working yesterday either. But they had security camera footage, and if we could nail down the time, we might find something. The other barista took a picture of the message on my phone, so they’d have a description.

Ah hah! Now forensics are involved, somehow. I got in touch with the person who left the comment, and she called. The woman with the dog was 20 going on thirty, did not look healthy or well, had short blonde hair, came from across the park. The time: 3 PM.

Back to the coffee shop. Tomb Raider looks very, very sad.

“It was me,” she said. “It was me she wrote those things about.”


“I was in here at 3, with my dog. He has a brace on his leg because he was hit by a car a while ago.” She showed us a picture.

We’re all stunned. Me, for obvious reasons, but also because the woman had described Tomb Raider as unhealthy when she was actually about as taut and energetic as possible, but perhaps that was someone sniffing at someone with tattoos and a nose ring. I tried to assure her the description was preposterous by my lights - a difficult needle to thread without being lecherous - and we parted, everyone deflated.

That was three hours.

So that was Sunday.

Monday morning at bright o’clock my phone wakes me up; same drill. I saw your signs, and I think the dog is in the street at XX location by the light rail station. People are trying to get him out of the street. He seems skittish.

I dress, fly downstairs, slam a K-cup in the machine, grab some snacks to entice the dog, hit the road, text the caller a photo of Scout en route. IS THIS THE DOG

Looks like him

Location makes sense; it’s between the last possible sightings and the place where he fled. Believe me, we’ve gotten sightings. Phone rings: yeah I saw a dog like that running down the street four days ago. Thank you. Phone rings: yeah I saw that dog being walked by a Hispanic lady at XX street and XX avenue. Thank you. It’s constant. If it’s not a sighting, it’s someone with advice. Or questions.

Anyway: I texted wife, she leaves work, we’re both on scene in 15 minutes. Looking around; of course, nothing. Texting with Scout’s case worker, working the neighborhood watch pages. texting back the original caller - who says a friend has a picture. I wait.

Light tan dog. Completely different. Stand down. That was an hour and a half.

Next day, I’m napping, which is the signal for someone to call. I’m 15 minutes into a necessary nap when the phone rings: yeah I saw your sign I think your dog is at XX and XX. He’s in the middle of the street. I text the guy the picture on the way. This him?

Looks like the dog yeah

I prowl for 20 minutes, show fliers, talk to people; haven’t seen anything. Drive to get daughter from work; she gets in the car and says a friend just texted her that there was a loose black dog in the same area the caller had mentioned. Whoa. Wife is on the scene now. Phone call: yeah, I’m following a black dog, could be yours. Same area. Text from someone: screen cap of a neighborhood website about police chasing a black dog right now in this area.

Wife interviews people on the scene: two construction workers say it was small and black. Two say no, it was larger, and mixed.

Turns out to be a 25 lb all black dog. Stand down. That was an hour and a half.

After dinner the phone rings: woman leaving the off-leash woods where Scout fled. She saw him by the entrance, based on flier on the gate and the signs. He was running around, didn’t want to approach anyone. I get the specific location - she’s not pranking, because she describes the area in detail. I get this feeling: he’s there. I microwave a sausage and grab some old socks and hit the highway, lights and sirens - in my head, anyway.

Cheryl, Scout’s case worker, shows up a while later. Wife is on scene and furious, because she’s convinced it wasn’t Scout, and the lady should have stayed and taken a picture, and Scout would have been hanging around, it was just probably someone else’s dog, that happens all the time at the off-leash park.

Cheryl isn’t convinced. Wants to go into the woods, leave our scent. She wants me to smoke a cigar and talk, leave scents and reminders. I toss the socks along the trail. We have head lamps and I have my maglight, but man it is graveyard dark. My headlamp keeps falling off. I feel like the FNG right off the plane in Nam who's going to step on a landmine.

We walk to the Point, leaving hot dogs and snacks. Then we head back, and take a path that leads to a dead end - the river on one side, the bluffs rising above. Backtrack through the woods until I find a path that leads to the main path, where Cheryl smears some Alpo on some trees and leaves other bits to draw Scout back.

This is her, headlight illuminating her work.

That was two hours.

The above is an edited version of the last three days.

You get the idea.


More illustration from 1949: an illo for a simple story about a man spending a Sunday with his daughter, Nancy. She lives with her mother and sees Daddy on weekends. The word "divorce" is never used in the short story; nothing happens, really. He gives her a doll, they have a wonderful time, and he gives her back to the nanny, and that's the end. No explanation, no backstory.


Breaks your heart, the whole thing. You can read it all from the illustration: the bare trees, the distant anonymous woman walking past. The gift in the corner of the picture. Don Draper on visitation day.


Not another body in the trunk in the attic:

Explanation of any sort would ruin this, wouldn't it? Trust me: she's not opening a trunk in the attic and discovering moths have eaten her sweaters. There's no dead body. She discovering . . . a box of apples.

Yes. She wanted them; they reminded her of home; she ordered some. When they arrived he hid them. In the attic. Her discovery brought back every effort he'd made to control her life, and this was the last straw. She walked down the stairs out of the attic, and left him for good.

I'm serious. His name was Edgar, if you're curious.




No more serials for a while - just some light entertainment from the world of Drive-In pre-show rolls.

Ohhh, boy

Ohhh, boy

Ohhh, boy FANTA

Ohhh, boy FANTA

The youth of 1967. Kid's now eligible for the senior discount at Denny's.



That'll do; see you around. The end of the logos site below - for a while, anyway. I'll probably add ten more some day and act like I did everyone a really big favor.


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