Until about twenty minutes ago, I thought I was a decent person, a loving father and all in all, a fairly responsible citizen. But I am starting to have my doubts. You see, I recently published a humor book on parenting called YOU’RE GROUNDED FOR LIFE – Misguided Parenting Strategies That Sounded Good at the Time.
I sent out press releases and then did a quick online search to see whether any of my promotional activities were paying off. So, I googled my name – TIM JONES. Uh oh. The results were rather surprising.
On the positive side, I found several search results about the book and recent VFTB articles I’d written. But that’s not all I discovered. Turns out I’ve lived a far more interesting and varied life than I’d ever realized. And I have a dark side. A disturbingly dark side.
Apparently, despite what my kids have been saying about me for the past ten years, I am “highly intelligent.”So intelligent, in fact, that I earned a Ph.D. and joined the ranks of the faculty at Cardiff University in Wales.According to my profile in the Faculty Directory, my interests include “airborne particulate pollution” and “remote sensing in resource exploitation.” I have no idea what any of this means. I must have been drunk when I wrote my faculty profile. Had you asked me before today what my interests are, I would have listed football, sleeping and bacon.
THE SCENE: Pre-dawn on a rainy Sunday in the disheveled office of Detective Drake Marlboro of the Seattle Police Department, 9th Precinct. For the past 3 hours, Marlboro, a chain-smoking, grizzled, no-nonsense gumshoe has been interrogating a middle-aged man with no fashion sense by the name of Tim Jones. Jones was picked up on suspicion of maliciously harassing innocent civilians by posting offensive commentary on the web about parenting, politics and other topics. Detective Marlboro suspects that Jones is holding back the truth. And so our story begins…
It was another dark and stormy night in Seattle. The clock on the wall read 3:04 am. And there Tim Jones sat – if that’s even his real name – sticking to his story that all he could be guilty of might be hackneyed writing. But there was a problem. The guy’s story just didn’t add up. I’ve been a detective for 30 years. I knew it was just a matter of time before he would spill the beans. I was going to crack this case before that snake Lieutenant Jaworski in Homicide could spell “collar.” I was sure I was close.
Jones was fidgeting with his plastic Casio watch – the guy had as much class as a cubic zirconium unicorn. He was looking confused and anxious, wanting desperately to flee the confines of the cold, windowless interrogation room so he could return to the cushy comfort of his suburban living room recliner and watch another episode of The Big Bang Theory he’d TIVO’d. Not tonight, fella. Not ‘til I get some answers.
I offered him a cup of coffee. “Thanks, but I don’t drink coffee. Do you happen to have any Diet Mountain Dew?” he asked a little too eagerly. What law-abiding adult in Seattle doesn’t drink coffee – and asks for a teenager’s soft drink instead? Now I knew he was a two-faced liar. I was done playing “good cop,” waiting for his innocent, deer-in-the-headlights façade to crack. This had gone on long enough. It was time to tighten the screws. I lit another smoke.