Spider Force

Big news on our street this week: the Spider Force has put up flyers.

Finding a mystery for the Spider Force is now my life’s entire purpose.

Before I saw the sign, it seemed like the world was full of crimes, robberies, and mysteries of all sizes. But now that I’ve started looking for them, I can’t find even one.

I found one robbery: a neighbor’s bike was stolen. But I think it was stolen by an adult; it might not really be a Spider Force type problem.

I found one possible crime: new people moved in who seemed nice from a distance, so Boaz and I left them a hello note with our email addresses. But they never wrote to us. They were probably kidnapped, right? The same thing happened when we tried to make friends with strangers at our last apartment. I don’t know if the Spider Force can do anything.

I found one mystery: this morning the air smelled like the the world’s worst fart, but in Pittsburgh it often does. I think it’s above the Spider Force’s pay grade.

All week I’ve wanted to re-read mystery books I liked as a kid, about adults who enlist the help of ten-year-olds to solve their problems. Were Mary Kate and Ashley the skilled detectives I thought they were? Here’s an example (courtesy of Wikipedia) of an Olsen Twins plot that seemed believable when I was eight, emphasis added:

The girls' parents work at SeaWorld as over-worked dolphin trainers. One day, the girls run into a dead body in the woods that eventually leads them and their parents to a cruise ship while trying to solve the rigged mystery. The boss of the girls' parents had planted evidence to get them all on the cruise, so they could take a much-needed family vacation.

When I first started looking for jobs for the Spider Force, I thought the tricky part was finding a robbery, crime, or mystery that is big enough not to insult the Spider Force, and small enough that I’m involving children in a homicide case. But yesterday I realized the real challenge is finding a mystery I don’t think I already know the answer to.

Yesterday Kip found an unshelled hardboiled egg on the ground, with what looked like some kind of seasoning on it. There’s been construction on our street and I assumed it fell out of someone’s lunch. I wrote it off as a mystery that was already solved. Who do I think I am, the Spider Force of eggs? Why am I so confident I know exactly where every egg comes from? Maybe it wasn’t even an egg, it could have been a piece of ivory, or a ball of frozen milk.

A few minutes after we saw the egg that I thought I knew everything about, we saw a Spider Force agent on a front stoop, in civilian clothing.

I took out my headphones and said one of the only sentences I’ve said to a stranger this week:

She was.

“If you find any mysteries, let the Spider Force know.” she said, which is now one of the only sentences a stranger has said to me this week.

I might resort to passing the egg mystery on to the Spider Force, if no other mysteries reveal themselves.

In other news, I don’t have much news:

If you’re a Snail Mail Party subscriber, the last installment is so late, I’m so sorry! It will make it to you and it will be worth the wait.

I’m working on a new book that I’m so excited about I can barely stand it - it comes out fall of 2022. Fall of 2022 seems so far away that I don’t know if telling people about the book this soon will wear them out.

Our friend Janneke made Kip a bandana and I know I’m biased but I think it looks so good.

Thanks for reading and being here, I hope you’re safe and well and finding lots of mysteries.