1. The headline read…

2.Time traveling food truck

3. Criminal intent


Once in a while a thought pops into my brain that may have absolutely nothing to do with anything in my world, but for some ungodly reason the thought sticks with me for days. It takes a real jolt to knock it loose from the subconscious and let me get on with my everyday life.

I’m sorry to say that the tormenting idea for the last couple of weeks has been my sister’s husband. No, it’s not like that. I’ve always found Joe to be obnoxious—and that’s on his good days. Nevertheless, my mind has been dwelling on him lately, and on the possibility of getting him out of Jennifer’s life. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t go along with an actual adventure in homicide, but maybe I could come up with something a little less drastic.

Then, this  morning, as I gulped my third cup of coffee—decaf—I checked the news on my computer, something I’ve done every day for years. It helps me get myself on the road to work, or at least that’s what I tell myself. Today,at last, the news was something that caught my attention. The headline read: Man Dies After Winning Big at Casino. It seems that the guy was so excited he bought drinks—and more drinks—for everyone in the small gambling hall, then ended the evening on a high note by driving into Lake Silver. Oh, if something like that would just happen to old Joe!

Okay, so the long and tedious Joe thought didn’t disappear, but it certainly took a new turn.

I thought about it during the whole long drive to work and called my sister as soon as I had a free minute.

“Jenny, how would you and Joe like to take a short vacation with me? I thought we might go to, oh, Laughlin. My treat, of course.”

“Laughlin? Oh, Carrie, I don’t think so. I don’t think there’s much of anything there besides casinos, and I really don’t like to gamble. I thought you knew that. How about somewhere else?” I should have known Jennifer would be uncooperative.

“Well, maybe Vegas would be better. You and I could see the shows. I think Picadilly is playing somewhere, and Joe could play poker or something. He’d like that, wouldn’t he?”

Jennifer sighed and I could almost see her expression over the phone lines.

“Of course he would. That’s why I don’t want to go. I can’t trust him at a place like that. You’d better just go without us.”

Geez, I thought. If a free trip doesn’t do it, what will? Maybe I just wasn’t cut out for this kind of stuff. I didn’t have much experience with setting up, uh, timely incidents, and except for the Joe thing, there wasn’t a speck of criminal intent in my soul.