The Arizona Chronicles, Vol. 2, Day 6: Revelations & Bowling Balls

So a short while later, we found ourselves back at the estate of Arizona Mat where Mongrel, Arizona Mat, and the police sat around the living room while I stood court in the center of the room.  I pulled one officer to the side, whispered something in his ear, and sent him down the hall before beginning the denouement.

“In order to understand this case, we need to go back to the day of the first attack,” I said.

“Wait a moment,” said Arizona Mat.  “You’ve done well, my friend, but I’ll take it from here.  Obviously my colleague and I have come to the same conclusion.  Since I’ve been the target, I feel it’s my privilege to bring this fiend to justice.”

I stared at Arizona Mat for a moment, then gestured for him to take the stage while I stood in a corner.

“Thank you.  It has always been my philosophy that one truth prevails and that is certainly the case here.  The person responsible for these heinous attacks is Tall Square, my former sidekick.  He’s always been jealous of my intelligence, wit, good looks, and discoveries.  My besting him in the handshake contest was clearly the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Once he realized that he ended up in Nome, AK, he realized he had the perfect cover to launch a series of devastating attacks on me in secret.  

First, he arranged to have an explosive “surprise” sent to me, sans return address, so I wouldn’t be able to trace the package back to Alaska.  After arranging for the package, he chartered a flight back to Phoenix and has been following me around.  He rented a car so he could chase me down at Paseo Vista.  When my superior brain outfoxed him, he immediately drove to my home and set up the wasp farm, since he still had keys to my home.  When that failed, he trailed us to Buffalo Wild Wings where he paid off a thug to beat me senseless.  Unluckily for him, Chris spotted him waiting outside the scene of the crime.  

He slipped into my house, hoping he could get at me while the others were asleep.  Due to Chris’ propensity for deep sleep, he managed to get to me, but chose not to finish me off, as he would want it on a grand stage.  He hoped that stage might have been the sushi restaurant, but we managed to escape the sinister swordsman he had hired. In case that attack failed, he set up a bomb in my pool. Unfortunately, Chris took the evening swim that night and was nearly blown to kingdom come.  When he realized he failed, he followed Chris and I to Castles N Coasters where he used us like a real life shooting gallery.

By now, my former sidekick must have reached the limits of his patience and, any moment now, will kick in the door in an attempt to launch one final murderous assault upon my glorious personage.”

Everyone turned to look at the door.

Nothing happened.

I came out of the corner and patted Arizona Mat on the shoulder.

“That was actually a nimble piece of logical reasoning.  But you made two crucial errors.  One, Tall Square doesn’t strike me as the most subtle of people.  He would have started with the murderous assault.  Two, it’s a 10.5 hour flight from here to Nome and they are two hours behind us.  It’s simply not feasible for him to have arranged any of this.”

“Oh,” said Arizona Mat, sitting back down, his face red as a beet.

“Not that he was completely wrong,” I said.  “The assailant certainly wanted us to think Tall Square was behind this.  Hence, the little surprise delivered to Arizona Mat as well as hiring someone with a similar physical build to Tall Square for us to witness on the scene for the BWW brawl.  The attacker had to be someone with access to the house.  He also had to have knowledge of where Arizona Mat would be in order to set up these traps and attacks.  I realized that Arizona Mat’s need to broadcast his whereabouts to the world via Facebook was how the assaulter managed to set up his various death traps.

At that point I ordered Arizona Mat to stop broadcasting our whereabouts via FB and the combination of that plus our staying close to home closed off the avenues of attack for our villain.  The day of the Castles N Coasters attack, I happened to glance at Arizona Mat’s cell phone which was open to his FB page and I learned the truth.

He only has one FB friend.  Clearly that person must be the attacker.  But to be certain of my theory, I posted that we were at Castles N Coasters in an attempt to provoke an assault.  I had arranged for the police to be nearby, but the attacker managed to slip through the cordon.  Of course, the attacker didn’t always need FB to set up an attack.  On several occasions, he was right along our side.  Isn’t that right, Mongrel?”

Mongrel had blanched when I made that accusation.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said with a nervous chuckle.  “I was there at Paseo Vista and BWW.  I was also attacked by the wasps in the pool.”

“That was the brilliant and, dare I say, daring part of your plan.  You made yourself look like a potential victim of collateral damage so you wouldn’t be suspected.”

“But there’s no motivation,” countered Mongrel.

“Oh, I disagree.  You’ve had the run of the estate since Arizona Mat and Tall Square started their little handshake duel back in January.  It would be such a shame to lose it all and be reduced to a lowly B level sidekick again.  So at some point, you decided to eliminate Arizona Mat and frame Tall Square for the crime.  Or maybe you planned to get rid of both of them and adapted your plan after you found out Tall Square was flown to Alaska.”

While I was speaking, the officer whom I had sent out of the room returned with a sheaf of papers in his hand.

“And I believe this kind officer has provided me with the evidence I need to prove your guilt.”

An examination of the papers revealed Mongrel had been forging Arizona Mat’s name on various documents.  He had given himself power of attorney over Arizona Mat’s assets as well as rewriting his will to name himself sole heir.

“Anything you care to say, Mongrel?” I asked.

“You don’t know what it was like,” said Mongrel in a sad voice.  “I was kept so much in the background that you didn’t even know I existed.  Why shouldn’t I have had the estate?  I took care of it.  Arizona Mat was never around.  Occasionally he’d bed here, but normally he and Tall Square were out having misadventures.  When you started publicizing his antics, it made him even more insufferable.  This estate is mine.  I earned it.”

Mongrel was cuffed by one of the officers, read his rights, and taken away.

Needless to say, Arizona Mat was ecstatic now that the threat to his life had ended.  In celebration, we went out to the Brunswick Zone for a few hours of bowling.  Arizona Mat was back to his arrogant, self-aggrandizing ways.  As he bored me with tellings of his various “explorations”, he managed to have a red hot night of bowling, closing all, but 2 frames and bowling a 200+ point game for the first time in 20 years.  I, myself, had a sharp night of bowling as my old form began to reassert itself as I averaged 120 points.

We returned to his home and slept the sleep of the peaceful, but this adventure wasn’t over just yet.

The Arizona Chronicles, Vol. 2, Day 2: Arizona Mat and the Very Bad Day

I awoke the next morning with a pounding headache and a sore throat.  I was hoping this sore throat was due to going through a number of berserk weather changes, but given how much my strength was sapped, I began to fear that it was of the viral variety.  Oh, well.  Nothing much that I could do except take it easy.  Given how weak I felt, I contacted the SyFy rep and rescheduled our meeting for next week.

In the meantime, I went into the kitchen and fixed myself a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and washed it down with a cold glass of water which coated my throat nicely.  I then took a long, hot bath in an attempt to draw out some toxins and eliminate my sore throat more quickly.

After my bath, I diddled around on Arizona Mat’s computer, playing both the original Shadowgate (a classic text adventure game) as well as working on the beta version of the upcoming reboot of the game.  While I gamed, Arizona Mat came out of his bedroom and seemed none the worse for wear.

“Where’s Tall Square?” he asked.

“Nome, AK,” I replied before filling in the details of what had happened the previous day.

“I’ll send him a pair of pants,” said Arizona Mat as he went to get his own breakfast.

While Arizona Mat sat on the couch and munched, the doorbell rang.  He answered the door and there stood a UPS man with a package.

“Package for Mr. Arizona Mat,” said the UPS man.

“That’s me,” said Arizona Mat as he grabbed the package and shut the door in the UPS man’s face.  “That’s strange.  There’s no return address.”

I casually shrugged my shoulders and went to the kitchen to get some more water.  I heard Arizona Mat open the box and a few moments later, I heard a loud BAMF!!  I turned to look at Arizona Mat and saw him holding a smoldering package, his face and hair now blackened by soot.  I stifled a chuckle as he now reminded me of a victim of Jokey Smurf and his explosive surprises.

“I’m going to go wash up,” Arizona Mat said tightly.

As he cleaned himself up, a car pulled into the driveway and a young man came into the house.  He introduced himself as Mongrel, another sidekick of Arizona Mat’s.  He was a tall man with a sharp, chiseled chin and ash blonde hair.  Mongrel was quite a bit more likable than Tall Square so I could only conclude that he was either the most laid back guy in the world or hadn’t had enough exposure to Arizona Mat’s neurotic behavior.  Apparently, he had been acting as caretaker of the estate while Arizona Mat and Tall Square had been engaged in their handshake duel.

After washing up, Arizona Mat announced that we were going to go play frisbee golf at Paseo Vista.  It was a rather pleasant outing as we had gone out early enough in the day so the weather was hot, but not scorching.  That is, it was a pleasant outing until the 12th hole.  Arizona Mat’s shot had gone a little wide and he went to retrieve his frisbee at the same time that a car was exiting the course.  As soon as the driver caught sight of Arizona Mat, he or she gunned the motor and started chasing after him.

Mongrel and I scrambled to the top of one of the retaining walls and watched as the car pursued Arizona Mat all over the course, tearing up the ground and mowing down the plant life.  I’ll say this.  For a stocky guy, Arizona Mat could really sprint.  Mongrel and I attempted to call 911, but we were out of range of cellular towers and could only watch as Arizona Mat was hunted like an animal.  I tried to get a look at the driver, but the windows were tinted.

Finally, Arizona Mat managed to get inside one of the tunnel obstacles on the course.  Too sturdy for the car to hit and too narrow for the car to continue chasing Arizona Mat.  Reluctantly, the car turned around and left the course.

“Are you all right?” I asked the “explorer”.

“Of course I am,” Arizona Mat replied with his customary egoism.  “All in a day’s work for an intrepid explorer.”

“I think we should call the police,” said Mongrel.

“No.  Undoubtedly, it was some deranged fan.  I’m certain he’ll disappear and trouble me no further.”

So what have we learned, kids?  Nothing helps a problem more like ignoring it.

We returned to Arizona Mat’s home and he and Mongrel decided to swim in the pool while I decided to lie down for a little bit, as the heat and sore throat were rapidly sapping my vitality.  I ended up catching a catnap and when I awoke 40 minutes later, I decided I wanted to swim too.

As I began to head out to the pool, I heard a series of smacks and splats.  I gazed out the window and saw Arizona Mat and Mongrel seemingly slapping the water with foam noodles for no apparent reason.  As I looked more closely, I saw that the two were actually being attacked by a small army.

Wasps!  Hundreds of them flitted around the two.  They were using the water to avoid being bitten and using the noodles and their hands to swat the pests.  I saw that the wasps seemed to be coming from behind Arizona Mat’s waterfall, so I rummaged through his garage and found a bug bomb and carefully made my way behind the waterfall, covering myself with a towel to avoid being bitten.

When I made it behind the waterfall, I found the culprit.  Someone had left a wasp’s farm behind the waterfall.  I activated the bomb and watched as the wasps began to succumb to its effects.

“I really think we should call the police,” I said a short time later.

“Never!” declared Arizona Mat.  “I laugh in the face of danger.”

I rolled my eyes and saw Mongrel sadly shaking his head.

After the insect jamboree, Arizona Mat took us to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings where we enjoyed a night of good food and trivia.  Our table dominated the trivia night which prompted Arizona Mat to constantly whoop and holler.  Finally one of the patrons seemed to have had enough and told Arizona Mat to shut up.

“Bite me!” replied Arizona Mat.

“I think I don’t like you,” replied the patron.

Arizona Mat ignored him.

“I said, I don’t think I like you,” repeated the patron.

Arizona Mat continued ignoring him.

“Are you listening to me?” asked the patron.

“There’s a fine line between not listening and not caring and I like to think I walk that line every day,” said Arizona Mat smugly.

The patron pulled Arizona Mat from his stool and the  fight was on.  Soon everybody in the joint was getting into it.  I ducked behind the bar with a couple of the pretty waitresses and got their numbers while I watched the place turn into a shambles.  As the brawl intensified, I looked out the window and saw a powerfully built figure standing by a car, intensely watching.  As police cars began pulling up to the restaurant, the figure got into a car and drove away.

After I bailed Arizona Mat out of jail, I told him that I suspected that the fight had been deliberately started.

“Of course it was.  Nobody starts one accidentally.”

“No, I mean somebody got that guy to pick a fight with you.”


As we pulled into Arizona Mat’s driveway, we all saw that someone had painted a message on his garage door.


Mongrel and I looked at Arizona Mat who had visibly paled.