“Aaar, Pegleg Joe, methinks we be lost,” Frankenbeard said.
“Ye may be right, brother. But how do ye know for sure?” Pegleg Joe asked.
“Me first clue be that I don’t know where we are, and me second clue be that I don’t know how to get back home. Do ye?” Frankenbeard asked. Pegleg Joe shook his head, the very picture of a sad and lost pirate. “So, from these various clues, I deduce we be lost, brother.”
Success! Another mystery solved by the Aaardy Boys, the twin pirate sleuths known across six of the seven seas for their powers of deduction and extreme cowardice. But now that that mystery had been solved, a new mystery awaited them, unfolding like a poorly constructed origami swan. “Frankenbeard,” Pegleg Joe asked, “how do we get home?”
Frankenbeard scratched his beard. “Might that information kiosk provide the information we need?” He pointed to a circular kiosk in the center of Mystery Mall. The twins had been dropped off at the mall by their father so they could pick up pirate supplies, like pieces of eight, a dead man’s chest, eye patches, peglegs, Jolly Rogers, secret treasure maps, spare parrots and mizzen masts. Pegleg Joe also wanted a new poster of his favorite pop quintet, Davey Jones and the Lockers. Now that they had completed their shopping spree, they were ready to be picked up at the North Entrance. But, alas! Frankenbeard’s compass was on the fritz once more, perpetually pointing SSE. Everywhere they turned a new and unfamiliar corner. Everywhere they turned, the compass read SSE.
“By the seven seas!” Frankenbeard exclaimed. “I don’t like the looks of that lady. She reminds me of me math teacher.”
“Aar,” Pegleg Joe agreed. “I am reminded of the selfsame teacher of the mathematical arts. Aar!” The lady at the information kiosk was indeed a frightening sight. Everything about her was severe. She had severe eyebrows; severe horn-rimmed glasses perched on the severe bridge of her severe nose. Her severe stare was directed at a severe-looking paperback book in her severe hands. Her severe hair was in an even more severe bun. The twins hesitated just short of the threshold of the Thresholds N’ More! Store. “Aar,” Pegleg Joe said. “Ye should ask her for directions, twin brother.”
Frankenbeard stared at Pegleg Joe, aghast. “Me? Why not ye?”
“Because ye be the one who noted the fact she looked like our math teacher.”
“Aaar, true, but ye be the older twin.”
Pegleg Joe now stared at Frankenbeard, aghast. “By a mere millisecond.” He sighed. “Fine. We both go together.”
“Fine,” Frankenbeard agreed. Neither made a move. The severe woman in the information kiosk turned the page of her severe paperback book with her severe fingers. The twins stood there, frozen in fear. And they may still be there today.
Just kidding, their father found them five minutes later.


  1. Just outside the Mystery Mall, I met a pirate street preacher, who reminded me “The blunderbuss of the Spirit is our best defense,” and “let Christ into yer heart, ye scurvy dog.”

    He also sang “What shall we do with the unsaved heathen, earligh in the marnin'” and “Let us grip knives together in our teeth”.

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