August 4th, 2000


You ever have that feeling that things just couldn't get any weirder and then they do?


Well then I guess you ain't living my life cause things have definitely taken a turn for the perverse in the last 24 hours since I wrote to you last.

"But Derek," I hear you asking me from them comfort of your suburban home, "What's weirder than you living the high life in some hip hotel room on the Sunset Strip paid for by Japanese businessmen who you just met and aren't sure what are saying to you half the time?"

Well I'll tell you what's weirder, it's weirder when they split . . . .

Yup, I got up this morning and found this shoved under my room door

So rubbing the sleep from my eyes I tore open this mysterious envelope and found this cryptic little clue

In case you can't tell, the map is of Washington state. How I "go under" when I get there is anybody's guess, cause I ain't got a clue.

I felt some more papers in the envelope so I turned it upside down to get them out and was a bit surprised to see dollar bills falling out. . . .oh did I say dollar bills? I mean 100 dollars bills . . . . .$2,000 in $100 dollar bills to be exact.

At this point I woke up completely and nudged Jason on the head to get him up. For good measure I waved some of the hundreds under his nose. Nothing gets Jason awake faster like the smell of fresh-minted $100's in the morning.

Well we both thought our Japanese friends were playing a little joke on us, since this is our last morning in LA before we get in Jason's new company truck and make our way back to Florida. We went upstairs to their suite to laugh it up at the hilarious thought of them giving us 2 grand and a Scooby Doo clue.

But I guess the joke is on us cause they were gone . . .split, vamoose, outta here . . .in other words, they is gone, daddy gone.

So Jason and I went down to have breakfast and we decided that if these guys were good enough to give us $2,000 then it's our duty as paranormal investigators to take this money and obtuse clue and search out the truth...

. . . .well lemme rephrase that . . . .I decided it was my duty. . . .

Jason decided that it was his duty not to get fired from his job and as I write this he's somewhere in New Mexico.

"But Derek", I hear you saying from the comfort of your 9 to 5 cubbyhole, "Where the hell are you?"

Good questions, boys and girls. I'm currently writing this from the decidedly non-swank Flamingo Motel in Berkeley California. I'm off on my lonesome with nothing but a crinkly map and a bunch of brand new travelers checks to guide me northward. Right after Jason told me he had to do the uptight, upright, citizen thing I grabbed the classified ads and found me a motor vehicle worthy of no where near the $500 bucks I paid for it.

Oh yeah, boys and girls, I'm the proud owner of a brand new (well it's new to me) Galaxie 500 automobile. It's got everything I could want in a car (namely an engine and steering mechanism) and none of the extemporaneous extras (like air conditioning, FM radio, seat cushions, or much of a transmission) If you're anywhere north of San Francisco I urge you to stay off the major freeways for the next coupla of days cause the brakes are shot and I'm way too wired on coffee to care a whole lot.

Think I'm nuts? You may be right, but I feel it's my duty to take this money and put it to the use it was intended. And right now I feel it was intended to get me another latte.

Oh yeah, I saw this sign today while I was out and about...

That about sums it all up, don't it?

Hurdy Gur,
Derek "more Shaggy, less Fred" Barnes

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