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The Cases of Encyclopedia Cal


Try your hand at some of man detective Encyclopedia Cal’s most puzzling cases — and check your answers against the solutions below!


Case 1: “The Case of the Aggie Anxiety”

Encyclopedia Cal rolled his rare, prized 1911 Indian Gold Quarter, through his fingers as he sat at the long table for his press conference. An avenged loss for the Idaville Wildcats against Tennessee is always a good thing, but he had bigger things on his mind.
As the reporters quizzed him on the game, someone raised his hand to ask about Saturday’s game against highly SEC-ranked Texas A&M. Cal looked down at the glistening golden coin in his finger and looked back up.
“Not gonna be easy,” he said.


Case 2: “The Case of the Pilfered Player”

It was February 2015. The Idaville Wildcats were headed to LSU for a game and the players and staff packed onto the team plane like they always did, ready to head south.
Encyclopedia Cal performed his headcount as usual and the plane took off to the skies when suddenly Robey tapped him on the shoulder.
“Did you account for everyone?” he asked Encyclopedia Cal. “Because I don’t see Trey.”
“What?” Cal threw down his Guide to Civil War-Era Swords and spun around in his seat. He mentally counted up his players. There was Willie, and Aaron, and Andrew, even Tod. But where was Trey?
He pulled out his phone to tweet: “I thought Trey got on the plane but we can’t find him.”
“Oh no!” cried Robey. “We can’t leave Trey behind. Even questionable with an undisclosed illness we need him on the bench, just in case!”
At that moment Cal heard a large thud from the back of the plane, followed by the faint sound of familiar music.
“Oh, Trey’s on the plane,” Cal said with a smile. “I’m sure of it.”


Case 3: “The Case of the Funny Fouls”

The Idaville Wildcats had just tipped off against the South Carolina Gamecocks in Columbia when Encyclopedia Cal sensed something was amiss. “I don’t like this one bit,” he said to Kenny as he contemplatively tapped his temple. “And why is Dougs Meaney officiating this game?”
Cal hummed his favorite aria, “Au Fond Du Temple Saint” from Les Pêcheurs de Perles, as the game clicked along. He scowled. Then he scowled again. Then he stormed onto the court angrily.
Dougs Meaney ran from the opposite side toward the court, which only angered Encylcopedia Cal more. As the players held him back, Dougs made a gesture to eject Cal from the game.


Answer: “The Case of the Aggie Anxiety”

Robey caught up to Encyclopedia Cal after the press conference. “What did you mean, that Saturday’s not going to be easy?” he asked.
Cal scowled to himself. “Because, Robey, without Marcus or Alex, we’re going to be hurting against them. Plus, College Station’s weather atmosphere is traditionally a humid subtropic climate zone. Coming off a snowy, frigid series of days in Lexington may have heightened our immunities to a great degree, meaning that in an easier climate this system will relax more, possibly opening us up to illness.”
“I’d better bring some Airborne!” exclaimed Robey.
“You can say that again, Robey,” laughed Cal. “Also a couple of extra forwards.”

Answer: “The Case of the Pilfered Player”

Cal grinned at Robey. “Do you hear that?” he asked.
“Hear what?” asked Robey.
“That thud, and the muted noise of I Don’t Mind, the current chart-topping hit by hip-hop crooner Usher and two-time MTV Europe Music Awards nominee Juicy J?”
“Sure, but it’s really quiet,” said Robey.
“Exactly, Robey,” explained Cal. “It’s because Trey, suffering from an illness, is currently on Nyquil, which creates a drowsy effect, causing him to fall asleep upon take off, slump forward and lose his Beats headphones, which just fell to the floor and from which we’re hearing the faint tune. It’s Trey’s favorite song. He’s on the plane after all.”
“Great call, Enclopedia Cal,” affirmed Robey.
“As Juicy J might say, ‘thanks shawty,’” laughed Encyclopedia Cal. Robey clapped him on the back. Another case solved.


Answer: “The Case of the Funny Fouls”

As Encyclopedia Cal smoothed his hair and tucked his shirt back in, he headed to the locker room.
“What happened out there?” asked Robey.
“Didn’t you notice?” asked Cal. “Didn’t you see Michael Carrera spill over the backs of the Wildcats to score the first two points of the game?”
“Sure, it was ugly,” said Robey.
“And did you see that last physical tie-up under the basket?”
“Well, Robey, does it come as any surprise to you that the game’s so physical against us on Dougs Meaney’s watch? Everyone knows that Dougs suffers from myopia, which occurs when an eyeball is too long, causing light rays not to focus directly on its surface. There’s no way Sirmons could have seen anything that was going on under the basket, much less seen enough to kick me out of the game for my justified anger.”
“Myopia, huh?” asked Robey. “Where I come from we just call it ‘head-up-the-butt-itis.'”
Encyclopedia Cal smiled. “Good one, Robey,” he laughed. “Good one.”

Article written by C.M. Tomlin

All I want is a HI-C and a turkey sandwich. @CM_Tomlin

6 Comments for The Cases of Encyclopedia Cal

  1. BobKYCats
    9:43 pm February 19, 2016 Permalink

    God, this post took me back. Nice work, CM.

    9:50 pm February 19, 2016 Permalink

    That series was a big part of my childhood reading. “Dougs Meaney” great stuff. I also offer up my thanks for taking me back to a simpler time.

  3. ukbradstith
    10:19 pm February 19, 2016 Permalink

    Loved, loved, loved encyclopedia brown.

  4. ibescootch
    2:33 am February 20, 2016 Permalink

    Ha! Classic Tomlin…

  5. hayes44ever
    8:49 am February 20, 2016 Permalink

    This is probably my favorite KSR post ever. And that’s saying something. Well done, Tomlin!

  6. Unquiet Librarian
    10:25 am February 20, 2016 Permalink

    I am an elementary school librarian and this was fantastic!