From the BPI Squirrel:

Remember those summer afternoons when you’d ask mom for half a cashew and then join the other young squirrels in that tree outside the theatre to watch the humans?

I don’t either, to be honest. It was before my time. But Granny Greytail told me about it. (More)

Granny Greytail loved to tell stories about going to the matinee to watch the odd things humans do. Like the time she saw a car parked with the driver’s window rolled down, in the rain. It was the sort of oddity that intrigued her, so she came back to the same tree for a couple of days, watching intently. When no one came for the car after and the driver’s window stayed down despite more rain, Granny began to ponder.

At this point I should mention that Granny had read every Agatha Whiskers mystery every written. An abandoned car was not merely an abandoned car. It was stolen. No, it was stolen and used in a robbery. No, it was stolen, used in a robbery, and the body of an accomplice was stuffed in the trunk. With their weapons and disguises. By the time the cops got there, Granny had a complete chronology of an imaginary crime worked out to the last detail.

So she did the responsible thing. When a cop stopped in the lot for some reason – perhaps to eat a doughnut or fill out a report – she scampered out of her tree, dashed over to his car, hopped up on the hood, and chittered at him. At least as she told it. To me, the idea of Granny scampering, dashing, and hopping was a bit over the top. But she could chitter, and she always had a macadamia or three if I listened quietly, so I didn’t question her on the scampering, dashing, or hopping and simply listened as she chittered about chittering, which is where we left her story.

The officer was very intrigued by her chittering. Maybe it was a slow day for human folly and he was bored. Or maybe he believed her. Regardless, he called it in, and soon the parking lot looked like a scene from an Agatha Whiskers novel. Even the crime scene van showed up. Granny watched as they dusted the car for fingerprints and soaked up every detail, like their dusting the rear view mirror because car thieves usually adjust it and then forget they touched it. They didn’t find any, which to Granny only confirmed her suspicions of criminal mastermindeness. The crime scene technicians chattered amiably, enjoying an appreciative audience. Granny cast herself as the local Miss Marbles, offering ever-so-clever ideas on the range of crimes that might have been committed with this car, much to their amusement.

Until she mentioned the dead accomplice in the trunk.

Then they looked at each other. And stopped laughing. And found a crowbar.

Granny’s voice got very quiet when she told this part, and I leaned forward in breathless expectation. They told her to step back, so she hopped down and dashed across the grass and scampered up a nearby tree where she could watch. (By then I had no trouble believing she could hop and dash and scamper.) First the crime scene tech dusted around the trunk lock, and other likely places where a print might have been left. Then the officer handed them the crowbar. His hand slipped toward his holster as the crime scene tech wedged it in and leaned and …

… of course there was no dead accomplice. There were also no weapons or disguises, or anything else except a spare tire. But the officer and the techs let out a big sigh of relief anyway. They arranged to have the car towed away, and Granny never learned how or why it really ended up abandoned in that parking lot.

These were the kinds of stories Granny remembered from her days at the matinee. Stories about the odd things people do, and reasons we imagine for their doing those odd things. That’s what we’d like for the Midday Matinee.

So if you like to watch people, and wonder about people, we’d like to hear from you. Your stories can be about famous people you saw on TV, or ordinary people you saw at the grocery. Silly or serious. A few paragraphs or a few hundred words.

We’d like each day’s story to post between 2-5pm (ET). I’ll even sit quietly and listen … for a macadamia or three.