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                     “It Was in the Microwave!"

It was the second day of June, a cool day for this time of year — that red liquid in the thermometer was doing its best to hang out at 60. The morning clouds threatened rain but only delivered a fine mist, a really fine mist — on the east coast they’d call it humidity. But this isn’t the east coast, and for good reason.
I was on the coffee beat, and my first case was just around the corner. And down the hall. “I can’t find my coffee! I left the cup right here on the table and now it’s gone!” For a dame, she used a hell of a lot of exclamation points for this early in the day. The dame was my wife, Patti, or this morning I should say, “Patti!”
I pulled the half-smoked imaginary cigarette from the corner of my mouth, stubbing it out in the overflowing imaginary ash tray sitting beside my typewriter — I gotta cut down on imagining one of these days — and sprang into action. It was 7:43 and I was on the clock.
I went to the front door and looked up and down the block. A lot of unsavory homeless people, and a few savory ones, called this area home. The street outside was a regular shopping cart freeway. No bums with coffee cups though.
My Casio watch, a Lithium quartz B815, flashed 7:43:12.
A quick search of the dog’s bed also proved fruitless, but not dog-treat-crumbless. On most cases an Australian shepherd is invaluable. On a case of Ninkasi Total Domination IPA, an Australian shepherd is just a hindrance. And he was no help with the missing coffee cup either.
7:43:31. My next stop was the kitchen. It had all the amenities a 1953 remodeled kitchen had to offer. The Mullins Manufacturing Jet Tower dishwasher, a real beaut with its revolving hydro brush, sat idle in the corner. It was as empty as a Catholic church on Ground Hog’s Day — except when February 2 falls on a Sunday and then the dishwasher would be half full.
7:44:12. An annoying buzzing emanated from a box occupying the kitchen’s robin’s egg blue speckled Formica counter top, an Amana RR-2, a state-of-the-art microwave cooker — state-of-the-art if you like art from the late 60’s. I dropped the lid on the dishwasher, walked over and hit the stop button on the radar range. I yanked open its door. Inside, was a cup and by the looks of it I’d say it was a cup of coffee, Patti’s cup of coffee. Patti’s missing cup of coffee.
Two-minute mystery, my ass! I solved this case with 48 seconds to spare.
Pretty early in the day and I had already earned my first nap.