The Case of the Stolen Lunch

But first, the short video from my latest “WTF happened to the weather?” session: 

Now, back to The Case of the Stolen Lunch
When I arrived at work, loaded down bike trailer in tow, it looked like a recycling bin had exploded. There were thousands of pieces of paper strewn everywhere. Oh well, it wasn’t exactly my problem. I unloaded most of my stuff from the trailer, but left a gallon of water, box of sidewalk chalk, a few other misc. items, and a bagel with cheese slices and an apple. This was my lunch. Well, it was supposed to be my lunch. 
I figured it couldn’t hurt to leave the stuff out in my trailer; it was cool, so the food would stay cool. The rest of it wasn’t exactly valuable. I had the food wrapped in a translucent plastic produce bag and tucked into a side pocket of the trailer, with the sides folded in to a triangle. I thought it would be safe. 
A couple times as I came and went from my office, I noticed students out picking up the trash. From the way they were carrying out the task, I’m sure they were ordered to do it… or else. I didn’t think about my lunch. 
When I was finally ready to eat, I went out to the trailer, and… MY LUNCH WAS GONE. First, I was convinced I had done something else with it, and just couldn’t remember. I searched all the stuff I brought in. Nothing. I went and looked in the trailer again. Nothing. But everything else in the trailer, more plainly visible than the food, had been left alone. At least all the loose paper had been picked up by now. 
Now, rich people stealing billions of dollars from taxpayers, is no big deal. That happens every day in America, and the thieves are practically worshipped. But… stealing a guy’s lunch?!? THAT’S low. It was just a bagel and an apple! I was crushed. I was filled with about 1/3rd wonder that someone would have felt the need to steal a bagel and an apple, and 2/3rds anger that some lowlife prick had actually done that. 
I finally went somewhere and bought a couple “replacement” bagels (but apples are harder to come by downtown). About that time, I had another thought: Squirrels. And the more I thought, the more I thought, “Fucking. Squirrels.” 
The food was not easy to see. But, a squirrel could smell that stuff from a mile away. There were other, more valuable-to-humans things in the trailer, that were not taken. But… if squirrels took it, there should have been some remnants of it, perhaps in the bushes nearby. I searched, but found nothing. Then again, maybe those remnants got picked up when the students were picking up the rest of the trash strewn about the area. I just couldn’t know. 
I was convinced I would never discover the truth about where my lunch went. I got bagels anyway, I got to play footbag anyway, and I realized I had to let go of my disappointment over the missing lunch and forget about it. Life goes on. It was just a bagel, some cheese, and an apple. 
The next day, having just locked my bike to the rack and gotten settled at my desk, my co-worker came in and said, “Hey, did you know there’s a squirrel out there investigating your bicycle?” 

Aha! Don’t criminals always return to the scene of the crime? It took this one less than 5 minutes to come back looking for more NOMs to steal! Campus squirrels are ballsy. But this time, no food. It would leave empty-pawed. Next time, I might even wait nearby, with my trusty “squirrel stick” (just kidding). 
So, the case of the missing lunch is solved: I WAS PUNKED BY SQUIRRELS. There was no evidence, because of the paper disaster. The students picked up and threw away the evidence when they were cleaning up. 
As for the actual footbag session, when I finally got going, well… it kinda sucked. The temperature just didn’t get that warm, and it was cloudy and windy. I had to wear a shirt! You know it’s bad if I wear a shirt when I kick. I never did get warmed up; I felt shaky and chilled the whole time. I played rather poorly. Just don’t call me a quitter: I was still out there for 2-1/2 hours. 
A couple students that have started following me on Twitter came by around 3PM and kicked for a bit. A woman from the school-affiliated radio station KBIA came and did an interview with me. A couple of giggly young ladies stopped to take a video, and then try themselves. Despite the cold, it was still a good day, with lots of positive interaction and no confrontation. 
I only got to kick in the circle for the last little bit, when I got this video. Earlier, there was a Ron Paul supporter group with a tent and a table set up right in the middle. They were totally cool though; not pushy, or rude, and they ended up asking me when I would be out there again, so they could plan to move their tent off to the side so I could take the circle. 
Next Thursday, if the weather is good! Thanks so much for offering! 
Speaking of next Thursday, I was totally bummed when the weather predicted for this Wednesday when I went to kick, decided to manifest on Thursday. I rode through Speakers Circle as I was shooting a service call across campus the next day: Warm, sunny, and a group of musicians with drums and guitars out there playing and girls with hula hoops. Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN! If only I could have known, I would have waited until Thursday. I stopped and talked to a couple of the drummers, begging them to come back on the next nice Thursday. Getting to play footbag to live music, sharing the space with girls doing hula hoops? Now THAT‘s my idea of a great time, and a totally awesome use for Speaker’s Circle! 
Now, I’m determined to make that happen. 
2:15 / 15:30 – Thanks for tuning in! 

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