The Case of the Vanished Nutrients or Slightly Skimpier Stir Fry


The case came across my desk late on a Monday evening, way past the sun set. Usually I stay out of the petty crimes and missing snacks-type cases, but something about the way she told me. “Oh, Literate Zombie, I do declare, my carrots are r-u-n-n-o-f-t.”

I mean who the fork talks like that.

She was referring to two orange victims, slightly wilted and up there in age. These carrots were nice and soft and ready for stir fry. My suspect list is long; I mean beta carotene is a vital supplement and an antioxidant. Or did the carrots become aware of their destiny and take fate into their (hands?)

The clues: none

The only picture we have of the missing carrots is their vacation photo taken days prior to starting their shift at the co-op. The photographer was a random half-eaten sandwich from the pier trash can who had no comment.


[the incessant squawking of the TV news reporter blocked all thinking]

“…It turns out the fridge robot was held up at gun point by an alien. Though no injuries are reported, I’m being told there are two hostages being taken from the ice box.  Breaking news in this case. The robot guard is being treated for multiple slightly reddened areas and medical technicians are clueless because he is a robot. In other news, someone will only bend fast they are completely refusing to break it…”

Finally! TIVO-ing the 6 o’clock news and watching it later pays off.

So we’re dealing with aliens now, huh?

I begin to think of motives: spite, hatred, general discontent toward things of an orange persuasion…

Or possibly deprived of some essential nutrients? Vitamin A deficiency results in eye troubles and rough dry skin. Not getting vitamin C can lead to internal bleeding and depression (Merck.com) Lack of vitamin E could result in the break down and death of neurons in the brain which in humans can’t be regenerated.  When the body is not getting niacin, the three d’s appear:Diarrhea, Dermatitis, and Dementia.  And folate prevents ulcers, grey hair, and diarrhea while not getting choline means the liver can’t process fat.

[Returning to the scene of the disappearance]

I spot in the bushes outside an odd foot print, not related. There is an odd smell in the air also, not related. Deciding to call this case quits I’m signing off this case unsolved.

[16 minutes later]

Leaving the crib, I stepped onto the corner. Flashes of light lift from the backyard. Upon further investigation, I recognized it as a tiny well-lit shapeship with a Grateful Dead bumper sticker and orange smears near the loading doors (that’s detective work, muthaforkas). With a hop, skip and a quick fence jump, the literate zombie tackled the 4 ft diametrical space craft.

The cracked orb revealed an entire race of little aliens. They had learned English aboard their ship using the Rosetta Stone. So after a few choice words, nothing harsh, we chilled.  One of the green dudes explained the gun seen on tv was their version of a wallet and he was merely trying to pay for the carrots. He also felt as though the news reporter made him out to be bit more threatening than he was. While hanging out in the backyard of some random Californian, the aliens explained their love of music, art and the culture of our planet. They talked of adventures touring the country for over a decade, traveling from concert to concert disguised as a beach ball. He then led on that the vitamins contained in these carrots will power the ship for 30 generations. I asked if they were going to eat them, to which he replied “We will not kill them; they will actually be preserved and continue living forever. Besides we have no need for food. We have an apparatus that creates food for us and the better we treat this implement, the better the food is.”

I said “We could use something like that here to help all the starving and mis-fed people.”

His Response:

” You already do!”

That night under the moon and amidst the ocean air, I was charged with a new mission.  We’ve got some planning to do…

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