Writing funny mysteries (and more!) for you.

Bill Alive
Bill Alive
Writer. Thinker. Goofball.
Apr 28, 2020 6 min read

Is There a Hobo in Your Attic?

Is there a hobo in your attic? Is your 401(k) plan worth less than it was five minutes ago? Are any of your friends mocking you right now?

Is there a hobo in your attic?

Is your 401(k) plan worth less than it was five minutes ago?

Are any of your friends mocking you right now?

If you aren’t sure of the answers to basic questions like these, you may be a victim of “detail neglect,” a common medical condition that afflicts millions of Americans and can lead to higher loan interest rates, contentment, and/or death.

A Hidden Killer…

“All too often, we’re so busy enjoying nature, pursuing fulfilling hobbies, and spending time with our spouses and children that we forget the myriad of pressing details that really should have first claim on our attention,” says Dr. Wilhelm Iglesias, head of the Triple Check Research Group at the University of Quibbleton, Virginia. “I blame the culture.”

However, thanks to continued funding from several safety awareness groups, such as Tornado Chasers United for a Risk-Free America, Iglesias and his team of expert scientists have battled “detail neglect” since Tuesday, March 3, 1987, at 10:02 am.

For years they have scrutinized frequently ignored details, determining which ones should be considered critical to the safe navigation of an average day.

…But a Cure May Be In Sight

Now, after decades of research, a cure for “detail neglect” may finally be in sight: the Checklist™.

“You wouldn’t think of dating a girl until you’d surreptitiously gotten her fingerprint and seen if she had a criminal record, would you?” chuckles Iglesias, glancing around his plush office and over my shoulder. “Similarly, it’s sheer recklessness to go through the day without systematically evaluating potential threats.”

He pauses, gets a better grip on the broadsword he’s sharpening at a large whetstone embedded in his desk, and smiles broadly.

“Safety, like freedom, must be won and re-won. If you’re not sure, check. Check again. Check a third time. That’s the Checklist™ concept.”

Although the complete Checklist™ is still in revision, Iglesias advises that you “get more detail in your life” right away by taking a few minutes each day to make sure you can answer each of the following sample questions with confidence:

Is there a hobo in your:

  • attic?
  • Freezer?
  • Hope chest?
  • Purse?

Has anyone in your social circle given you a derogatory nickname?

“Nicknames must be nipped in the bud,” says Dr. “Pudgy” Wilson, expert on Derogatory Nomenclature.

“One wry comment can label you for life. With the frenetic pace of modern communications, you’ve got to hustle to stay on top of things. A simple series of two-minute calls to everyone you know, two or three times a day, is a small investment to make to avoid a lifetime of embarrassment.”

Is your 401(k) plan worth less than it was five minutes ago?

“Get your money OUT!” says Iglesias. “You want to lose your retirement savings? Put your money into something sensible, like a camouflaged shoebox.”

Is any food anywhere in your home going bad?

“Prepackaged foods like TV dinners have so many preservatives that they cannot rot; they will probably outlast this country,” insists Iglesias. “They’re recommended.”

“Unfortunately,” he continues, “many of us indulge what I call our ‘agrarian tooth’ with such dainties as fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk, meat that is still recognizably from an animal, and water. Many of these foods, though certainly chic, can actually spoil.” Iglesias shudders. “I avoid them entirely.

“If you insist on eating perishables, remember: one bad apple can host a germ that, if it gets in and grows and you don’t notice it and you eat the apple and the germ enters your body and it overcomes your immune system and you don’t go to the doctor and you don’t take the right medicines and it mushrooms into a fatal disease, can kill you.

“Is that a chance you want to take?”

Are your clothes out of style?

“It can happen so quickly,” warns Dr. Judy Trudy, Fashion Anthropologist. “Take advantage of the wireless Internet; check each new purchase against a reputable fashion website before you leave the store. Imagine arriving at the office sporting an outfit that’s been out since yesterday afternoon!”

Is your name out of style?

“This one’s tricky,” admits Trudy. “Sorry.”

Who are the new faces on America’s Most Wanted and do you look like any of them?

“Keep in mind that if there’s even a slight resemblance,” says Iglesias, “a neighbor with poor eyesight could land you in jail.”

The remedy?

“A purple wig,” suggests Iglesias. “How many criminals wear purple wigs? My grandmother wore a purple wig, and she was never in jail one day of her life. Of course, she spoke fluent French.”

Do any of your magazine subscriptions need to be renewed?

“Don’t count on the publication to remind you,” warns Iglesias. “Recent trends indicate that subscription departments are all too likely to adopt a ’live and let live’ attitude and take your missed payment as an implied cancellation without so much as a dinnertime phone call.”

Are your shoes on the right feet?

“Probably seventy to eighty percent of all car accidents, faux pas while ballroom dancing, and poor investment choices stem directly, indirectly, or not at all from wearing the left shoe on the right foot and the right shoe on the left foot, which is the wrong way to wear your shoes,” explains Dr. Grant Hobble. Hobble is head of the Podiatric Prognostication Center in Reykjavik, Connecticut, and a long-time ally of the Triple Check Group.

“Naturally, accurate statistics are difficult to obtain; this is a branch of research that is admittedly still in its infancy. But I think we can all agree that wearing your shoes on the wrong feet is a dumb move. It certainly can’t help anything, can it? Well?”

Is there a broken telephone pole, meteorite, or airborne vacuum cleaner salesman heading for your home?

“A quick glance out each window of the house every hour or so will suffice,” comments Iglesias. “You don’t want to get paranoid.”

Are you getting paranoid? Reflect.

“Check each question at least three times a day,” insists Iglesias. “That’s bare minimum. Bare. We recommend four or five. I can do six or seven complete Checkups™ daily, especially if I skip lunch and hold off going to the bathroom as long as I can.

“After a couple months, this sample Checklist™ will become second nature. That’s bad; it means you’re slipping. Call us.” Iglesias grins. “By then, the complete Checklist™ will be ready, and it’s much, much longer.”

AUTHOR DISCLAIMER: This fake “health article” is a satire. People, institutions, and “facts” and are all made up. Which you probably guessed. But I had to… check.

If you liked this, you might enjoy my funny mystery series. Just click on that gorgeous red cover…