751 – Train Whistle in the Night | Big Farm in the Sky P.I. S2 E4
Choose your dreamy Malcom and I will take the chaos out of bedtime in both theory and practice.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, friends of Beyond the Binary, and my patron peeps. You know, I got a pair of socks, like House Stark Socks on, and it makes me say, you know, one thing the North remembers is it's cold outside probably, patrons, but I remember to thank you. Thank you so much, because you keep the show a-going.
Hey, are you up all night, tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome then. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. What we do it with a bedtime story.
All's you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I'm gonna do the rest. What I'm going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you can set aside whatever's keeping you awake. Whether it's things you're thinking about, thoughts. It could be feelings that you're experiencing or that are bubbling up. It could be physical sensations, whatever's keeping you awake. It could be changes, you know, time, temperature, whatever it is, I'd like to take your mind off, I'd like to distract you.
I have got a safe place here, that is space set aside for you, plenty of room. And it's cozy, but there's, you know, room to lounge, to stretch out, exactly, exactly. And the way I'm gonna do it is I'm gonna send my voice across the deep dark night. I'm gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents, I'm gonna go off topic.
If you're new, a couple of things. This podcast is not a … It's outside of the norm. If there is any norms, we say, “Okay, here's …” Like broadcasting's a pretty open space. You can kind of do everything. And that's what's great about the space, but this, even for podcasts, a little bit different. So I would say I can give a … You don't need to have an open mind. There's nothing that gets on my nerves more than when somebody tells me to have an open mind. I think it's great if you were to check the show with a healthy skepticism. But also with a … Maybe you have a quizzical look on your face. You could be skeptical and quizzical at the same time where … ‘Cause figuring out this podcast is where it can trip people up, who are waiting for it to start making sense, or even to get started. We're already started here.
Welcome. Come on in. So it's not gonna … I think that's kind of … I'm glad you're here, if you're new. I guess that's what I'm shooting for, is to put you in a quizzical mood. I think that maybe that'd be … If I had like a jazz … If I was a jazz singer, like the Silver Tone. I think that would be like a album I would put out, a quizzical mood. And I don't know if I'd have … Like it would probably be good to have someone like Bublé come in and do like a track. But I don't know if I'd want Bublé stealing my thunder, as far as like singing a quizzical mood.
Of course I can't sing, so that's … Oh, but if you're new … Oh, here's a couple of other things if you're new. So the podcast doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It takes a few tries. It does not work for everybody, but I hope it works for you. So see how it goes.
Structurally, if you're new, here's what to expect. There's a business at the beginning. And that's how we keep the show going and free. And it's high … You know, believe it or not, there's a lot of work that goes into the show. And I say that with a smile, because the goal is to put a lot of work in so it seems like there's no work. Yeah, but that's not it. It's super important, but that's how we keep the show going as a business at the beginning.
Then there's an intro. And, if you're new, it might throw you off. ‘Cause the intro's around 12 minutes of me … I guess, 12 minutes of me explaining what the intro is, and then kind of trying to explain what the podcast is. And like a few percentage of people skip ahead to just go the the story. Tonight it'll be our ongoing episodically modular series, Big Farm in the Sky P.I., the Phantom Minnow. But that wasn't my point.
So you could skip ahead to like 18 or 20 minutes if you're just looking for the story, or our patrons get a story only, episodes. But like most people … just a small percentage of people … A lot of people fall asleep during this intro, or get ready for bed, or start to wind down. And so, that's kind of the intro. It's like the show's slow to start, 'cause I wanna ease you into bedtime. Also, I never have figured out how to efficiently make a podcast, explain things, or try to … I'm still trying to figure out exactly how the whole sleep podcast thing works.
So those are some other reasons why I don't effectively get to the point of explaining what the show is. So, let's see. So that's … I'm trying to think of what else.
Oh, structurally. So there'll be … The intro's 12 minutes or so. Sometimes 14, sometimes 16. Then there's business. Just between the intro in the story. Then there's a bedtime story. Then there's some thank-yous at the end. So it's a structure of the show.
Also, you don't need to listen to me. No pressure at all. I'm here to help you fall asleep. So I'm here to keep you company, and to take your mind off stuff while you drift off. So you could do so at your leisure, but you could turn me down to a mumble. As a reviewer I recently read said, kind of like, you can put me like just far enough away that it sounds like a TV's on in another room. Or you can listen. I'll be here to keep you company, but in a very circuitous and meandering way. But, yeah. You don't need to listen or really remember, or feel like you're … You know, have any FOMO, 'cause you could just listen tomorrow or at another time. Or just listen, you know, just sleep, and then move on to the next episode.
So there's no pressure. Listen, here's another thing. No pressure to fall asleep. I make this show because I truly believe you deserve a good night's sleep, that you deserve a life where you can flourish, flourish, and be treated with dignity and respect, even in your internal relationship with yourself.
I think my tongue's having a little … creating a little wrinkle in my own internal relationship. What do you not … My tongue's refusing to touch the upper palette of my mouth, for some reason.
But … Oh, so no pressure to listen. No pressure to fall asleep. I'm gonna be here for about an hour. And the reason the shows are an hour is twofold: One, it gives you plenty of time to fall asleep. So there's no pressure. And you can cue up as many episodes as you need. And you can just drift off as I talk about stuff.
And the other side of it is so, if you can't sleep, if you're up, and you got something on your mind, or you just don't know why you can't sleep, or you do know why, I'm here. I'm here to keep you company throughout the night, if you need it. That's one of the reasons I work so hard on this podcast, and make the episodes complete, is for those of you that can't sleep. I'm here. I'm here to be a voice, to be your bore friend, to be your bore bae, your bore bud, your bore sib, your bore cuz, your bore bestie. And in some paradoxical way, I'm here to be your bore bestie, whether you're awake or asleep, whether you need me talking to you ,or whether you need me talking near you, and you're not … You know, it's just to chat, or you just need me to set it up, and you lay it down, you know what I'm saying?
So I'm here to help. That's why I make this podcast. It is because I've been there … I know what it feels like. And I believe maybe, you know, while this doesn't fix everything, this podcast doesn't work for everybody, that a little friendship, a little companionship, a little bit of goofing around, maybe it can help. And I mean, again, you're talking about somebody who makes a sleep podcast who, after I'm done recording, I'm gonna have to sit down with my tongue, and my upper palette, and talk it out. And I see we're living a pun now, because what's going on with you two?
And then I would have to, also, sit with the tongue and say, “Well, I'm not gonna speak on behalf of the upper palettes.” Did you just hear that? I tried to prevent myself from sighing at my own … Okay, well, you know, you two are meant to work together. Out of all of my body, you know, you do live in the same facility. Okay, my mouth just said, “We're not a facility.” Again, it was just a figurative term, but you're part of a team there, and I'd like it if you two … You don't have to get along, but I think you two, maybe it's just a matter of … I think … Yeah. I think maybe you both just both need a nap when I'm done recording. So, obviously … And I'll snuggle you. I don't think, you know, to be honest, maybe it is my fault. I've never … I mean, I have used … Like I have given you, you know, I've brushed you both. And I've looked at you both in a mirror.
But now lately, you're right, I haven't looked at you two, all of you, in the mirror. I haven't said, “Ah,” for the pleasure of doing it, for the pleasure of seeing the both of you in all of your glory. And I haven't taken the time to say, to wonder, “Are those taste buds visual? Is that what I'm looking at, taste buds?” And then to imagine, you know, like your upper palette, or whatever … Yeah, I don't even know what you like, you know, like to play imagination games with you, pretend we're exploring. You know, maybe we're in a whale.
You know I love that roll-play of famous characters trapped in whales. That's one of my number one things. So, I guess, I'm just apologizing. Also, if anybody knows what the difference between the roof of your mouth is and your upper palette. Just parts of the wonderful things in that great facility I call my mouth. A great … One of the most famous teams known to me, the mouth. And, yeah, of course, you're part of the greater head community. Oh, boy. And yes, you are unappreciated. Holy … Let me validate that, because it's true. I only need to validate it because it's true, not because I'm invalidating things so that we could move on with the podcast intro. Oh, no! You two, you know, all of you have not been appreciated. Holy Moly!
And just in a loving way, you're right, to be noticed, to be seen, to say, “Hey, there, uvula, or whatever, you know, whatever, you know, the things I can't spell within my mouth. Sure, I should open my mouth and ponder if there is a lower palette. I assume there is, if there's an upper one. Yes, I should roll you up and look, and oh, boy! Those are things I'm gonna be doing later.
But maybe, hopefully soon, you and my listeners will be, you know, however … Did you know that the world … I don't know if it's everybody holds their mouth in a unique way while they sleep, but you know, hopefully, this'll be slack-jawed in a good way. Hopefully, we'll be slack-jawed later. Maybe drooling. Be great to … That would really be like you would be working as a team, just chilling out.
So all credit, by the way, if you listen to this podcast, that two parts of my mouth in the greater head community that just haven't gotten a deservedly … attention they deserve. Really essential parts, the upper palettes … Possibly, I assume, if it's what I think it is, it's a central part of the show. And one of the hardest of working muscles, and you know, are you an organ, or what? How about we get the tongue and Pluto on the same page, and say the tongue is an organ? No, you don't need that much attention. Well, you're the hardest working, you know, thing that enables me to communicate in lulling soothing tones.
Okay, I don't have time. The vocal cords? I'm sorry. I can only cover … I can only heal so many … give you … Believe me, I'm gonna gargle, holy gargling. The amount of gargling I'm gonna do for all of you. Oh! Do you all love gargling? Okay. Well, there's something we can all agree on. Okay, just the exact right amount of salinity. Of course! Of course, of course. So I … Oh, of course, we'll get the perfect temperature that all of you are happy with. I've gotta get back to the podcast listeners, though.
Well, that took an interesting turn. If you're new, that's what kind of happens to every intro in a different way. Here's a little something I like to say. It's like, you know, it might not have made any sense, but did it take your mind off of whatever was keeping you awake? That's kind of how the whole podcast works. So, if you're new, give it a few tries. I really wanna help. I'm really glad you're here. And I work very hard, because I yearn and I strive to help you fall asleep. And here's a couple of ways we keep the show going.
All right. Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of our ongoing serial series. What's the name of it? Oh, the Big Farm in the Sky P.I. Phantom Minnow. It's a ongoing, episodically modular series, which means you can kind of listen to it in any order. And, on top of that, I'll catch you right up with everything you might need to know right now.
So you might ask yourself, “Scoots, this is my first time listening. Give me the premise of what's going on. Where are we? Who are the characters? And then, when you're done with that, ideally, you'll have time left over to tell the episode story.” And I would say sure too. So this Big Farm in the Sky P.I., Season 2. Season 1's out there for your perusing if you wanna listen a couple of years back.
Season 2 is the story of three characters that are central to our stories. Simon, Gee … You could spell it G-E-E … and DK. Simon is an uncle of Gee, and kind of an uncle, in theory, to DK. Simon passed from a earthly life to the life, posthumously life, a while back. And Simon is a resident of the Big Farm in Sky.
Season 1, Simon was the Big Farm in the Sky P.I. Now Season 2 … Oh, okay, there's a couple of other things you might need to know about Simon that … Not every person that transitions from the earthly life … You know, I don't know what's in store for everybody. And I don't know 'cause I have limited, you know, knowledge of the Big Farm post-earthly life. I'm still here. At least part of me is. But Simon has the ability to C-A-S-P-E-R, like, or dust, but like he can visit earthly people, and communicate with them. He can appear physically and auditorily. So, like that's a very rare thing. That's why that it's still not like, you know, it's a rare thing. We'll just say that.
Simon is good, clearly. Now, Simon's niece, Gee, and her best friend DK, they're earthly residents. They're tweens, I think. Or post … I think they're still tweens. And they know Simon exists. Simon interacts with them. Season 1, they all solved mysteries in the Big Farm. So, Simon would get advice from DK and Gee.
Season 2, here's great news. Gee and DK proposed to their school, “Hey, we're gonna do an independent study this semester. We're gonna start our own investigation biz at DK's aunt Penny, in Florida.” It's the largest retirement community that I know about … the townes. And so, Gee and DK said, “Well, with the help of Simon, we could figure out some mysteries here in the earthly realm, and help people.” You know, say, “Great. And thanks for finding out, you know, why my cat was coughing up hairballs that weren't there.” As it turns out, they were just air balls. That's not an actual mystery. That's just an example.
Now Simon, meanwhile … I guess it's kind of … This is why I said episodically modular. Simon had his P.I. business bought by a larger company in the Big Farm, and got a job there. And the details are hazy on that. Simon also started another hobby of like comic, called the Phantom Minnow, that we'll find out more about in this episode, a little bit. Well, where's the Phantom Minnow? Like, I thought that was the title of this season. And I would say, “Well, ask …” We'll find out about it a little bit.
But so, Simon is helping his niece … helping them solve mysteries here in the Big Farm. I mean, not the Big Farm. Simon, from the Big Farm, is helping Gee and DK solve mysteries in a place that prepares people for the Big Farm, Florida. So, I think that's it. Yeah.
And here's our celebrity … I forget what I call you. Friend, states person, and all around great guy, Antonio Banderas, everybody.
Thank you, thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls, Friends Beyond the Binary. It's time for the Big Farm in the Sky, Season 2, Phantom … the Phantom Minnow. Let's crack this case. Yeah.
Well, that was a long yeah. That was good, but like almost sounded … Like the second half of it almost sounded like opening a thermos or something, or drop … like how I would imagine like an echo down a metal tube, really long metal tube. But it was good. It was just … Well, so maybe … Like it was interesting. It's good to see you. I don't know if everybody knows it's New Year's Day when we're recording this. And I don't know if you had any New Year's resolutions you wanted to share with the audience. Like being more quiet when you're sitting waiting for me to finish recording, shifting … You know, being more … internal and external stillness, not slurping water, you know, not getting caught in traffic, like when you're driving from LA to the Bay area for free to do an announcement on a podcast, with no apparent benefit for you, my friend, other than playing Munchkin with my friend.
Okay, yeah. You know, maybe use … I don't know … I don't even know. We don't talk about finances, you know, but maybe using your … maybe creating like, you know, you're giving me some dough. Any New Year's resolutions like that?
My friend, I do have a New Year's resolution. Not on in like … But when I see you, I want to make sure you know how happy I am to see you. Not to be thinking about other things or other places, the past, present, to say, “Holy Cow, this is my Munchkin buddy. We're going to play Munchkin after he makes me do this thing for his lovely listeners. So, when I see you, I would like my face to light up. Even, you know, even if it's in …”
And then I say, “Well, I'm a little bound, because it took me 14 hours to get here.” So that's my New Year's resolution. Thank you. And it's time for Big Farm in the Sky P.I.
Yeah. Yeah, thanks. Thanks. That was great. You know, would you feel strange if I took your … You're looking at me like you're not glad to see me. But if I repurpose your … Or not … appropriate, I guess, your New Year's Resolution, and like just copy you?
My friend, I'd be honored.
Okay, that's Antonio Banderas, everybody. That's the Big Fan in the Sky P.I. Phantom Minnow.
Hey, Diane, it's Simon here. I gotta update Diane. Like it's been a little while since I've updated you. It's kind of an out-of-sorts update, Diane. I'm out of sorts. That's my update at TLDR. Diane, that used to be, a couple of years ago, that stood for too long don't read, Diane, or TLDL, too long don't listen. But here's a couple of updates.
Small things. Procrastination, Diane. My ideas for the Phantom Minnow are non-existent. But I may be blocked, or I may be stuck, or I might just not be up to the task of being a comic. Like just because I had the idea, Diane, I'm not exactly sure that I can deliver on it. So I got that news, Diane, which is … I don't know, maybe I gotta find another pastime. And I guess maybe helping Gee and DK, if I look at it like a way of helping, and something to do that I enjoy very much, usually. But that's not going great either, and I mostly feel for Gee and DK, Diane. ‘Cause they've had three cases, very public mysteries, that they were not able to solve. It was the shopping carts with wheel locks that keep locking up. That one … Oh, no. It's without wheel locks. So that's it. But they weren't able to figure it out, Diane, and I didn't help.
The French bread that tasted sour, like sourdough. That was another one, Diane. And finally, the last case they tried to crack was the house where rain never fell. And all three ended up unresolved. They worked very hard. We worked very hard, and we couldn't get the solutions. Now, Gee and DK, they do have pretty healthy boundaries, so I said, “Well, we can't solve this.”
Especially, Diane, you know, we don't talk about this in public. You know, detectives and private eyes kind of have a code that the answer, you know, if it's a mystery, the answer can't just be, “Oh, it's just a person,” or, “Oh, it's just your incorrect observation,” or, “Oh, chaos theory,” or, “Oh, it's random,” or, “Oh, it's an enigma like, you know, a freak event.” Those aren't … You know, and then you start quoting Malcolm Gladwell. It's a slippery slope. You know, you say, “Well, you're taking Malcolm Gladwell quotes out of context.” Or the other Malcolm from Jurassic Malcolm. And you put those, and you say, “Well, this is the nature of chaos. We don't know why.” And they say, “Okay, well, that's not a solution,” and you know, whereas they're tied up in a bow, that's how PIs work. You know, if you want repeat word-of-mouth business.
And it's also satisfactory to us, you know, oh, knowing the answer. “Oh, rain didn't fall at that house because,” I don't know, “there's like …” I don't know. We couldn't figure that one out, and we said, “Well, what about fans? What about wind?”
But so, yeah. So, most of The Townes though, and that's Townes, Diane, not townies. It kind of sounds the same, but you know, it's in a nice of way of them referring to each other. They don't take it with a, you know, in stride. They love Gee and DK. And so they said, “Great job, kids. Let us pat you on the back.” Just kind of treating them … It gets a little bit talking down like they'd skinned their knee or something, instead of not being able to crack a case.
But Diane, I am concerned, 'cause as strong as Gee and DK are, as proud as they are, and as grounded, where they say, “Well, we can't solve this case. We're only here for a semester. We gotta move on to another one.” Also those were generalized cases. They weren't … They didn't have a … It was more like area mysteries. Lore even, like the podcast, but different. That, you know, they didn't have someone say, “Hey, can you crack this case for me unpaid?”
So, I don't know, so they stopped. But this one, I think, has got them a bit down. It's got me down, Diane. And maybe even some tension between the two of them. I saw them snickering, maybe even bickering, with one another. You know, they do take time alone, so that's good. But you know, Diane, as much as I look up to them, they are kids. And I just wonder if it's too much. You know, maybe they should just be having fun, doing more playing. I mean, they do that. But they take the school days portion very seriously. But this is a path they choose too, Diane. So I have to respect that.
Oh, by the way, also we tried to find something with the Phantom Minnow to solve all those three things, but no dice. So that's another reason why I'm frustrated with myself. ‘Cause the Phantom Minnow hasn't even come in handy. Yeah, I mean I floated around. I said, “Why wouldn't the rain fall?” And then we said, “Is this the … Are we sure this is the house?” That makes it hard to crack, a mystery, Diane, when they say, “Whoa, this is what they …” and I said, “Okay. Well, maybe this is chaos theory then.”
But we've agreed to try one more of these mysteries. Like they … ‘Cause we don't have any customers, you say, “Well, we don't have any customers because we can't crack any cases.” But this one, we're gonna work on. We're also stuck, Diane, again. So that's why I said, “Oh, three cases. This is a fourth.” I'm meeting them right now.
Hey, Gee. Hey, DK. No, yeah. I was talking to Diane. Yeah, it looked like … So I did go under the Phantom Minnow mode last night, and I didn't see any Big Farm trains, any … Diane, is that diaphanous? Is that … Can a train be diaphanous if it's from the Big Farm or another post Earth world?
But anyway, I didn't see any trains at night. I did hear the train whistle, but I said, “Is that the real train?” So I'm sorry, I didn't see any trains last night. Can we go over it again, what we're trying to figure … Yeah, for Diane. Yeah, for Diane. Just so I get one more understanding of it, what we're looking for.
Well, I know we don't know what we're looking for, but what we are looking for to look for, okay? Okay, I know you're frustrated, or … Oh, that's my … I know I'm frustrated. I'm not sure how the two of you are feeling. But I'm just trying to find like a starting place. So then we can figure out what tools to use.
Okay, so there's the woo-woo of the trains at night. And I couldn't figure out if it's a real train, a model train, a train sound, or a train from post Earth realm. So that's one place I'm … Oh, well, it doesn't matter anyway? Well, I mean, it would help me do like, I guess, that's where we're … Okay. Never mind. Forget the whole thing. No, I understand, and I would love to … I can see how you feel like we're wasting our time. ‘Cause I don't have a clear … Like all the model train clubs are gonna lose, because this one actually has a real consequence if we don't crack it.
If the train .. the model railroad clubs are being blamed for this, and if we don't get the case solved, they lose … Every model train club here in the town will lose their club. And the sound affects clubs, they said, are next, if the model train clubs don't clear this up. And, you know, all model train usage will be banned, which seems like extreme measures, but … So I don't think we are wasting … I'm just trying to get us focused, basically.
No, I … Focus on what? No, I think it does matter. I think it does matter. I think you are good at solving cases. We just had a streak of mysteries we haven't been able to solve. I don't think you are overconfident. No, no. You didn't get lucky in previous cases. You worked hard. Then we didn't get lucky in four cases in a row. Unlucky.
Okay. No, no. I don't think you took it as a sign you knew what you were doing. I think that's the kind … That may be how you're feeling about things, which is understandable. Well, no. I don't think you'd be better served cleaning out closets and garages and gutters for money. I think we have this case in front of us. We haven't had a lot of luck. But this case has been confusing and confounding. But, yeah, cleaning out armoires, bureaus, garages, boxes … Yeah, I don't know if that's you. Like yeah, spare bedrooms, you know, those aren't your mysteries. That's not why you're here.
I mean, I don't see it as you two giving up. You could choose to do that, and that could be your business for your independent study. Oh, you're realists. I think you're young to be a realist. I mean, no offense, but I don't think realism and youth are meant to go … Like, you know … Well, that's my opinion, you're right, correct about that.
No, I don't think you're not qualified to solve mysteries. Anyone's qualified that tries and succeeds. And, as a matter of fact, you've been paid as private eyes, so you've cracked more cases here than you haven't. Why don't you look at it like that?
Well, I know you're kids, but that doesn't change anything. I mean, like think about Encyclopedia Brown, think about Big Nate, Fancy Nancy, all the other big, you know, all those other kid detectives. Well, they're fictional. Okay, what about Sherlock, you know, those are … Okay. Well … Yeah. Oh, maybe you should be solving kids' cases. No. I think adult cases that are just fine. Oh, you just wanna enjoy. Okay, that's a reasonable decision. If you wanna just enjoy your time here. I guess part of me is torn, because I am also worried, because I'm not having a lot of luck with this Phantom Minnow comic or, you know, going back to the Big Farm, where I have a job that I haven't been to in a … I'm not even clear how time works over there. Like I'm tempted … Maybe I'm trying to hold on to this dream of us, the three of us working together here in the towns. Maybe I'm holding …
I don't know. I mean, friendship, and your friendship, is more important than mystery. You're correct about that. Maybe it's just a matter of … You know, not everything's a success, right? And this, you may take … Like experience, it has to be built up. So maybe these cases were of you gaining experience that'll help on this case or the next case.
Okay. Let me ask you a couple of questions. Did you try very hard to solve these cases? Yes. Did you work all the angles you possibly could? Okay. Is it just about trying hard though? No. Have any of the kids, in any other kid detective cases, face any cases like those? Or a situation like this, where they like get a string of letdowns, and then like … I'm sure there was an Encyclopedia called, Brown Calls It Quits, unless I'm, you know, misremembering, which I tend to do. Or inventing …
What's my point? Well, I'm just trying to figure out … Okay. Let me ask you one more set of questions, and then you can make your decision. What are the core principles of being a good private eye, a good detective? Okay, one second. I'm not … Well, like when you have no clues, like how you solve a mystery. No tools, and no experience. Like where would you start? Like if there was a kid kid detective, like one of you had a younger sibling, and they were gonna start solving mysteries, where would you have them start? Like, okay. Like core principles you would teach them. Like all of the great … Like stuff that all the great detectives share. See things as they are. Okay. Would you say … Okay, that's great, DK, not as we want them to be, or as we're worried they are, or think they are. Okay, Gee, you got another one. Reexamine.
DK, you working as a team here? Are you gonna answer? Reexamine your assumptions and beliefs. Misconceptions, projections. Oh, be in the present. What did you say, DK? Get rid of all … Okay. Get rid of all your darlings. Send them to the Big Farm. Big Farmify all your darlings. What are darlings? Like the things you … ideas you hold on to. Good titling. Okay. Got you.
Okay, let's take a breath here then. Like how are you two kind of seeing things as a … Are you seeing things as you wish they are? Or like with solving the cases? Or as you're worried they are? Yeah. Or you can't solve the case, and you won't ever solve one again. Okay, that's how you're seeing things as you worry they are. As you wish they are? You wish you solved all the cases. Okay. Okay.
Oh, that F-A-I-L word. Yeah, it's a strong word. What assumptions are you making? Were you assuming? Were you making asses out of you and me, that you missed clues or an easy answer? That's a good assumption. I mean, it's a reasonable assumption, but it's good that you said it's an assumption that you missed clues.
Okay, what are the darlings, DK, that we should send to the Big Farm right now? What are darlings to a PI? Solving the case. Correct. That is … That's, like I said, also … That is a darling of mysteries, so that they should be solved. Correct. That it can be solved. Oh, boy. Well, that's deep. That is deep. Let's keep going.
That the case should be solved. Wait! That it could be solved by anyone. Whoa, whoa! The way you two are looking at one another. What does that look mean? What do you mean, “What if the case can't be solved by us, or by anyone?” I don't understand. Well, you know, I didn't reapply to be a … But before I became a PI, I didn't read a whole lot of mysteries. That's why it took me so long to catch on.
Oh, like what if it can't be solved by anyone but the detective? I don't understand. Okay, what if only the detective has a key piece of information or knowledge that we don't have? You mean like we, the reader? Okay. You're mixing me up with the fiction and reality. Okay, looking at it through a fictional lens and reality. Okay. So we're the reader of the book, and we're watching the mystery. And Sherlock Holmes has something that we don't have that could solve the case. So we can't solve it, you're saying. Oh, this is how grownup mysteries work? Mysteries can be solved. You're talking about when we read them.
Oh, it's a flaw you see in adult mysteries, that they can't be solved. Oh, a majority of those, the detective knows things the reader doesn't know, or understands things that the reader doesn't know. Oh, that the reader … So, the reader can't solve the mystery is what you're saying. Oh, a key piece, yeah. Okay, I get that part.
In a kid mystery, though, you're saying Encyclopedia Brown, if we read it, we could actually solve it. Well, that's strange. I mean, I guess maybe 'cause … So you could normally solve that for yourself, where an adult one, the detective has to solve it for you. Oh, so it's like aspirational in some sense. It makes it different, doesn't it? And makes an ass fire out of you and me. Oh, and the great kid mysteries are hard. So you can solve them. It doesn't mean you do solve them. But they could be solved, and you could go back and see what you missed. Where an adult mystery, you would go back and see what you missed, but it wasn't missing.
I think I get you. Red herring? So, yeah, I'm familiar with those. Misdirects … No, it's for entertainment, right? To confuse you and entertain you, and make you wish you were like the detective. Okay. I've never read Miss Marple. Have either of you? No. I wonder. She doesn't sound like she would be like that. Probably is though. Okay. Specialized … It's a knowledge the detectives have. Could be experience like, you know, I was talking about earlier.
Okay. Let's go back to what we were talking about. What if our cases can't be solved? That's what triggered this with you. These cases are grownup cases. Okay, what do you mean? Like they're fictional. Like, okay. So we're saying what if these cases … This is isn't a cognitive dissonance though. You're saying what if these three cases, and this fourth one, are like we're reading adult mysteries?
Are you saying that … Is this simulation theory? Or were you talking about reality? Oh, like we're in a fiction. Like they're fictional mysteries. Well, they are lore. Okay, I'm gonna take a … It sounds like you two have something to think about then, about this car mystery. I gotta take a walk to clear my mind.
Oh, hey, Diane. It's me. I'm back. Diane, it's been a few minutes since I updated you, but we're knee-deep in this un-case. Holy Mackerel. We've been making … I've been doing … I've been going around making train whistles, Diane, at night. Incorrect ones, and inaccurate ones. And we do have some S-U-S-P-E-C-T-S, Diane.
Let's see. Where was I? So we're in this … We're working this case in a different way, because we don't even know what the case is. Or I don't.
Oh, so Diane, a huge advantage. Whoever's behind this, I guess, Diane, we think people are behind this. It's not just chaos theory. But they don't even know I exist. They don't know about me and the Phantom Minnow. But DK and Gee, they noticed a couple of other things. Like so their idea is to annoy these people out of the woodwork. Because when they looked back at the other cases, they noticed that every time they were stuck, a certain gentleman, in particular, seemed to just arrive at times, and say, “Oh, what's with the frowny faces?” Kind of, you know, what do you call … patronizing … patronizing them, Diane. You know, “Well, oh, you can't figure out … Maybe, you know, maybe you should go to mechanics school. You can't figure out why a shopping cart wheel would lock.” Kind of pretending to offer help, but more offering, just been not … subtle not-niceness, Diane.
And we started to wonder if these “splainers”, as we called them, they say, “Oh, you're looking … You're trying to figure out why it doesn't rain? Have you heard wind shear?” Well, no. That's not what we … That's another thing they do, Diane. They say, “Well, that's not what wind shear is. Well, that's not how you figure out. You gotta go to the library to do that. You can't figure that out on the internet.”
Anyway, Diane, I don't wanna give them too much explaining time. They'll explain it for themselves in some April way. But oh, Gee and DK took stuff. They went out and they bought green overalls and chef's hats, and they asked to join as auditing members, all the model railroad clubs. And the railroad clubs said, you know, obviously said, “Well, are you gonna help solve this so we don't lose our charters?” And they would show up, and they'd say, “Well, we're just gonna participate for now, and we're working on the case, maybe.” And people would … Like, when they showed up to these groups, they were like train conductors from Burning Man, Diane, with giant chef hats and green overalls. But they would just ask questions about their trains. They would play with the trains. They would ask more questions. “What's HL mean? Why? What's a gauge again? What's your favorite train? Why the train …” You know, oh, boy. Or, “Why is this out of scale?” That was one that drove a lot of people … They said, “It is in scale.” And I said, “Well, no. This person … The trees aren't the same scale as the trains.” That was … They do that at every club, especially when they think they have a splainer.
But mostly, the time they spent at the clubs … See, we found there's four groups, Diane. There's people at their train clubs, they just wanna be left alone, and play with their trains, which those just have different styles. You know, some are, “Oh, you know what? I appreciate you have questions, but I'm gonna play with my trains right now. Thanks.” Maybe if someone else answer, or there was grouchier people. You know, so people that could vocalize their boundaries versus those who couldn't. And they'd say, “Okay, one more question. Then I'm gonna get back to playing with my trains. I like to do it in quiet.” I think I learned more from those people. I guess those are two groups.
So, Diane, the grouchy people, they just said, you know, that they were just there to play with their trains, and not be interrupted versus people say, “Hey, that's great, but I need … You know, this is a, you know, social introversion thing for me to escape. That's what I like to do.”
And then there was a third group of more extroverted or that people that are like more like, “Oh, this is so great.” They got more energy from all the questions, and they kind of saw it as, “Oh, you're interested in this. That's right. I don't mind your questions are repetitive or that you're wearing a chef's hat. And saying it's a conductor's hat. ‘Cause you're a kid. You're here to have fun.”
And then, the fourth group, not the same splainers as we've … But a lot of them could get frustrated, kind of like I was saying, “Why do you have so many questions? What do you mean, like why don't you look that up when you leave here?” Almost like pretending to be helpful in a punishment way or something, Diane. “Why ask a …” you know. But the girls, they stuck to it. And they would just ask more questions. Like they let it roll off. Water off a duck's back, Diane.
And this kind of just seemed, by attrition, to those who would leave. ‘Cause they couldn't correct … You know, when you can't be corrected, when you're just being joyful, it's tough to, you know, for a splainer to explain things to you. Like it's just like hot air coming out of their mouths. Yeah, but the splainers, they were doing, they say, “Well, what about the mysteries?” They said, “I thought …” You know, that would be their last thing. “I thought you were gonna solve the mystery. Are you just here to play with our trains? ‘Cause we're about to lose our thing-a-ma-jig.”
‘Cause, oh, the mystery, Diane, maybe I didn't explain it. So, people at night have been hearing these train sounds that are separate from the trains, which are … You know, there's no trains running through the towns. Only on the outskirts. The east train sounds are coming from within the towns, in the middle of the night, in different places. And so, again, these things, they say, “I thought you guys cracked cases.” And they would call them girls, which sometimes I mistakenly do that, Diane. It's not proper. They're young adults. Or they're Gee and DK.
So, Diane. I apologize, you know. And I'm working on my language too. You know, and they'd say, “I thought you, you know, you know, would solve the case of the yarn that changes colors,” or, “Oh, you couldn't figure out that rain one either.” But again, Gee and DK, we stuck to the client. We also had me making incorrect train noises to see if anyone would try to splain me. You know, no one could find … There was just a theory. Actually, like you'll see, 'cause this is like a mystery, Diane, for grownups.
Yeah, but they kept getting, you know, a little bit, more and more, running out of patience. But here's a great thing, Diane. Gee and DK, we were … Actually, we started having fun. I would ride on the trains as the Phantom Minnow. And I think it helped me become more of a fan of Minnow. Like going around at night, I made myself look like a train. I was riding model trains, Diane. I was getting in model trains. I was shrinking down, making Gee and DK laugh. A lot of times I would be a figure on a train, or standing at a train station, while a splainer was explaining things, and I would be imitating them, Diane. I know it's petty, but it was fun. You know, saying, “That is not a conductor's hat. That's a chef's hat. There was no train conductors that wear green overalls.” And Gee said … She totally owned that. She said, “Really? In the history, there's never been someone that's conducted a train in green overalls.” So they said, “That's strange.” And then she … The person said, “Well, how …” and Gee said, she said, “DK, what were those green denim sales numbers for, you know, whatever, 1842?” You know, they just had fun.
So, okay. So, but then we also started to say, “Well, these are our friends. They love these model trains. They're gonna lose … We do have to solve this case now.” But it's clearly a setup, Diane. We can't … We were like … We were stuck. Everybody started … You know, splainers and friends, even the quiet people said, “Hey, do you think you could … You know what's making those train noises? Is there any way you could stop those train noises? Because they keep moving around from neighborhood to neighborhood, so we can't just stake out, and we … So we were really on our train clubs.” You know, no one would want a broad charter banning model trains, but that's, you know, part of what you agreed to. It was part of your HOA, or whatever.
Yeah, but then, Diane, you know, things change. And you find out that, yeah, if a mystery can't be solved, maybe by not solving it, and like okay, anyway. This is a big meeting, because tomorrow's when they lose their charters, and they ban model trains. And DK and Gee are waiting out front.
Oh, hey, Gee. Hey, DK. Yeah, no. Talking to Diane. For sure. Aren't we gonna go in and the meeting start? Oh, we're gonna wait for a little while? Okay. It sounds like everybody's really bent out of shape in there. A really, a lot of talking. Yeah, thanks. Yeah. It has been fun, this train stuff. But yeah, I'm still down about the Phantom Minnow, and not figuring out the comic book stuff. Well, it's kind of like you. You guys said, you know, that … You know, I feel like maybe I'm not … That's not who I am, that I don't know how to do it.
And I know I've been helpful in this case, like you said. But what are some primary things about it? I don't think it's a primary … I don't have the same thing, easy answer, as you say. Core principles. It should be fun, I think. That's the core principle for me. And interesting, maybe, sometimes. Yeah. Fun riding around on the back of a model train. Yeah, see. Yeah, that is fun. You're right. Making train sounds that are incorrect, and you know, like roo-roo-roo, instead of choo-choo, or whatever, woo-woo. Yeah, that's fun too.
So, I guess I gotta … I mean, I guess I just gotta figure out … Oh, I … What do you mean, “I hate you.” Like maybe I could … We still don't know who exactly … Yeah, so I could look into that. You mean … Isn't that a bit like Highway to Heaven? Well, like figuring out who these splainers are, and why they're kind of grouches? Yeah, maybe the Phantom Minnow could do that. I don't know. Or like the sixth sense or something. I don't know. I could think about it. That is a good idea. But I don't know if that would be fun. That would be the key thing, helping J-E-R-Ks, especially the ones that have been kind of setting you up with cases that weren't solvable. But they seem to … Okay, let's go and … Okay, it's really getting … The meeting's getting … Voices are even raised, more raised.
Hey, Diane. We're walking in. Gee's holding up her hand. Everybody's disagreeing with one another. I'm gonna tell … Okay, Gee just said, “I can tell by the look on some of your faces, especially of our train friends. Hey! Hi! And our fellow train enthusiasts, that this meeting's not going well.” But it looks like that naturally came up. You know, I couldn't hear, but I can only assume it can only infer that during this meeting, certain members kind of said that the trouble with the train whistles corresponded with our arrival here to the towns. Is that true? Yeah, that's what I thought. And that our arrival and the train whistle arrival is gonna ruin model trains for everybody. And that it probably has something to do with us. Does that sound like the argument that certain people made? Yeah, I can tell that was said. You know, that's a pretty classic device, like a clock-setting device in mysteries, to involve the detective in some way. Especially some sort of rival to make the detective part of the case.
You know, so for the reader helps that there's high stakes. And now the detective has to solve the case in order to clear their name, or to extricate themselves from some other sort of way they've been woven into it. And that would work for a mystery, in solving a mystery … or a mystery to be read. But here, the trouble with the train whistles, it's not a mystery. What you have with the train whistles is a secret. And a secret and a mystery are two different things.
And, at first, you might say that you might be confusing. But just think about it for a difference. A mystery is something that needs to be solved. A secret is something that's kept. And, in this case, it's a secret club. And some of you may be in it. Some of you may have heard about it. In fact, this club is right in your midst. And I know some of you have suspected it over the years. And this club started as group members kind of playing P-R-A-N-Ks on one another. Like jokes.
It actually started on April Fool's Day about 18 years ago, and it developed into a secret club within these model train clubs. Now, most of the people that joined it were males that enjoyed pranking people, in particular. Personalities you could say like B-U to the L, to the L, to the Y, a little bit. And that club, you know, if you ever had a mystery or something that happened where you felt like a little bit left out, it could have been this club. You may not even know about it. It exists as a secret club with some knowledge of it to be, you know, exclusive.
And one feature of this club was when a club member would go to the Big Farm. All of the members would have a big party one night at someone's house, and they would whistle. They would all bring train whistles, and play the whistles. And then, they started doing it, and when someone would go, not just to the Big Farm, but for a snowbird to return to the North. And then, people started to complain about this. And, as pranksters, they got a kick out of it.
And then, when we arrived here, and certain members of the club found out about us, they started creating mysteries for us, and blowing their train whistles even more to raise the complaint level to where a measure would be passed to deal with it. They started a clock right out of a book. And, you know, they were fine. And I think, probably, there was some sort of internal mechanics. I don't know if that may have triggered this. I don't know if there's been any leadership differences in these clubs. But now they used that to basically either end the clubs, so they'll still have their secret club, because it doesn't have a … It doesn't exist, and it doesn't have a charter that can be taken away. And they think they can get away with still playing trains in secret.
But that's the struggle. It's not a mystery. It's a secret. But all of you have taught DK and I the joy of trains. And we really appreciate that. And we'd hate to see you lose it. So, you know, you can all decide how to deal with the secret, you know … and if somebody … you know … I think we'll leave you. We've cracked this secret, and those of you members that are wondering, you know, how do you figure out a secret? You know, well, DK and I are gonna keep that secret from you.
We know those other three mysteries, you know, you were … So, good day, everybody. We'll see you tomorrow at one of the train club houses, hopefully, unless we're out solving an actual mystery. Thanks.
Hey, Diane, it's me. I'm so proud of those two. Holy Moly! Proud to be associated with them, Diane. And, just in case you're wondering, Diane. It was … I met someone who had gone to the Big Farm, but they hadn't made it there yet. And they told us about the secret. It was just … It was a matter of annoyance though. ‘Cause at first I was doing those train sounds, and they had been watching. They were a splainer, but they were a poster of the splainer. And they were watching D and … Gee and DK, and saying, “What are you …” But they didn't have anyone to complain to, or correct. Till one night they encounter me with my … I was going, “Foo-foo.” Like that. “Woodja-woodja, woodja-woodja, foo-foo,” over and over again, Diane. It was so fun. You just say, “Woodja-woodja, woodja-woodja, wood, foo-foo.” And that's not how a train sounds.
And finally I heard someone, they said, “That's not how a train sounds,” and I said, “Whom are you?” And they told me all about it. I told Gee and DK, and we cracked the … We didn't crack … We cracked … Yeah, we cracked the case, Diane. So I'll talk to you soon. Good night.