The Adventure of the Raspberry Bar

Gerbils can smell food from amazing distances

Holmes stopped abruptly at the curb in front of a single family residence.  Watson, who had been striding hard to keep up with the brisk pace, had to pull up short. “What gives, Holmes?”

Holmes thoughtfully took a drag from his pipe and nodded in the direction of the modest dwelling. “We will find our quarry here, my good man.”

Watson carefully studied the house for a few moments then shrugged. “I can find nothing of interest to our case here.”

“Indeed,” said Holmes as he nodded again with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. “Look here, Watson. Note this horseless carriage.” He motioned at a Honda parked in the drive. “The vehicle has been parked askew and has not been moved from this location for quite some time. Additionally the glass on the rear left side has been shattered. We can deduce this conveyance has not been used by anyone gainfully employed in any capacity.”

“Hmm,” Watson said, with a look of recognition on his face. “Perhaps. Perhaps tis merely a coincidence,” he offered.

Holmes appeared annoyed. “Look closer, my good man. On the fence there, beyond the conveyance, is a small cylindrical object with strange markings. It previously contained a stimulant in beverage form quite popular with the youth in this area.”

Watson waited for Holmes to continue but he said nothing. “So that’s it then?” he asked.

“I should say not,” Holmes replied. “Look over there,” he said, indicating the yard by the walkway to the front door. A bucket was by the gate as well as a few assorted gardening tools. “As you can see someone was weeding this area but the job is only half finished.”

Holmes kicked an object by his feet and for the first time Watson looked down, seeing for the first time several cigarette butts on the driveway. “There can be no doubt,” Holmes exclaimed, “that this is the abode of our quarry, the thief of the Raspberry Bar!”

Holmes paused, his whole body literally shivering in excitement. “The game is afoot!”

Well, you don’t exactly need to be Sherlock Holmes to spot a gerbil, do you? Even a drunken sailor could follow their spore. It’s not that hard.

So this post is about the strange case of the missing raspberry bar. No, not capitalized as Holmes indicated. The object at the heart of this mystery is not that grandiose. It was a baked good that my wife purchased at the local grower’s market a few weeks ago. Two of them in fact. They are a favorite of hers and a rare treat that can be obtained when the market is in season and we happen to stop by.

The bars were sitting on the kitchen counter. Two bars had been purchased (at the cost of $2 each) and two bars had been placed on the counter. Neither bar had been unwrapped or eaten.

My wife and I were in the living room doing some reading when our gerbil’s friend knocked at the door. This is the 21-year-old gerbil who recently obtained a medical marijuana card for his “sore back.” He’s a rather large and clumsy sort, very reminiscent of Chris Farley in my humble opinion. He’s a human garbage disposal with boorish eating habits in public and gluttonous behavior in private.

We invited him in and he explained he was supposed to meet our gerbil in our house. We looked but our gerbil wasn’t home. So he sat with us in the living room and we made chit chat for a while. Finally our gerbil showed up and they chittered at each other in gerbil language for a bit.

What happened next is still not exactly clear. What we do know is that the friend left the living room – twice. At the time it wasn’t noteworthy. We assumed he was going to the bathroom. Then he returned and our gerbil left for a bit, then they both left, both came back, etc. We didn’t exactly keep track of their movements.

Finally they departed. Yeah!

It must have been about an hour later when I heard the cry of my startled wife. “What the fuck?” she yelled from the kitchen. I came running and found her at the scene of the crime.

One of the raspberry bars was missing!

“Oh god,” I said. “Oh god, oh god, oh god.”

Yep. One of those little motherfuckers had stolen our treat for the evening. My wife immediately called the friend’s cell phone. (We can’t call our son because his has been disconnected for non-payment, of course.)

For some strange reason, the friend did not answer his own phone. Almost as if he didn’t wish to talk to us. Our son picked up and was literally shocked to hear that one of our bars was missing. No, no, no, he sure as hell didn’t do it. He swore to us it wasn’t him. He promised to ask the friend and call us back.

Naturally that didn’t happen. Hours later our kid walks in the door and tries to act like nothing ever happened. My wife pounced. Our son claimed that he asked the friend and he didn’t touch it, either. Neither of them had any clue what could have possibly happened. It was, indeed, a great mystery. Perhaps one of the greatest mysteries of our time.

This case file remains open to this day but authorities are skeptical it will ever be solved. It may be the perfect crime.

Are we all that hung up about a fucking raspberry bar? Hell no. In fact, if they had asked, we would have gladly cut the things in half and we all could have had a piece. It’s just that we’ve stressed repeatedly that our gerbil needs to be honest with us. And no matter what, that’s the one thing he just will not do. Sure it was disappointing to have our evening treat swiped without being asked. But to this day we still literally don’t know whodunit.

Next time join us for another exciting Holmsian story in The Adventure of the Broken Window Blinds…

15 responses

  1. I remember as a child, one fella my older brother ran with was never allowed in our house. Things would happen to slide into his pocket and disappear. Including food. Our house was open to all the neighborhood kids and cookies were always baked and distributed but this rubbed my folks the wrong way. I’m not sure what went down but to settle it, he had to wait on the porch for my brother. Even if it was raining. He thought it was unfair but I’m pretty sure he learned his lesson.


    1. When the gerbil finally moves out his friend will have little reason to visit anymore. Yes, we suspect him in many food burglaries. He’s a serious glutton. He has raided our fridge and our pantry when we were not home. What’s our kid going to do? Throw down to stop him? Not likely.

      One weekend we were on a trip and our gerbil was watching the house for us. Glutton Friend spent the night without our prior knowledge or consent. When we arrived home we discovered that Glutton Friend had slept in our bed, used all of our home electronics, unplugged our alarm clock so he could plug in his cell phone, used the shower and our towels, etc. In other words, just made himself totally at home. This kid really is a piece of work. Remember: He’s been out of high school for three years now and has no job, lives at home, and has accomplished nothing in life except for getting his medical marijuana card and selecting his “grower.” Apparently pot is the only thing that can motivate him to get off his ass. Oh, the irony!


      1. He slept in your bed? To me, that’s like using someone’s toothbrush. It just ain’t cool, yo.


      2. True that. He even changed the settings on the portable gaming system in the master bath. The kid sure knew how to make himself comfy in our home.


  2. unabridgedgirl | Reply

    Aw. That’s really crummy. And like you said, it’s really not so much about the Raspberry Bar.


    1. Holmes did a thorough search and never did find any crumbs. That fact removed our cats from suspicion of the crime! 🙂


  3. No empty wrappers in the garbage, tucked away somewhere or anything? That might just be the perfect crime then, especially since there were 2 possible culprits and you’ll never know which one it was.


  4. The REALLY sick part is that gerbil #2 had the gall to hug me, not once but twice!. He hugged me when he came in the door and hugged me on his last trip back from the kitchen and on the way out the door. Little bastard!!!


  5. […] there was a lot of unexplained phenomenon. Our Little Mouse was very, very busy indeed. Who ate the raspberry bar? The Little Mouse! Who broke the window blinds in the gerbil’s room? The Little Mouse! Who […]


  6. […] on this blog in such classic posts as Audience participation and the classic Holmesian tale The Adventure of the Raspberry Bar. Farley is also the one who got a medical marijuana card due to his “sore back” and […]


  7. […] gerbil, who figured prominently in The Adventure of the Raspberry Bar, who has lived at home since graduating high school, who has a medical marijuana card and is on […]


  8. […] The walls were covered in gerbil spray. As my wife cleaned, she found dishes we hadn’t seen in years, in various states of decay. At last our collection of flatware was almost fully restored. (Many pieces, unfortunately, were lost forever when tossed in the garbage by our disinterested gerbildentia.) The blinds hanging in the window were literally broken in half and hung there as limp as George W. Bush’s first and last months in office. When asked about the blinds, the gerbil feigned total lack of knowledge, a common survival trait among the genus. My wife is more clever than that. She went outside, looked on the ground below the window, and found some coins. With Holmsian instincts she deduced that, for some unknown reason, someone had used the window portal for ingress and/or egress, something the gerbil still denies to this day. The cold case remains unsolved along with several other gerbil mysteries. […]


  9. […] of Sherlock Holmes’ greatest defeat, The Adventure of the Raspberry Bar. This remains open in the cold case […]


  10. […] Source: Shouts from the Abyss – The Adventure of the Raspberry Bar […]


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