copyright © 2005 Matt Perry

The Questionable Death of M. Lafayette

The scene: Mr. Lafayette lies slumped on the floor in front of his computer desk, dead. Above him stand two detectives, Westmoreland and Valentine, taking notes on the scene. Enter Chief White.

White: Alright boys, what’s the story with this one?

Valentine: Well Chief, we just got here ourselves, but from the looks of it, the deceased was at his computer at the time of death. We’re checking now to see what he was doing at his computer when he died.

White: Good job, Valentine. Any signs of foul play?

Valentine: None yet, but we’re not ruling it out.

Westmoreland: (Standing by the computer looking at the screen) Sweet Jesus on a trampoline, you’d better check this out immediately, Chief White!

White: What is it, Westmoreland? My God, I’ve seen things like this before when I was a private investigator in Korea. This man died from taking every God damned who, what, where, when, why and how internet survey in existence.

Valentine: No, that can’t be, Chief White! There hasn’t been an occurrence of that ever in this entire nation!

White: That’s what it looks like to me. Valentine, you check the body for clues, see who could have made this man sit down and fill out every God damned internet survey ever. Westmoreland, you and I need to check this out.

Westmoreland: They’re all here, sir, every last one of ‘em that we’ve ever come across, and an assload and a half that we’ve never seen before. Holy ever-loving angel hair pasta, Chief. . .

White: I see it. Look at them all. This man knew which Jenna Jameson "O" face he was. Christ. "What Day Of The Week Are You?" "How Evil Are You?" "Which Character in But I’m a Cheerleader Are You?"

Valentine: Hey, I took that one once, I was Graham Eaton!

White: Don’t let that get out, you fool, or the Commissioner could have your head! This is dangerous ground we’re treading on. Westmoreland, don’t you dare take any of those tests yourself, you need to resist that urge, you got it?

Westmoreland: Don’t worry, Chief, I haven’t filled out one of these since I was 15.

White: I know that, but I also know how relapses can occur. You used to be a pretty big survey taker back in your youth in Chicago I hear. We need your expertise, but you’re a good man and a good cop, and I don’t want to lose you. Seeing anything suspicious there?

Westmoreland: Sir, I think I do! There’s one quiz I remember taking on one occasion that I’m not proud to recall, and I don’t see it here! This man died before he took every God damned internet quiz!

*Ominous music strikes*

Westmoreland: Wait, no, here it is, my mistake.

*Ominous music ends*

White: Grandmother of God, "How Pure Are You?"

Westmoreland: I know, sir, I’m not proud to admit it. . .

Valentine: Chief, I can determine that the only cause of this man’s death were the quizzes, there’s no other signs of trauma.

White: Can you determine the time of death, Valentine?

Valentine: I’d say it took place around five hours ago, sir. But he could have been online for days finding and taking all these quizzes.

White: Those monsters. . .

Westmoreland: Everlasting mother of great Caesar’s salad-eating Mary, Jesus and Joseph. . .

White: Keep those superlatives in check and tell me what you’ve found, Westmoreland!

Westmoreland: Chief, look here. This man took a "Which Member of the Beach Boys Are You?" test here, administered by one SwEeTnSoWeRgRrL90210 that stated he was Brian, but if you look here, he took a different test called "What Beach Boy Are You?" that was sent to him by x_The_Great_Lola_x that says he’s Charles Manson.

White: Good work, Westmoreland! I want you to get a squad together and bring in x_The_Great_Lola_x for questioning, see what the fuck they know about the Beach Boys.

Westmoreland: Yes sir! (He leaves)

White: My God, this could have been. . .

Valentine: Sir?

White: Valentine, even when you’ve been on the force as long as I have, it never gets any easier. In fact, it just gets tougher. And tonight, before the call came in, I had been sitting naked and alone in front of my computer for hours, just taking these quizzes and trying to end it all. I was almost there tonight, Valentine. As the Missus slept in the next room, I was learning that I am Colgate Whitening toothpaste and that I would name my left breast The ‘Fantastic’ Fred Kuzinsky Experience and my right breast Allah McBlackheart, that is, if I had breasts. I was just about to find out what type of zebra striping I am when that call came in and stopped me from going through with it.

Valentine: Sir?

White: Don’t repeat that to anyone, Valentine, that’s just between us now. But I think I’ve found a new reason for living. We need to educate kids about the danger of overdoing these quizzes. We’ll start tomorrow morning. In the meantime, call up this guy’s family. Tell them the news, let them know that if he was a famous military leader, then he would be Joan of Arc, and tell them that according to the last quiz he ever took, they should bury him in a penguin suit instead of a tux.

Valentine: I’m on it, sir. And Chief White?

White: Yes, Valentine?

Valentine: I’m Colgate Whitening, too.

White: Valentine? On that "But I’m a Cheerleader" test, I was Megan Bloomfield. I guess I’ll see you at headquarters in the morning.

(Valentine nods knowingly and leaves.)

Chief White takes one last look over the room, tips his hat respectfully to the dead body, and takes his leave with a heavy heart.

The End


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