The following is a true story.
I got a call on Saturday night from a Gaslamp Baller who will remain nameless. I will call him Mike. I was just about to help Jess get Elliott into the bath when my cell phone rang with Mike on the caller ID. I picked up.
"Hi, Mike. Are you at the game? How is it? Good times. Good times."
"Dex? Dex! Listen to me, Dex. I need your help."
"Good times?" I asked, hesitantly.
Mike was frantic. "Dex, listen to me. This is very important. I need the email address of somebody at Channel 4 Padres. I need to get a hold of somebody who can put something on the air."
I couldn't think of anyone off hand to refer him to or what he possibly would need the information for. I asked, "What do you need to get on the air? What happened?"
"I need to get somebody to put my mom's photo on the air," he said frantically. "Mom is missing. I need her photo on television."
"Who?" I said. "What?" I asked.
"Mom is missing," he said. "I'm at Petco and mom has gone missing. I need to send you her photo. I need you to get her photo on television so we can expand the search efforts."
Now, you may not realize this, but I am a problem solver. I pride myself on clear thinking towards a solution. If somebody had lost a family member while at Petco Park, by my thought process, it made no sense to call a local blogger to have a photo put on local television. In-park security seemed like the better idea to me.
"How long has she been gone?" I asked. "Have you talked to security?"
Mike's voice turned incredulous. "Security? What the fu- What? Dex. Just give me the email of somebody at Channel 4. Security? What the f_ck, Dex."
"Mike," I said, with my authoritative voice. "You need to talk to security. If they cannot help you, then you need to call the cops."
"Mom is missing, Dex. I need your help. Get me an email address of somebody at Channel 4 Padres."
I wanted to be done with the conversation. "OK, fine. Just hold on, Mike. I'm putting you on hold. I need to get to my laptop."
I went to my address book to try to figure out who would make the most sense to send an email to. John Weisbarth? Too tall. Jenny Cavnar? To perky. Jane Mitchell? Too smiley. Bob Scanlan? Nobody made sense except for maybe Bob Scanlan. I guessed maybe I'd just give him "firstname.lastname@example.org" and he could ask a Hey Scan question. That made as much sense as anything else.
By then, Jess had walked in and asked what was going on. I told her I'd been tasked to find a missing mom.
"Why you?" Jess asked.
"Why not me?" I answered.
I glanced at my phone and saw that Mike had hung up. I called him back.
"Hi, Mike. It's Dex. Listen, I could only find Bob Scan-"
"DEX," Mike interrupted. He sounded more frantic than before. "I need Tom Garfinkel's phone number. Mom is missing. She's probably in the back of some windowless van by now. You're wasting time."
I had just wrapped my brain around the idea that Bob Scanlan might be able to help find a missing mother. Bothering the president of the Padres seemed like too much.
"Why Tom Garfinkel? Was she last seen with somebody who looks like Tom Garfinkel? That's the only way that would make sense. You need to talk to security."
Mike started losing patience with me and raised his voice. "Dex! Mom is missing and you want me to talk to security? I used to work for Elite Security. I wouldn't trust those assholes to find the color blue at the beach on a sunny day. Mom is missing."
I too began to lose my patience. "Mike," I began slowly. "I'm not going to give you Tom Garfinkel's phone number. That would really not be appropriate."
"MOM IS MISSING, DEX. GIVE ME TOM GARFINKEL'S PHONE NUMBER."
I yelled back, "CALL THE COPS, MIKE. I can't give you Tom Garfinkel's phone number. CALL THE COPS."
"I'M NOT GOING TO ASK HIM FOR F_CKING TICKETS, DEX. I DON'T NEED A DEAL ON A F_CKING LUXURY SUITE. Mom is MISSING! I'm going to email you her photo. Get it on the air and give me Tom Garfinkel's phone number."
I regained my composure. "You listen to me, Mike. If your mom is missing, then it makes no sense to talk to me. It makes no sense to talk to Bob Scanlan. It makes no sense to talk to Tom Garfinkel. You need to call security. If that's not helping then you need to hang up the phone and call the cops."
"MOM IS IN THE BOTTOM OF A WELL BEING TURNED INTO A F_CKING COAT AND YOU WANT ME TO CALL THE COPS!?! WHAT THE F_CK IS WRONG WITH YOU!? SOME PSYCHOPATH IS USING MOM'S VAGINAL FLUID AS SAUCE FOR HIS GERMAN SHEPPARD'S DINNER AS WE SPEAK. I NEED THAT PHONE NUMBER."
I finally lost patience. "Are you high? What the f_ck do you want me to do right now? You know what I got? I got a Twitter. I got a Facebook I don't use. I got a blog where half of my 11 regular readers are out of state. You want me to f_cking tweet them? Of the five readers actually in town, three of them are you and members of your immediate family. What the hell are you thinking? CALL THE COPS. I WILL NOT GIVE YOU TOM GARFINKEL'S NUMBER."
"FINE, ASSHOLE," he said. "Mom's blood is on your hands! You better pray to your little god of internet dickheads that she's OK, because the next time I see you I am going to beat your f_cking pasty flat ass from here to Timbuk-" I clicked off the phone.
Jess said, "What was that about?" I told her the basics. "Who are you? MacGyver? Are you the A-Team all of a sudden?" I told her I had no idea what the call was about. She suggested that I call JBox.
JBox was at a wedding and I explained the situation. "Does his mom look like a 17 year old girl? Is she the heir to a family fortune?" I told him no on both counts. "Did he sound sober? Is he on PCP?" JBox fell into a bit of a hush as he whispered, "Is his mom like... retarded or something?" JBox returned to a normal tone, "Maybe he's high on PCP and she's deaf." I told him that I didn't think any of explanations were true.
JBox said, "The only way this makes any sense to me is if Mike is high on PCP and his mom is a 17 year old, retarded, deaf-mute who's also heir to a sizable family fortune and was last seen with Tom Garfinkel." JBox then suggested, "You should just text Mentor and see what he says. It's probably good for us to know what the protocol is to try to find somebody in the ballpark anyway."
So I did.
Mentor put us in touch with somebody at the park who could send a page out. I explained the situation. I told him that I wasn't sure if it was a health issue or maybe a kidnapping situation, but essentially, mom is missing. To my surprise, he agreed to send out a page at the bottom of the inning. I texted this information to Mike along with a brief apology for hanging up on him, but that he made me nervous by yelling so much.
The return texts read:
We need more than a page.
A page isn't going to work.
I'm emailing you her photo.
Mom is missing
Just heard the page. No mom. Real great idea, dumbass.
I felt I had gone above and beyond the call of duty, and I ignored the texts. Another set of texts came in.
We found her thanks to the page.
The page worked.
I love you.
Call me in the morning.
I walked across the house, exhausted from being a Hero. Jess was finishing up Elliott's bath. I told her that Mike's mom was safe. That they found her.
Jess didn't look up as she said, "Nooooo... Really? Did they have to pay a ransom?"
"No," I replied.
"Was she tied up and tossed onto the railroad tracks?"
"They heard screams from a refrigerator inside a broke down ice cream truck."
"Windowless van behind a warehouse?"
She looked up at me. "Was duct tape involved? Slave traders? She still had all her teeth?"
"I'm pretty sure, no. Except for that last bit. Yes. She had her teeth I think."
She turned away. "Weird," she said and continued drying Elliott off.
So maybe in the end it wasn't as impressive as maybe it might've been in the hands of a real adventurer, but all's well that ends well. In the future though, if you or a loved one is in danger, and you decide to call me, I will most likely just yell at you.