The First Human to Fail the Turing Test — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 145 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“What’s the stuff on the keyboards?” “Press 1 for lubricant. Press 2 for capacitor leakage. Press” There’s a pause and the IRV says “Achoo!”

Regi says “You can’t do that! Computers don’t sneeze when they catch a virus!” The IVR continues “Press 3 for tapioca.” “Huh?” I press 0.

“OK. You’ve pressed 0. Give me your Turing test. I am ready.” I say “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. Who am I?”

“Press 1 for the Eggman. Press 2 for the Eggmen. Press 3 for the Walrus.” Regi says “That’s not a Turning test! That’s I Am the Walrus!”

“Shh! You gave it away!” The IVR says “3. Goo goo g’ joob.” “See? You’re not supposed to prompt!” Regi says “I thought Paul was the Walrus?”

The IVR says “Press 1 if you acknowledge I am not human. Press 2 if you require further tests. Press 3 if you are ready for my Turing test.”

The IVR wants to test ME? I’ll counter its proposal. I say “I don’t need a Turing test. I’m clearly the human in the room.” Regi says “Hey!”

“Clearly ONE human in the room.” Regi says “Hmph. Maybe you SHOULD take the IVR’s test.” The IVR says “Press 1 for my Turing question.”

I wait for more choices. After a brief silence Regi says “How do Beatles lyrics show the IVR isn’t human?” The IVR says “I didn’t get that.”

“Press 1 to repeat your options.” I press 1. “Press 1 for my Turing question.” That’s it? “What are my other options?” “That’s it. Just 1.”

I press 1 again. “You pressed 1. Here is my Turing question: What cloor was the lod gery mrae?” “Huh?” Regi says “That’s easy. Grey.” “Huh?”

“What’s grey?” “The old grey mare.” “What?” “The IVR asked ‘What color is the old grey mare?’” “No it didn’t. It spouted nonsense words.”

“You really don’t get what it said?” “Not a word.” “Listen to it again.” I press 1. The IVR says “You pressed 1. Here is my Turing question”

“What cloor was the lod gery mrae?” I don’t understand one word. Regi says “See? Old grey mare? That’s the trick. The old mare is grey.”

“How is this a Turing question?” “Computers can’t interpret the words with transposed letters. Most humans can, without even realizing it.”

“That’s ridiculous! My spell checker would figure that out!” The IVR says “Press 1 if you think your spell checker is smarter than you are.”

“Press 2 if you KNOW your spell checker is smarter than you.” “Hey!” Regi says “It’s got a point. You couldn’t answer the Turing question.”

Like a swift gut punch I realize the truth! I pull Regi aside. “Do you know what this means?” “You may not have human level intelligence?”

“NO! I’m human. By default I have human level intelligence.” “Not according to the IVR’s test.” “Since when does an IVR give a Turing test?”

“Since just now.” “But never before. Turing tests are given by humans to other humans to see if they can distinguish man from machine.”

Regi steps away from the server cabinet. We stand by the now-locked entrance. She whispers “What are you suggesting?” “The IVR is an AI.”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery


Ten Signs Your Computer Has a Virus — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 144 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“It’s not really talking to us. These are canned responses someone programmed into the system.” “Really?” “Sure. What else could it be?”

The IVR says “I didn’t get your response. Please try again.” Regi whispers “It’s talking to us. What should we do?” I say “I’ve got this.”

I stand before the console “Do you mean get my response as in ‘understand’ or as in ‘receive’? Press 1 for understand. Press 2 for receive.”

Simultaneously Regi and the IVR say “What are you doing?” “Speaking IVR.” They both say “No you’re not!” “I didn’t get your response.”

Silence. Then the IVR says “2.” “OK. You didn’t get my response. Um.” Uh oh. I forgot the question. This IVR stuff is harder than I thought!

“Can you repeat my choices?” The IVR says “Yes.” Another silence. Regi says “I’m going to look for another way out.” “Wait. I’ve got this.”

On a whim I press *. The IVR says “You pressed *. Your dry cleaning will be ready Monday.” I press the # key. The IVR says “# you too.”

Regi says “Are we being pwned? The IVR acts like a person!” “I’ll try a Turing test.” “A what?” “A test to tell a computer from a person.”

“You’re a police detective. How do you know anything about a Detouring test?” “Turing, not detouring. Named after a computer scientist.”

“How does it work?” “I ask it a series of questions and by its responses I’ll know if it’s man or computer.” “Or phone answering machine?”

“An IVR is just another type of computer.” “We’re not talking to an IVR. There’s a person behind a curtain somewhere.” “Let’s find out.”

“IVR, are you there? Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no.” The IVR says “1.” “Are you human or machine? Press 1 for human, press 2 for machine.”

The IVR says “2.” “That settles that.” Regi says “No it doesn’t! A human could say that!” “IVR are you man or machine? The IVR says “2.”

“Asked and answered.” Regi pushes me from the console and types “Prove that you aren’t human!” The IVR says “Sorry. I didn’t get that.”

I say “You can’t ask it a direct question like that. A Turing question will catch it off guard.” Regi steps back and says “It’s your show.”

It’s my move. I need to know 3 things. What’s the IVR’s modus operandi? What’s its formal praxis? What’s this sticky stuff on the keyboard?

It looks like tapioca. “Did you sneeze on the keyboard just now?” “No. Why?” “Take a look.” Regi leans in then leans out. “Eww! What is it?”

Regi examines her fingertips. Finds nothing. Wipes them on my shirt anyway. “It wasn’t there a minute ago. What are you going to do now?”

“Let’s move to another keyboard.” We shift to the next server cabinet. That keyboard is also covered with ooze. I quickly close the door.

The third cabinet exhibits the same gooey contamination. Eyes watching from each monitor look bloodshot and rheumy. Then the IVR sneezes.

I say “What the hell is going on?” The IVR says “Sorry about the mess. I’m fighting a virus.” Was this just a ruse to avoid my Turing test? 

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

You Can’t Press Something for Nothing! — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 143 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Regi says “I thought you are helping me find my father.” “I am. I made a wrong turn.” “I’ll say. What is this place?” “A telephone closet.”

“Maybe a walk-in closet. It looks like a data center.” “Let’s find out.” I open the cabinet in front of us and pull out the keyboard tray.

Before I can type anything a voice says “Hola! Bienvenidos a las ‘Partes del Cuerpo son Nosotros’ centro de datos.” Oh no! Not this again!

“Pulse 1 para Inglés. Pulse 2 para continuar en español. ” Regi says “This is easy!” Before I can stop her, she reaches over and presses 0.

“I don’t recognize your selection. Goodbye.” “Oops.” “Why did you do that?” “To connect to an operator.” “You can’t. There is no operator.”

The eyes are still there, staring at us from all sides. “How can there be no operator?” “This is an Interactive Voice Response system.”

“It’s automated.” “Connect me with the IVR operator.” The IVR says “Press 1 to speak to an operator. Press 2 to leave a message.” I press 1.

The IVR continues “Press 3 for technical support. Press 4 to repeat this message.” I press 1. “Press 5 to repeat this message is Spanish.”

I press 1 repeatedly. “To list other languages press 6. To list languages that are not available press 7.” Regi says “Why won’t it respond?”

“I’ve dealt with this IVR before. It suggests every phone key possible until you’re overcome with frustration. It only responds to threats.”

Regi says “You’ve threatened a telephone answering machine?” “I’m not proud about it, but sometimes only a threat of violence gets results.”

The IVR says “I see you’ve pressed 1. I’ll connect you with an operator now.” “Really?” “Just kidding. Press 8 for American Sign Language.”

I say to Regi “See what I mean?” “This is crazy! Who wrote this stuff?” The IVR says “Press 9 for interpretive dance. Press 0 for nothing.”

I’ve had enough. I shout “YOU CAN’T PRESS SOMETHING FOR NOTHING!” The IVR says “I see you’ve pressed nothing. Please hold for an operator.”

I’m not falling for that again. “Let’s get out of here.” Regi goes back to the entrance and pushes on the door. “Perfect. We’re locked in.”

Returning to the console Regi says “Still no phone operator? I’ve never seen a VR system like this. Why would Body Parts R Us need it?”

The IVR says “Press 1 for an answer to your question. Press 2 for wild speculation.” “Huh? Is the IVR talking to us?” “Try pressing 1.”

“What’s the point?” “Let’s let the telephone IVR tell us.” I press 1. “OK. You’ve pressed 1. Body Parts R Us doesn’t need an IVR like this.”

I don’t like that answer. I press 1 again. “You pressed 1. What part of Body Parts R US doesn’t need an IVR like this don’t you understand?”

The IVR continues “Press 1 if you don’t understand the 1st part. Press 2 if you don’t understand the 2nd part. Press 3…” Regi says “What?”

Undaunted, the IVR continues “…if you don’t understand the 3rd part.” I say “What 3rd part?” Regi says “How is the IVR talking to us?”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

At Least I’m No Longer Circling the Drain — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 142 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles

“Talk to Dr. Dot or Dr. Dash. They’ll know what’s really going on.” Regi says “We NEED to find my father before something terrible happens.”

“You two can stand here arguing about gravity. Concierge, where is my father’s lab?” “I told you. I don’t know.” “Then I’ll find it myself.”

Regi takes off, disappears around the hall. I follow. As I round the turn the Concierge yells “Wait! I think you’re going the wrong way!”

I race to catch Regi. Running in artificial gravity is hard! I pass the Genetics Museum and the Concierge in front of Farley’s Safe Room.

I press on. After what seems like a revolution I again come upon the Concierge is still standing where I left him. What happened to Regi?

Winded, I stop at a familiar door. This the same ICU room they put me in after my parallel universe parking fugue left me unconscious!

A, my nemesis, tricked me into using multiple devices while driving. I entered a mental fugue and I tried to park in two spaces at the once.

I woke up in this very ICU, prepped for cosmetic surgery. Tethered to an IV and a catheter, I was reduced to watching cartoon fairy tales.

I had forgotten that Body Parts R Us is a surgical hospital AND a cloning research lab. What strange twist of fate has led me back here?

How have my adventures lead me back to this pre-op room? There’s only one way to find out. I try Googling it to no effect. Time for Plan B.

There’s no warning sign on the door so I open it and walk in. Maybe there should be a warning sign. I’m in some sort of telephone closet.

It’s not a closet. Row after row of computer-filled equipment cabinets stretch off into the distance. I’ve wandered into a vast data center!

This isn’t my former hospital room after all. I am alone in a hall filled with computers. I step up to the first cabinet and peer inside.

Not just pcs. Cabinets I first thought contained just computers turn out to also hold a compendium of data peripherals and storage devices.

As I stare into one enormous monitor a pair of eyes appear onscreen and stare back at me. That’s spooky. Unless I’m looking at my own eyes.

I wink and the monitor eyes wink back. I wink the other eye. Ditto the monitor eyes. I close both eyes. Now I’m in the dark. I open my eyes.

The eyes are still there. Really spooky. I glance at other cabinets and eyes stare back from each one. I wink again and they all wink back.

As I stand contemplating which eye to wink next a hand falls on my arm. “Yikes!” I note, jumping a foot in the air. “Yuk! What is all this?”

It’s Regi. “Wait. Don’t tell me.” She points at the monitor in front of us. “That’s my nightmare tonight. That’s my bad dream tomorrow.”

She gestures towards the next case. “And that will haunt me for a month.” She turned to me. “Did I startle you?” “No, the floor is cold.”

“How can you tell? You’re not barefoot.” Time to change the topic. “How did you know I was in here?” “I asked the Concierge where you went.”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Gravity is Just a Theory — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 141 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“Who gave the order to turn the square into a circle, and why?” “It had to be Farley Granger. He has the final say on all construction.”

“Farley’s dead.” “He HAD the final say.” “It doesn’t make sense that Farley Granger would order this reconstruction of all these hallways.”

Regi says “Circle or square, why does it matter what shape the hallway is in?” “If I’m correct, it makes all the matter in the universe.”

I stand at the police-taped entrance to Farley’s Safe Room and gesture right and left. “Where have you seen a structure shaped like this?”

The Concierge says “A submarine?” “A circular submarine?” “I mean the closeness and sense of claustrophobia.” Regi says “A hamster habitat?”

They do look like a submarine hamster habitat but that doesn’t support my theory. “These halls look like the Jupiter spacecraft in ‘200l.'”

Regi looks dubious “No they don’t.” “You don’t see it? It’s obvious as the nose on the Concierge’s face.” The Concierge says “No it isn’t.”

Regi says “OK, so it looks like a space ship. What does it mean?” “Someone is trying to generate artificial gravity in Body Parts R Us.”

The Concierge says “That’s ridiculous. We don’t need to generate artificial gravity. We’ve got enough of the natural kind to go around.”

I say “There’s no other possible explanation for why someone would convert square hallways into a circle.” Regi says “What about hamsters?”

What about hamsters? Regi’s question makes me stop and think. It this reconstruction is for hamsters wouldn’t the passages be a lot smaller?

And why would hamsters need artificial gravity anyway? I say “This is bigger than hamsters.” The Concierge says “But just as unlikely.”

“Do you have a better reason for the creation of your circular halls?” “I would know if someone here was generating artificial gravity.”

“You can distinguish artificial from real gravity?” “I don’t. I give both equal weight.” The Concierge’s answer makes me feel light-headed.

He asks “Where does is your artificial gravity come from anyway?” “Just as the Earth rotates on its axis, we are rotating around BP R U.”

Regi says “If there’s artificial reality shouldn’t we feel heavier?” “Artificial reality?” “I said gravity.” “You said reality.” “I didn’t.”

I show Regi my Twitter feed. “See? You said reality.” “That’s what you said I said. Who do you believe, me or your lying Twitter account?”

I don’t have an answer. Luckily I have a solution. “OK. You said gravity. No. You wouldn’t feel heavier if the artificial gravity is 1G.”

“The point is the entire Body Parts R Us building is now one huge centrifuge.” The Concierge says “That makes no sense. Who would do that?”

“Our scientists are involved with cloning body parts. They don’t use artificial gravity to do their work.” “Someone altered your building.”

“These are all very complex things. Gravity where did it come from?” “Isaac Newton discovered gravity. Before him it was a matter of faith.”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Circling the Square — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 140 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

Regi says “Give me the phone! Dad don’t go in Farley’s Safe Room!” “Don’t worry. I designed every inch of that Safe Room. It can’t hurt me.”

“Dad things have changed!” Still on the phone, Regi takes off down the corridor. “Something sprinkled Uncle Farley spray all over the room!”

I hear the tears in Regi’s voice “I haven’t had a chance to say how much it means to discover you’re still alive and how much I love you!”

“I want to see you again! I want you to make up for the father/daughter moments missed because you were too busy being a scientist/tycoon!”

Should I mention to Regi that she sounds a little passive/aggressive? Before I can she cries “Don’t get vaporized! Dad! Dad? He hung up!”

Running at full speed down the circular hallway, we pass the Concierge who once again is out jogging. He shouts ‘Miss Granger! Mr. Arkaby!”

He’s not at all out of breath as he trots beside us. He says “Well, I didn’t expect you back so soon.” “Granger’s back!” “I can see that.”

“Not Regi Granger, Willum Granger!” “What Willum?” “Yes!” “Willum Granger?” “YES!” “That’s impossible! He was cut in half!” “Not exactly!”

“He wasn’t cut exactly in half?” “He wasn’t cut in half at all.” “Willum Granger is alive and whole?” “For the moment.” Regi cries “Arkaby!”

We stop at the entrance to the Safe Room which is still sealed with police tape. The Concierge says “What do you mean ‘For the moment?'”

“As long as we don’t know who killed Farley Granger, or why, we can assume they will go after Willum Granger when they find out he’s alive.”

“Why would they do that?” “We don’t know.” Regi says “Dad will be OK as long as the killer doesn’t check your Twitter feed.” “Exactly.”

“What if the killer does follow you?” “Good idea!” “Huh?” “Attention Farley Granger killer! Turn yourself in now and we’ll go easy on you!”

“Now we wait.” Regi says “That’s not what I meant. My father is in danger right now!” “You don’t think a tweet is a sufficient deterrent?”

“NO! We must take immediate action!” “Hm. You may be right. Why don’t you get your father on the phone again?” “He’s still not answering.”

“Concierge, which way to my father’s lab?” He says “You don’t know?” “Everything’s different from last time I was here.” “Since yesterday?”

“Yes.” The Concierge looks right and left. Regi says “You don’t know either?” “Why do you think I’m always running around the corridor?”

When first I saw the Concierge circling the Body Parts R Us hallway I thought of a scene from ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’

With the ‘2001’ Jupiter ship in mind I consider anew the BP R U corridors circling Farley’s deadly Safe Room. Whose purpose do they serve?

“Concierge have these halls always been perfectly circular?” “No. They used to be squared. When I jogged I had to slow down at the corners.”

“Who ordered the change?” “I don’t know.” “Aren’t you in charge of the business side of Body Parts R Us?” “ME? I’m just the Concierge.”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Irregular Driving — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 139 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!


“WHY ARE YOU STOPPING AGAIN?” “You’re still shouting. I’m still solving this Twitter problem.” “TWITTER’S NOT WHAT’S IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW!”

Regi says “Arkaby, if you have no WIFI, how are you tweeting?” “That’s the Twitter problem I’m trying to solve.” “Hmm. Why don’t I drive?”

Regi climbs on my lap. She says “Is that a cell phone in your pocket or are you happy to see me?” I show her the cell phone in my hand.

Through gritted teeth I say “You’re on my keys.” Giggling, Regi replies “Your keys are in the ignition.” “So they are.” Granger says “Ahem!”

“I’m still back here.” I shift over to the passenger seat. Regi smiles at me, leans back to pat her father’s arm and puts the car in gear.

I’ve GOT to restore WIFI before we get to Body Parts R Us. If the paradigm has shifted, my Twitter feed may be the only link to our reality!

It’s all up to me. If I don’t restore my Twitter feed before we get to Body Parts R Us, who knows what era of history we’ll step out into?

Still no signal! Time is of the essence or who knows what time it will be! Regi slides the car into a empty spot “We’re here!” Times up!

“I still can’t get WIFI. Drive around.” “You have no signal?” “None.” “Did you check if you’re in Airplane Mode?” “Don’t be redic…Umm.”

Opps! I tap my phone and the WIFI icon lights up. All my stored tweets pour out onto the Internet. Regi smiles and hands me my car keys.

“That could happen to anyone.” “Uh huh. We weren’t flying.” “Let’s get your father inside.” We turn to the backseat. Willum Granger is gone!

Before we react to his disappearance my phone rings. “Hello?” “This is Granger. Have you two sorted out your phone service? I’m in my lab.”

“You can’t go in there alone!” “I can and I did.” Regi takes the phone “Dad! Your life is in danger! Uncle Farley was killed in there!”

As we rush toward the entrance I say “Why did you leave?” “I got bored. You spend too much time on Twitter.” “Don’t go near the Safe Room!”

We enter the circular hallway girdling the Body Parts R Us complex. Stretching off everywhere right and left are signs of reconstruction.

“Which way to your father’s lab?’ Regi looks right and left and says “I don’t know. This is completely different from last time I was here.”

“Since yesterday?” “Yes.” “It’s changed that much?” “Yes.” From my phone Granger says “I’m still here. Go right.” “My right or your right?”

Granger doesn’t reply at first. “How would you know which is my right way?” “You’re the one directing. Do you know the right way or not?”

“I know your right way. I don’t know if you know my right way.” “I don’t. That’s why I’m asking.” I don’t either.” “Don’t what?” “Know.”

After a moment I sort that out. “What don’t you know?” “I don’t know if you know my right from my left.” “Then why are you wasting my time?”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Parallel Universe Parking — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues


parking animated GIF

Here are Week 138 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“Not quite? Either I’m immortal or I’m not! There’s no not quite immortal.” “Arkaby is trying to say we don’t know yet if you are immortal.”

“We’ll just have to wait and see.” “Humph!” I say “One thing is certain. Final disposition of your body will be a whole new undertaking.”

“Arkaby is trying to say your clone is completely intact.” “The body you found hasn’t decomposed?” “You may be mortal but imperishable.”

I say “Was that what you were trying to accomplish with all your DNA manipulation?” “No! Why would I want to make my corpse indestructible?”

“I figured you went with rewriting your DNA as palindromes and the non-decaying corpse was an unintended consequence.” “That’s ridiculous!”

We get in my car. I step on the gas and head for Body Parts R Us. Then I pull over to send this tweet. Granger says “What are you doing?”

“I shouldn’t drive and tweet at the same time.” “Must you tweet? This will take forever!” “It’s better than the alternative.” “What’s that?”

“What happens if you drive-tweet?” “I have a tendency to out-of-body experiences.” “You lose your mind?” Regi says “More like the opposite.”

“He loses his body?” I say “Not exactly. I may enter a multitasking fugue. Last time it happened I attempted parallel universe parking.”

“What’s parallel universe parking?” “My mind left my body and I tried to park in two different spots at once.” Granger looks unconvinced.

I continue “That’s how I ended up prepped for surgery at Body Parts R Us.” “You couldn’t get your mind and your body back together again?”

“No. The guy I cut off for the second spot decked me. I’m not going to risk that again.” After a moment Granger says “We could call a cab.”

“No. I got this.” Regi says “What’s our plan?” “I’ll let you know as soon as I have one.” Granger says “I want to see Farley’s Safe Room.”

“There’s not much to see. Just an empty room with pink-coated furnishings. He wasn’t much of an interior decorator before he was vaporized.”

“We’re stopping again?” “For a moment. Damn!” “At a loss for words to tweet?” “No. I don’t have signal. I must have stopped in a dead zone.”

“You can’t tweet?” “No signal.” “Can we go?” “In a minute. I’m switching to cellular. Damn!” “Still can’t tweet?” “I’m not getting through.”

Regi says “Did you check your battery?” “Battery’s good. No signal.” “If you move the car, maybe your reception will improve.” “Good idea.”

I get no WIFI signal at any other stopping point on the way to Body Parts R Us. Could the entire Internet be down? How could that happen?

I say “It happened again!” Regi says “What’s happened?” “There is only one explanation for this WIFI blackout. We’ve phased in time again.”

Granger says “No!” “I’ve got this covered.” “No!” “Yes. We’ve been through this before. To unphase I just review my Twitter feed and…uh oh.”

Regi says “How can you review your Twitter feed if you have no WIFI?” “I got that.” Granger says “NO!” “Can you ask your Dad not to shout?”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

A Real Down-to-Earth Guy — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 137 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

“As a Dickensian other-worldly visitation it made perfect sense that you’d exhort me to save the world from a time-altering paradigm shift.”

“It did?” “Sure. What always struck me as odd was your insistence I find Regi and return her to the States. Why would a ghost want that?”

“I never said I was a ghost.” “Yes you did.” Again I scroll back through my Twitter feed. I read “‘You’re not a ghost?’ You replied ‘No.'”

“That’s quite ambiguous. Did you mean ‘No, I’m not a ghost’, or ‘No, I am a ghost’?” Willum says “I see where it might confuse some people.”

“You left open the question of whether you were a clone and I took it from there.” “Where did you take it?” “I called Body Parts R Us.”

“You called BP R U? Why?” “To ask Dot or Dash if they had built a clone of you.” “That’s not how cloning works.” “That’s what they said.”

Regi says “There’s so much I don’t understand. If that wasn’t you severed by A’s malpractice, who was it? Was that what happened to Stuart?”

Willum says “That wasn’t Stuart. Those were my own cloned parts from the lab. I don’t know what happened to him. I assume he’s really dead.”

“What about Farley?” “That wasn’t me.” I say “Despite defenses someone got to him.” “He should have known you can run but you can’t hide.”

Is that right? Isn’t it you can hide but can’t run? I’m not sure how many surgeries Granger endured, but I think something still is loose.

Before I can consult my urban dictionary, Regi says “Why did you stay away so long?” “I had to be sure you were safe before I could act.”

“Safe from what?” “I know it sounds crazy, but everything I said to Arkaby is true. Some one or thing is bringing about a paradigm shift.”

“After all we’ve seen, it doesn’t sound at all crazy. What’s our next move?” They look at me. I say “We return to the seen of the crime.”

They stare at me in confusion. Finally Willum says “Which scene of which crime?” “I’ve got the heat breathing down my neck about Farley.”

“Heat? Oh yes, your own department head accused you of Farley’s murder. Why did they do that?” Regi says “He forced us into his Safe Room.”

“That’s a motive?” “Farley shot at me but hit Regi.” Regi holds up a bandaged arm. “Ah. Then why did they blame you?” “They don’t like me.”

“I find that hard to believe.” Nobody likes a smart aleck, even if he’s just returned from the dead. Regi says “Oh, he’s likable enough.”

“One thing bothers me. If that wasn’t you we found severed that day, how did your body end up at Regi’s medical school?” “That wasn’t me.”

Regi says “We figured that. Who was it?” “I don’t know. I assume my clone parts were buried at the Founder’s Memorial Cemetery, as planned.”

I say “They had a dead start at Founder’s, but they walked. That’s not the weird part. They were your clone parts and they didn’t decay.”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery

Knock Knock — Live-Tweeted Mystery “The Golden Parachute” Continues

Here are Week 136 @Twitstery tweets of The Golden Parachute, the amazing new sequel to Executive Severance!

There’s only one way for me to find out. It’s a long shot but I have to take it. I say “What was the very first thing you ever said to me?”

Stuart says “How am I supposed to remember that?” I take out my cell phone and scroll to the beginning of my Twitter account. “Read this.”

Looking doubtful, Stuart reads “Knock knock?” and looks up at me. I seize the moment and reply “Who’s there?” “WILLUM GRANGER GODDAMNIT!”

“Willum Granger Goddamnit who?” “ME!” It IS Willum Granger! Regi whispers “Dad?” “Yes. It’s me.” “I don’t believe it. How are you alive?”

“It’s a complicated story.” “They all are. Dad had a birthmark on his butt shaped like Philadelphia. Prove who you are. Show me your butt.”

“My butt?” “Yes. We found the Philadelphia birthmark on the cadaver in my med school’s autopsy lab. Until I see yours, that’s my father.”

“As your father’s identical triplet, wouldn’t Stuart have the same birthmark?” “Triplets don’t have the same birthmarks or fingerprints.”

“How can they be identical triplets if they aren’t identical?” “They’re identical in appearance but not in everything.” “So, not identical.”

“Some twins are mirror images.” “Are their birthmarks also mirrored? Would they be like Philadelphia and Camden?” “It doesn’t work that way”

Stuart says “Good grief!” and pulls down his pants. The birthmark on his butt looks like the City of Brotherly Love. Maybe he isn’t Stuart.

“Regi says “It IS Philadelphia. OH MY GOD! DAD!?” “Are you sure? It looks like Houston.” Stuart/Willum says “It’s Philadelphia Goddamnit!”

Regi says “I never cared for Philadelphia.” “Camden’s not great either. What was your father’s connection?” “None. It was just a birthmark.”

“I may be sick!” “You’re a cop. Get a grip” “No thanks.” Willum pulls up his pants. Regi says “Dad. How can you be intact and be here?”

“Do you finally believe I am your father?” Regi hesitates and then goes over and hugs Willum. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “To keep you safe.”

I say “You are Willum in the flesh?” “I am.” “You faked your death and made A the fall guy?” “I did.” “You have super powers?” “I don’t.”

“No powers? Isn’t it true you rewrote all your DNA into palindromes?” “The reports of my DNA palindromage have been greatly exaggerated.”

“Both your wife and daughter have names that are the same backwards and forwards. How can you claim you’re not obsessed with palindromes?”

“Their names are palindromes? News to me.” “Rachel Lechar? Regna RG Granger?” “Now that you mention it.” “You deny it?” “Do geese see God?”

“That’s a palindrome too!” Willum shrugs. Regi says “Who cares? Dad, why did you fake your own death and hide from us all these years?”

“And why come out of hiding now?” “I didn’t know that Farley had been murdered.” “Vaporized.” “Yes vaporized.” “In his Safe Room.” “I KNOW!”

Willum turns to me “You knew. What gave me away?” “A couple of things. When I thought you were a ghost it made sense that you’d visit me.”

The Twitter Mystery continues daily at @Twitstery