The Case of the Hipstamatic Skates

Idaville seemed like a normal town, but it wasn’t. It had free wifi.

Everyone thought Idaville’s police chief was very smart, but the truth of the matter was that all his toughest cases were solved by his son; Mr. and Mrs. Brown called him Leroy, but everyone else called him Wikipedia.

One evening at dinner, Mr. Brown said, “There was a robbery today at the roller skating rink. A pair of green roller skates was stolen.”

Wikipedia unlocked his iPhone. He always did this when he was getting ready to think hard. He typed on his phone for a minute, then said, “Jane Janesworth stole the skates. She just joined a roller derby team.”

“That doesn’t prove she stole the skates,” Chief Brown said.

“No, but five minutes ago she posted a photo of her wearing green roller skates on Instagram. Is this what they look like?” Wikipedia handed his dad the phone.

“Yes, except they don’t look old and blurry like that.”

“That’s just the filter she’s using,” Leroy said. “They don’t really look like that.”

- - -

The Case of the Bank Robber

“A masked man robbed the bank today,” Mr. Brown said as Mrs. Brown scooped mashed potatoes onto his plate. “We arrested Sammy Smithson for crime. He claims he’s innocent, but refuses to give us an alibi.”

Wikipedia didn’t say anything. He was messing with his iPhone.

“Son, are you listening to me? ” He looked at his wife, who shrugged.

“Son, are you figuring out who solved the case, or are you playing Fruit Ninja?”

“Fruit Ninja,” Wikipedia said, finally putting his phone down. “Mother, can you hand me that Encyclopedia?”

His mother handed the book to him. Wikipedia used it to kill a spider, then threw the book in a trashcan and picked his phone back up. “Sammy Smithson is innocent, he was across town at a hotel when the bank was being robbed.”

“How do you know that?” Mr. Brown asked.

“Because he wrote a negative review of the hotel on Yelp: The sheets were too dirty to sleep on. Luckily the coffee table was sturdy enough to take a good pounding. Warning: the shower can’t fit two people.”

“Why didn’t he tell us he was at the hotel?” Mr. Brown asked. But Wikipedia didn’t hear him because he was playing Fruit Ninja. Across the table, Mrs. Brown poured herself a second glass of wine, her hand shaking badly.

- - -

The Case of the Stained Tablecloth

One night Mr. Brown was working late—as he often did—so it was just Mrs. Brown and Wikipedia at the dinner table. “Leroy,” Mrs. Brown said, “Why don’t you put your phone down for a minute?”

“Mrs. Brown,” Wikipedia said without looking up, “Why don’t you put a better password on your email? Using your birth date isn’t very clever.”

“Are you reading my emails?” Mrs. Brown asked.

“Yes, and they bring up a lot of mysteries that I’m sure Dad would like my help solving!”

Mrs. Brown’s trembling hand knocked over her wine glass, but she didn’t notice. Wikipedia finally looked at her, and his eyes were cold and flat. He stared at her until the silence of the room was broken by the soft ping of his iPhone. “Oh look!” he said quietly, “I just got a text message. Do you think I should answer it?”

“Please,” his mother whispered.

“Case closed,” Wikipedia said, and went back to his phone.