This Episode: Squirrel Interrupted

A DR. Dick Van Dyke Mystery

"I was awoken from a deep sleep by a call from the L.A.P.D. "We got a freshly dead squirrel in the roadway, Van Dyke. Better get over here toot sweet." My assistant, Dr. Scott Baio, joined me on the scene. "What's up, Dr. Van Dyke?" he said, rubbing the sleep from his dreamy brown eyes. "We'll soon see, my handsome young friend," I replied. The flattened body was splayed on its back across the center dividing lines of the tree-lined road. "Sorry to call you out, Van Dyke," Detective O'Halliherlihey said. "Looks like just a good old-fashioned hit and run. I'll call the scraper."

"Not so fast!" I interjected. After poking the animal with a stick several times, I concluded it was, indeed, dead. Then, with the help of the taut musculature of Dr. Baio, we turned the squirrel over. "Ah-hah!" I exclaimed. "If this was a hit and run, since when do cars use bullets?" For indeed, there was a small bullet hole just beneath the squirrel's shoulder blades. Dr. Baio, with steady, practiced hands, began probing the hole with his thermometer. "What the," said the husky voice of Dr. Baio. "This may be a bullet holebut there's no bullet in the body!!" "This is a mystery!" I said, thoughtfully scratching my chin. "Waitasecond Dr. Baio, what does your thermometer say?" "Why, 54 degrees," he replied. "Okay, now put the thermometer in the squirrel's mouth," I instructed. "What's his temperature now?" "That's weird," Dr. Baio said with just the cutest quizzical expression. "It's 76 degrees. But how?" I called Detective O'Halliherlihey over. "Detective, your murderer is a white, middle-aged taxidermist who suffers from agyrophobia and moonlights in an ice factory. Go pick him up!"

How did Dr. Van Dyke know this? And what happened to the missing bullet? For the exciting answer to this week's mystery, go and find a paper copy of The Portland Mercury and turn to page 31!