Melvin “Dictionary” Jones, a nine-year-old, has emerged as the next big child detective after turning in his father for committing “pinky-promise” perjury concerning the identity of Santa Claus.
Magnus Jones, a 37-year-old private investigator and Melvin’s suspect, consented to an interview from the holding cell of the local police station. “All this started last Christmas when his classmates began talking to him about Santa. When he asked me, I gave the standard parent spiel on how Santa came down the chimney every Christmas with gifts for kids. But Melvin had a strange fixation on every little fact surrounding Santa’s supposed ‘crime operation,’ but so what? Did you expect me to tell him that Santa Claus wasn’t real? He’s in the fourth grade for Pete’s sake. Is a little white lie like that really worth jail time?”
Jones’ uncanny knowledge of the dictionary has already helped him solve two big cases in town, specifically the case of the Austere Auctioneer and the Buried Bones. With an intricately constructed Rube Goldberg machine and a cage fashioned from a laundry basket, Dictionary Jones caught his father in the act of placing “Santa’s gift” under the tree on the night of the 24th. The detective was close to wrapping up “The Case of the Christmastime Crook” (as is titled on his take-home folder) when reporters
“I’ve been in the force for a couple of weeks, but this case really opened my eyes,” Melvin Jones said, nibbling on a chocolate cigar. “It’s a cold world out there, but this city takes the cake. There’s no magic left out there in the slimy streets and the sunken tenement buildings. Makes me want to go back to a time when we still enjoyed this merry-go-round called life and weren’t forced to watch the sweet, sweet lies melt away like ice on a hot summer day.”
“Sometimes I regret raising my kid to become a detective,” Magnus said. “I honestly thought Melvin might want to play catch or build Legos like a normal kid, but I saw too much of myself in him.
“As for me, I’ve been in the big house a few times in my career, so I’m not too worried by this. What bugs me now, though, is how I’m gonna handle things when Melvin starts hitting puberty. And what’s gonna happen when he asks me about ‘the birds and the bees?’ The word ‘Santa’ is only a few pages before the word ‘sex’ in the dictionary, and at the rate he’s reading, I don’t think I’m ready to explain.”
The incarceration trial for Magnus Jones is scheduled for this Friday. Dictionary Jones, found in his KidKraft office nursing a bottle of Martinelli’s, refused to comment further.