Detective Ed In ‘Sophomore Sleuthing in the Social Networking Slums’

The lights slowly flickered on as Lewis walked slowly into his room after a long day at work. His footsteps echoed as he walked across the room. He slumped into his chair and waited for his laptop to spring into life. He entered the password (Its ‘Vaginas’. Always ‘Vaginas’) and waited for startup. Suddenly, there was a large thump at the window. Not an uncommon occurence for an awesome sidekick such as he, but the noise got the better of him. He was again distracted by a knock at the door. Opening it, he was surprised to find it was his closest friend and companion.
“Double Glazing?”
“Double Glazing.”
“Can you open your window?”
“Can’t you just come through now? Through this open door? This door that is open, for you, right now?”

The Detective gave Lewis a long, hard stare. Eventually, Lewis sighed heavily and shut the door. He walked back into his room and reluctantly opened the window. He stepped back while the Detective jumped through the window.
“That’s much better.”
“Well, you haven’t broken my window this time, so I’m inclined to agree.”
“Well, Doctor’s orders, I’m only allowed to jump through open windows for now.”
“So, why are you here this time, Ed?”
“Well, Curlyfries-”
“This again? Really? Really?
“Shut up Curlyfries, I’m trying to explain the case to you!”

Lewis sighed heavily yet again, and silently bid Ed continue.
“Something’s going on with our social networks! It’s a conspiracy! Facebook groups, Tumblr blogs-”
“Don’t even get me started on Tumblr.”
“Those pretentious, whiny hipsters, I just want to take a baseball bat and a crowbar and teach them the meaning of croquet…”

Lewis paused and mulled over what the hell that could have meant before interjecting.
“Ed. Case.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed it more and more recently, there’s a cavalcade of facebook groups all of the time. People want you to become a fan of everything from stuff that’s incredibly bizarre to things that literally everyone has done ever. Oh, and there are tons of ones made by women bitching about men like they’ve never gone through a breakup before.”
“Maybe it’s-“

“And that’s not all! Teenage girls on Tumblr…” Ed paused to shake his fist and silently curse towards the sky before continuing. “Those teenage girls will post tons of irrelevant rubbish everyday, as much as they can. From random pictures to random quotes to killing once funny jokes and even killing jokes that weren’t funny at all! They just keep going and going, and they make such a massive deal about followers! I don’t even know what they are! Either way, it needs investigating!”
“Isn’t this similar to something did?”
“No, this is nothing like anything that’s been on Besides, I came up with this idea of a facebook related story way before Dan O’Brien did.”
“Well, I think-”
“We haven’t a moment to lose, I’ve wasted vital time with all this exposition! I don’t even have enough time to tell you where we’re going or why!”
“Can’t you tell me in the car on the way there?”
“We don’t even have enough time for that! Open the window and let’s go for Detective Ed Adventure 2, Electric Boogaloo!”
“Ed, you have to stop applying that subtitle to everything…”

Just so you know now, none of these images are directly part of the story. An attention-seeking status. You might have to click the images to see them fully.

The light flickered on as the Mad Scientist walked slowly into the room. Thunder cracked in the distance while the Mad Scientist laughed manically. He was suddenly distracted from his laughter by a knock at the door. Upon answering it, Lewis walked in mumbling an “Excuse me” as he walked towards the nearby window and opened it.
“You might want to step back…”
Lewis and the Mad Scientist stepped back as Detective Ed flew through the window, landing face first. Muttering obscenities while brushing off the dirt and self-righting himself, the Detective looked upon the Mad Scientist and smiled.
“Ah! Mad Scientist! Glad you could take us in at such short notice.”
“I do have a name…”
“He does this a lot.”
“Shut up Curlyfries! I’m talking to the Mad Scientist! Sorry we’re late, someone wouldn’t open the window to Roxy.”
“It’s the name of my car. Ed’s not really allowed to drive her anymore after the last incident. I don’t really want to talk about it.”
“And you still wouldn’t open the windows! And besides, she came onto me!”

Both Lewis and the Mad Scientist processed what Ed had said, and immediately wished they hadn’t.
“Stop looking at me like that! I haven’t seen such horrified looks on your faces since I did that thing with the ice cream cone.”
Both men shuddered while Ed sighed.
“Anyway, we’re wasting time here. Mad Scientist, take us to the experiment room, show me your latest results!”
Detective Ed ran off through the house as the Mad Scientist turned to Lewis.
“Curlyfries? Seriously?”
“Dude, don’t even get me fucking started…”

They both shook their heads and sighed, interrupted by a shout across the house.
“Uhh, Mad Scientist? I kind of made an accident in your experiment room.”
“How did you get to the basement that quickly?”
“Basement? I’m in the room down the corridor, third one on the left…”

The Mad Scientist paused briefly, before exclaiming

Detective Ed waited for an hour in the basement alone, until the familiar footsteps of Lewis and the Mad Scientist descended down the stairwell. He could hear his sidekick apologising profusely.
“I’m sorry, I don’t even know how he managed to get that large of an amount of faeces in your master bedroom…”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. It’s not even the first time he’s managed to do it. I found him in there with a ball-pool, a baseball bat and a crowbar in there once before. I think I was more impressed than anything else…”
“”Why do you even let him around anymore?”
“Why do you?”
“I think I ask myself that question way too much…”

Ed sighed. “Oh, he’s not telling you about that old story, is he?”
“Pretty much”
“The man just doesn’t appreciate croquet”
“I don’t even think you know what that is…”
The Mad Scientist coughed loudly to gain their attention.
“Ah, yes, now, Curlyfries, seeing as we were both completely stumped as to why there’s so many annoying and pointless Facebook groups and those goddamned hipsters on Tumblr…”

Both Ed and the Mad Scientist cursed silently while shaking their fists towards the sky.
“…I explained to my dear friend Mad Scientist the case and asked for his help.”
“So that’s why we’re here? You couldn’t let me explain it to you when we were back at mine?”
“Look, I’ve got him on speed-dial. I was trying to call someone else and I accidentally pressed the wrong number, besides, I’ve got him on speed-dial. Why would I let his skills go to waste?”
“Okay, you have a Mad Scientist on speed-dial? After this, we’re seriously going to have some talks. Maybe to some people with lab coats that aren’t covered with bloodstains and your fresh bedroom faeces.”
“It wasn’t my faeces, I have more dignity than to shit in a bedroom”
“Then where did it all come from?”
“That’s not important right now.”

The Mad Scientist coughed louder.
“Okay, we get it! It’s like you’ve never made an evil reveal before. Just rip off the veil and show us already!”

Mad Scientist laughed manically and pulled down a massive veil, accidentally covering himself with it in the process. Disappointedly, he manages to throw it off himself and only manages a feeble “Ta-da!” when presenting his experiment to Detective Ed and Curlyfries.

“It’s… a teenage girl in a cage!” Exclaimed Lewis.
“Where they should be, am I right, fellas?”

Ed’s pleas for a hi-five with Lewis were denied by a stare with the collective slapping power of every girl reading this right now. While Ed squirmed in his seat, the Mad Scientist continued.
“I’ve been keeping this test subject locked up for quite a while for this experiment. Now, I’ve been able to keep track of her online progress, obviously blocking any obvious or coded attempts to escape, but herein lies the interesting thing. She’s got loads of friends on Facebook, most of whom she doesn’t even know. She creates tons of groups and tries to get everyone to join them, and if a group is even a tiny bit relevant, she’ll join that as well. She posts pretty constantly throughout the day and keeps going until she gets a bunch of likes and comments and people join her groups.”
“Remarkable, and what about Tumblr?”

The by-now obligatory fist-shake to the sky followed the word, and did so with every subsequent mention.
“Well, she’s the typical Tumblr girl. She posts about 50 different things a day, random images, pictures of people kissing, overused memes, quotes from TV shows accompanied with still images from show in question, dedications to friends, random song lyrics, and she reblogs the most pointless shit…”
“How many followers does she have?”
“Way more than you could possibly hope to gain.”
“I know”
“But, I’ve done that stuff too! I’ve joined in on some of that, I just use it to post random stuff that I can’t fit on Twitter and that doesn’t have a place on Facebook!”
“So does she, and yet she’s reaching levels you couldn’t even dream of. But you, you said you’ve done some of those things on Tumblr, too, and how did you feel?”
“Bit dirty. Needed a shower after a while, but I don’t really care what people think that much, why?”
“Well, she claims she doesn’t care what people think, but then takes the time to beg for more followers, criticises and hates people who disagree with her or unfollow her blog, and does what she can, even subtly, to gain more and more followers.”
“Could I ever compete?”
“Not unless you slowly become everything you hate, turning more and more into a hipster and letting Tumblr take over your every whim and part of your life, as the social aspects crumble away. You’ll have to arsekiss people, even pose for topless tuesdays. You will have to become… one of them…”
“Fuck it, it’s not worth the effort really, is it?”
“Not if you’re a man. But if you’re a female, well, the results are interesting to say the least. It seems like they… feed off the attention. Its weird, I know, but if they get loads of attention, they seem to become more, self-confident, self-important, like what they say seems to matter, but I read over everything she posted and… She doesn’t really have a personality at all. I haven’t even fed her for weeks, she’s getting it all from the attention she’s gaining from random strangers on the internet. She’s certainly coping a lot better than the other subject…”

Mad Scientist pulled down another veil that no one had noticed or mentioned until he bought attention to it, behind it was a skeleton in a cage.
“This one was much the same. Little real personality, hugely popular on Tumblr and Facebook, but then I took them all away from her. Especially after she refused to get with the other girl and rejected all of my advances. Starved of attention, she began starving in reality, until I woke up and she was just a skeleton. I sure showed that uptight little bitch, huh?”
Remarkable…” responded Detective Ed, deep in thought, trying hard to process everything he had taken in. Minutes passed, the room in silence, until Lewis sighed and stood up.

“Okay, seriously you guys? Not only do I find this whole thing stupid, it’s also dangerously bordering on sexist and misogynistic. I don’t really think many people will get the reference you’re going for, either! You’re making horrible, sweeping generalisations about teenage girls here, and a lot of this could just be resolved if you just ignored them.”
“But they can get really annoying sometimes!”
“Well, you’re going to have to learn to deal with it. They’re obviously not terrible people, they’re just misguided enough to think that people care about their boring lives and what they have to say when people probably don’t. And even if they are terrible people, so what? You’re just taking this all way too far! And that’s ignoring the massive elephant in the room!”
“I didn’t really find the elephant relevant to any of the experiments. It’s just a stuffed elephant in the corner of a Mad Scientist’s basement, I don’t really see what you have against it…”
“There’s nothing wrong with that elephant! I mean the fact Mad Scientist has got two teenage girls locked up in cages in his basement where he performs experiments on them! One of them is dead! Don’t either of you see anything wrong with this at all?”

Ed and the Mad Scientist both responded instantly with “Nope!“. Lewis sat down and silently fumed to himself. A minute passed before a lightbulb sprang to life above Detective Ed’s head, having finally solved the case.
“Wait, so you’re telling me that all of these facebook groups are created by people with no lives who are desperate for fame and attention?”
“Who knew?”
Lewis quipped sarcastically.
“Well, that clears everything up! I don’t see why you couldn’t have thought of it earlier, Curlyfries!”
“…I hate you. So, so much right now…”

Ed and Lewis began departing the house, heading towards the entrance with the Mad Scientist following up behind them. As they reached the entrance, Lewis turned towards the Mad Scientist.
“So, now that this case is all wrapped up, you don’t need that teenage girl in the cage anymore, right?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, surely you only had her locked up to solve this case with us, right?”
“…No, why would I do that? I don’t really see why you have such a problem with the fact I have a teenage girl locked up in a cage in my basement…”
“You know what, Mad Scientist? I don’t want to be friends with you anymore. This entire adventure has been a waste of time, and I don’t know why I’m even here anymore. I’m getting out of here.”

Lewis stormed out of the house and made his way back to Roxy. Before setting off after him, Detective Ed turned to the Mad Scientist and shook his hand.
“So, same time next adventure?”
“Probably not. No offence, but I think your friend is a bit weird.”
“Tell me about it. Anyway, I gotta run!”

Ed ran towards Roxy as Lewis started her up. He always knew just how to turn her on. Ed yelled at Lewis as he ran.
“Curlyfries! Open the window! We’ve no time to lose! We need to get a ball-pool, a baseball bat and a crowbar! Time is of the essence!”
“Fuck you!” came the response from Lewis, as he drove off, stranding Ed outside the home of the Mad Scientist. The Detective caught his breath.
“I guess he’s not up for the croquet tournament after all…”

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